Phoenix, AZ (Sept. 1) Charles Davis, Jr. continued his mastery of Manzanita
Speedway with a 1.09 second win over Mike Boat in Sunday night's 30 lap main
event for the NM/AZ Sprint car series race on the half mile track. The win
followed a victory in the Labor Day Series Saturday night in Show Low and he was
the overall champion in the three race series. He finished sixth in the Friday
night race in Albuquerque.
Davis had a great night as he was the second fastest qualifier to Rick Ziehl
in the 29 car field, was second to Ronnie Clark in his heat race and
placed third in a special 20 lap "Shootout" His win in the first USAC
sanctioned race at Manzy since 1985, marked his fourth sprint car win at
Manzanita this year in only seven starts.
Davis shared the second row with Boat for the green flag and Clark jumped out
front when the green flag flew. He kept his Ellis Racing/Tribute signs sprinter
in front for three laps then gave way to Boat. Boat was trying to wrap up the
driving championship and had his RPM Engines/ Buckley Chassis working on the
high side of the track while Davis slipped past Clark and set his sights on the
tail section of Boat's #74. He tried low side passes for several laps and
finally got the Fred and Evelyn Bryan Buckley to the front on the 23rd lap as
the leaders encountered heavy traffic. Once out front Davis was able to repel
each challenge that Boat threw at him and still had a two car length lead at the
"The car was just awesome," Davis said. "It was working every
groove on the track. The set up was the best I ever drove."
There were some spirited battles behind the front running duo. Rick Ziehl,
who started in the third row, had plenty of company in his battle for third with
Ronnie Clark and Marty Wilcox in pursuit. Terry Belcher, making a
rare Sprint Car start while subbing for his son in the Jerry and Susie Pritchett
machine, and Joe Larkin, Jr. were swapping positions with Belcher finally taking
the sixth spot and Larkin was seventh ahead of Steve Nix, Jeff Henry and Tony
The "Shootout" had the top sixteen drivers from the previous two
night's of racing inverted for the start of the 20 lapper after Charles Davis,
Jr. lost the coin toss. He called heads, it came up tails so he started 16th
instead of on the pole. The race got off to a bad start when the cars came off
turn four expecting a green flag. The flagman showed a standing green as the
start was not good and the yellow light was turned on. The front runners backed
off creating a traffic jam down the front straightaway. Kaylene Verville ran
over a rear wheel of one of the cars and did a series of end over end flips with
her Stacey Fuller car. She walked away uninjured.
Rick Ziehl was in command until he got caught up in heavy traffic and Davis,
Jr., all the way up from his eighth row starting berth closed the gap. Davis
tried an inside move down the back straighaway on the 19th lap. The two were
side by side and a slower car made it three abreast. Cars touched as they ran
out of room and Davis got sideways, recovered but the flagman had waved a
yellow. It was followed by a race stopping red flag when a report came in that a
car had flipped just behind the maintenance yard. This proved to be incorrect.
After some discussions, the scoring went back to the previous lap and since
Davis did not spin, he was given his second position back. On the restart Ziehl
pulled away and Boat got by Davis for second. Davis crossed the line in third
with Mike Martin and Tom Ball trailing.
Bob Ream, Jr. driven from 17th to fourth but mechanical problems ended his night
a lap early and he ended up tenth. Joe Larkin won the 12 lap semi over Mike
Ziehl, Steve Stone and Marty Wilcox. Tom Ball hit the wall and flipped but
was not injured. Heats went to Rick Ziehl, Ronnie Clark, Jeff Henry and Bob
NM/AZ USAC SPRINT CARS
Main event: (30 laps) 1. Charles Davis, Jr. 2. Mike Boat 3. Rick Ziehl 4. Ronnie
Clark 5. Marty Wilcox 6. Terry Belcher 7. Joe Larkin 8. Steve Nix 9. Jeff Henry
10. Tony Smiley 11. Mike Martin 12. Jay Ervine 13. Travis Cooley 14. Steve Stone
15. Michael Bryan 16. Rick Sipes 17. Shon Deskins 18. Anthony Tafoya 19. Ron
Hankla 20. Tom Ball 21. Jim Aragon (no time)
Lap Leaders: Laps 1-3, Clark–Laps 43-22, Boat–laps 23-30, Davis, Jr.
