Sterling Cling (center) shares the podium with Stevie Sussex and Bruce St. James. (Ben Thrasher photo)
Sterling Cling (center) shares the podium with Stevie Sussex and Bruce St. James. (Ben Thrasher photo)

Cling Stops Sussex In Copper Classic

QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. — Wrapping up the season with the San Tan Ford ASCS Desert Non-Wing Series, Sterling Cling captured his fourth career victory and the $2,000 top prize in the fifth annual Copper Classic at Arizona Speedway.

Taking the lead early on, Cling’s No. 34c was chased by Friday’s prelim winner Stevie Sussex with Bruce St. James also in the mix. Green through lap 11, the caution lights brought Sussex to the leader’s back bumper, but the No. 12 could do little on the restart as Cling pulled away.

Finding traffic with seven laps to run, Cling was forced off the throttle, allowing Sussex to close rapidly.

Five laps to go and Sussex dove to the hub of the third and fourth turns, but again would give chase to Cling. Moving back into the leader’s tire tracks, the final two laps saw Sussex again got a shot at the lead, but the caution lights greeted the field as Tyler Most rolled to a stop in front of the leader through the fourth turn.

Back to the last fully completed lap on the restart, Sussex charged the bottom for the lead. Slight contact on the way by, Stevie muscled into the lead as the pair hit the backstretch, but the caution waved before the lap could be completed for Pete Yerkovich.

Looking at Cling’s back bumper once again, the No. 34c hit the hub as Sussex railed the cushion. Slide job for the lead off the fourth turn, the caution continued to haunt the field. To the wave of the green flag, it was just as before as Sussex took a top to bottom approach for the lead. Edged by Cling at the line, Sussex again hit the cushion through the first and second turns.

With momentum to his advantage, the run off the final two turns saw caution instead of checkers.

To the wave of the green and white, frustration struck again as the run to the point by Sussex was nullified by the caution. Getting the final green flag, Sussex gave it one final shot, but Cling held on for the win.

Third went to Bruce St. James with Jonas Reynolds in tow. Making up 11 positions, Randy Nelson completed the top five.

The finish:

Feature (25 Laps): 1. 34C-Sterling Cling[3]; 2. 12-Stevie Sussex[7]; 3. 7K-Bruce St James[2]; 4. 0-Jonas Reynolds[9]; 5. 9X-Randy Nelson[16]; 6. 2-Joshua Shipley[4]; 7. 21C-Shawn Rice[19]; 8. 72-AJ Hernandez[10]; 9. 7X-Ryan Murphy[20]; 10. 42-Danny Mathus[8]; 11. 3K-Patrick Krob[25]; 12. 9-Josh Pelkey[6]; 13. 43-Ryan Oerter[13]; 14. (DNF) 22G-Aaron Jones[1]; 15. (DNF) 17-Joe Scheopner[14]; 16. (DNF) 7-Mason Keefer[21]; 17. (DNF) 50S-Patrick Kop[22]; 18. (DNF) 3Y-Pete Yerkovich[5]; 19. (DNF) 3-Tyler Most[23]; 20. (DNF) 0AZ-Dustin Burkhart[15]; 21. (DNF) 8K-Kala Keliinoi[12]; 22. (DNF) 20-Shon Deskins[11]; 23. (DNF) 88-Philip Deeney[18]; 24. (DNF) 27-Mike Hathaway[17]; 25. (DNF) 7W-Wayne Siddle[24]