By Greg Soukup Eighty-nine IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car teams from 14 states saw action on opening night at Eagle Raceway. EAGLE, Neb. (Aug. 30) – His Friday night qualifying feature win earned Jake Bubak $700 and the pole start for Sunday’s RaceSaver Nationals main event. Jake Bubak earned opening night RaceSaver Nationals qualifying feature honors at Eagle Raceway. (Photo by Joe Orth) Bubak stretched his lead to six car lengths by lap 14 but he could not shake Martin completely. Martin managed to close on him in heavy lapped traffic as the race went the rest of the way caution free but could not catch him. Johnson led lap one of the qualifier with Bubak, Martin and Luke Cranston close behind. “I knew that there were some really good drivers starting up there. Jason was our biggest worry,” Bubak said. “Once I got to the lead the car was really good. I could move around and go wherever I wanted to. I just picked the line that I felt most comfortable with and it worked out.” Cole Krichau was the Mach-1 Sport Compact winner. Bubak came home first, Martin second, Johnson third and Cranston fourth. Cranston was disqualified in post-race tech for illegal fuel, moving Grossenbacher up to fourth. Bubak took advantage of a lap two restart and snagged the lead while Martin passed Johnson the next time around. The track was lightning fast as the leaders jumped to the high side and began to pull away from the pack. Chasing Bubak to the stripe and joining him in the first three rows of the main event grid were Jason Martin, Kaleb Johnson, Trevor Grossenbacher, Anton Hernandez, Ethan Barrow, Jake Martens, Andy Shouse and Justin Clark. Feature Results RaceSaver Sprint Cars – 1. Jake Bubak Arvada, Colo.; 2. Jason Martin Lincoln; 3. Kaleb Johnson, Sioux Falls, S.D.; 4. Trevor Grossenbacher Bennet; 5. Anton Hernandez Arlington, Texas; 6. Ethan Barrow Bloomington, Ind.; 7. Jake Martens Fairview, Okla.; 8. Andy Shouse Oklahoma City, Okla.; 9. Justin Clark, Hamersville, Ohio; 10. Stuart Snyder Lincoln; 11. Kevin Ramey, Fort Worth, Texas’ 12. Dusty Ballenger, Harrisburg, S.D.; 13. Mike Boston Lincoln; 14. Ryan King Bennet; 15. Claud Estes III, Godley, Texas; 16. Tyler Drueke, Eagle; 17. Adam Gullion, Lincoln; 18. Joey Danley, Lincoln; 19. Cody Ledger, Omaha. Sport Compacts – 1. Cole Krichau; 2. Brian Cronin; 3. Brad Gallagher; 4. Terry Tritt; 5. Shawn Hein; 6. Trenten Fugett; 7. Tim Horsham; 8. Dan Markham; 9. Kyle Owen; 10. Tyler Masek; 11. Michelle Nicholson; 12. Ray Harrington; 13. Drake Bohlmeyer; 14. R.J. Maas; 15. Steffen Oaks; 16. Bryce Walker.
In a spring fraught with injuries and difficulty, the USC football team held its final spring practice before its annual spring scrimmage at the Coliseum on Saturday.Putting in work · Sophomore quarterback Cody Kessler (above) stayed after practice at Howard Jones Field on Thursday to get some more throws in before Saturday’s scrimmage at the Coliseum. – Joseph Chen | Daily Trojan The Trojans practiced without kneepads for the second consecutive practice, but the diminished physicality didn’t detract from the intensity and speed of the drills.Junior wide receiver Marqise Lee again had a field day working out against the young Trojan secondary, making his presence known through a variety of dazzling catches including a leaping two-handed grab amid a shroud of defenders in the end zone during situational drills.The battle at quarterback heated up as redshirt sophomore quarterbacks Max Wittek and Cody Kessler looked neck and neck during passing drills. The two quarterbacks had somewhat differing approaches to Saturday’s exhibition matchup; predictably, incumbent starter Wittek appeared nonplussed and determined about his performance.“Obviously it’s a shorter scrimmage, but [I’ll try to] make the plays that are there, make the open throws and don’t try to force anything,” Wittek said. “I don’t have to go out on the last day [of spring practice] and make a crazy splash in the competition or anything. I think the real body of work is the resume that I’ve put on film over the past 14 practices.”Though Wittek’s throwing mechanics and ball velocity remain impressive, the redshirt sophomore has taken to improving other areas of his play this spring.“Decision-making and timing, making those decisions in a quick manner,” Wittek said. “Not to throw it every play — the big play’s not going to be made on every down. To take off and run and check it down if I need to.”Conversely, Kessler stuck around following practice and got in some practice snaps and extra throws on a practically deserted Howard Jones Field. Theoretically speaking, it is Kessler who has the most to gain from a strong showing Saturday. Though Wittek has made an impression in starts against Notre Dame and Georgia Tech last season, Kessler and his play have remained largely out of the auspices of the general public. Saturday will be his first chance to show the public at least a glimpse of his capabilities.“You come in ready to compete,” Kessler said. “Even though it is intersquad, you approach it like it’s game day. It’s Saturday, it’s in the Coliseum; we’re going to have fans there; it’s going to be nice to play in front of them.”Head coach Lane Kiffin was pleased, in particular, with his quarterbacks’ ability to take care of the ball — a positive sign after the Trojan quarterbacks combined for 20 interceptions last season.“[The quarterbacks] have really limited turnovers in the Coliseum this spring, which is very different than last spring … [considering] how much we were turning the ball over especially at quarterback, so it’s been really good,” Kiffin said.Saturday’s exhibition at the Coliseum, which begins at 1 p.m., probably won’t offer too many definitive answers regarding the depth chart — Kiffin’s post-spring depth chart will be released April 15 — but it will at least give the Trojan faithful and the public at large a clearer picture of the quarterback race.