Shootout: (20 laps)1. Rick Ziehl 2. Mike Boat 3. Charles Davis, Jr. 4. Mike
Martin 5. Tom Ball 6. Marty Wilcox 7. Terry Belcher 8. Jeff Henry 9. Steve Stone
10. Bob Ream, Jr. 11. Travis Cooley 12. Steve Nix 13. Jay Ervine 14. Rick Sipes
15. Kristi Smith 16. Ronnie Clark 17. Joe Larkin 18. Miles Merritt 19. Dave
Burns 20. Kaylene Verville (no time)
Semi main: (12 laps)1. Joe Larkin 2. Mike Ziehl 3. Steve Stone 4. Marty Wilcox
5. Michael Bryan 6. Miles Merritt 7. Ron Hankla 8. Jim Aragon 9. Kristi Smith
10. Ted Lee 11. Anthony Tafoya (no time)
1st heat: (10 laps)1. Rick Ziehl 2. Tony Smiley 3. Rick Sipes 4. Terry Belcher
5. Ted Lee 6. Marty Wilcox 7. Mike Ziehl 8. Anthony Tafoya (Tiem: 3:31.33)
2nd heat: (10 laps)1. Ronnie Clark 2. Charles Davis, Jr. 3. Jay Ervine 4. Travis
Cooley 5. Ron Hankla 6. Steve Stone 7. Kristi Smith (Time: 3:25.97)
3rd heat: (10 laps)1. Jeff Henry 2. Mike Boat 3. Steve Nix 4. Dave Burns 5.
Miles Merritt 6. Joe Larkin 7. Michael Bryan (Time: 3:30.12)
4th heat: (10 laps) 1. Bob Ream, Jr. 2. Mike Martin 3. Shon Deskins 4. Tom Ball
5. Jim Aragon 6. Davey Bateman 7. Kaylene Verville (no time)
Trophy dash: (4 laps)1. Mike Boat 2. Rick Ziehl 3. Bob Ream, Jr. 4. Charles
Davis, Jr. (no time)
Quallifying: 1. Rick Ziehl , XX, 20.001; 2. Charles Davis, Jr., #7, 20.084; 3.
Mike Boat, #74, 20.101; 4. Bob Ream, Jr., #15, 20.129; 5. Terry
Belcher, #18, 20.244; 6. Ronnie Clark, #33, 20.327; 7. Jeff Henry, #13, 20.454;
8. Davey Bateman, #10, 20.523; 9. Tom Ball, #X, 20.588; 10. Travis Cooley, #93,
20.957; 11. Joe Larkin, Jr., #36, 20.961; 12. Tom Ball, #16x, 20.984; 13. Tony
Smiley, #2, 21.011; 14. Jay Ervine, #33az, 21.037; 15. Miles Nesbitt, #75,
21.073; 16. Shon Deskins, #99, 21.080; 17. Mike Ziehl, #88, 21.169; 18. Steve
Stone, #57, 21.175; 19. Michael Bryan, #75x, 21.494; 20. Kaylene Verville, #98,
21.495: 21. Rick Sipes, 21.805; 22. Ron Hankla, #30, 21.934; 23. Steve Nix, #0,
22.196; 24. Mike Martin, #16, 22.414; 25. Marty Wilcox, #X, 22.459; 26. Kristi
Smith, #4L, 22.632; 27. Dave Burns, #52, 23.019; 28. Jim Aragon, #55, 23.189;
29. Anthony Tafoya, #21, 24.062
Eighteen Modified Midgets were on hand for their part of the doubleheader
and Kiley Fellers, a regular with the Arizona Mini Sprints, beat another Mini
Sprint regular, in the 15 lap main event. Fellers started from the front row and
led from wire to wire for his first ever main event win with his Arizona Race
Mart sponsored car.
Ogle stayed close throughout but had to settle for second with Cole Houser,
winner of the trophy dash, a close third. Steven Sanchez brought it home in
fourth, just ahead of Matt Bowman. The rest of the top ten were Patrick Shaw,
Derek McCluskey, Ken Hilton, Jessica Patterson and Jeff Perry.
Ogle ran away from the field in the first heat race as he easily outdistanced
Buck Simingon, Bowman, Houser and Hilton. In the second heat it was
Shipley with the win as he bested McCluskey, Patterson, Ken Perry and Jessie
Main event: 1. Kiley Fellers 2. Thomas Ogle 3. Cole Houser 4. Steven Sanchez 5.
Matt Bowman 6. Patrick Shaw 7. Derek McCluskey 8. Ken Hilton 9. Jessica
Patterson 10. Jeff Perry 11. Buck Simington 12. Jessie Houser 13. Ken Perry 14.
Kevin Simington 15. Matt Biancani 16. Doug Welty 17. Brandy Phillips 18. Joshua
Lap Leaders: Laps 1-15, Fellers
1st heat: 1. Thomas Ogle 2. Kiley Fellers 3. Matt Bowman 4. Cole Houser 5. Ken
Hilton 6. Kevin Simington 7. Patrick Shaw 8. Brandy Phillips
2nd heat: 1. Joshua Shipley 2. Derek McCluskey 3. Jessica Patterson 4. Ken Perry
5. Jessie Houser 6. Steven Sanchez 7. Matt Biancani 8. Jeff Perry 9. Doug Welty
10. Buck Simington
Trophy dash: 1. Cole Houser 2. Joshua Shipley 3. Ken Perry 4. Steven Sanchez 5.
Jessica Patterson 6. Jessie Houser