Phoenix, AZ (October 8) With championship races on the horizon, several
records in danger of being broken and driving championships to be decided, the
coming weeks will add luster to what has already been a great season.
The Championship season actually starts with the Liberty Buick/Peoria
Pontiac-GMC Final Showdown on October 25th and the Buddy Taylor Memorial on the
26th. The Taylor Memorial will also run under the sponsorship of Liberty Buick
and Peoria Pontiac-GMC.
The next weekend is Sands Chevrolet Dirt Modified and Dwarf Car
Nationals. The $5000 to win Dirt Modified Half Mile Track Nationals are
sponsored by Mesilla Valley Transportation and Barnett Harley-Davidson. The
Dwarf Car Nationals have sponsorship from DwarfCar.com/Dwarf Car Company.
November 7-9 brings us to the NAPA/Budweiser Western World Championships and
its brand new format with over $85,000 on the line for the open wheel affair.
The race will decide the championship in the Non Winged World Championship
Series which pits SCRA against USAC on Manzy's half mile track. The 360
non winged sprint cars will also be showcased as they show their stuff on the
one third mile oval. Mini Sprints will also be on the short track. The SCRA race
carries a $12,500 winner's share of a $61,000 purse. Jeremy Sherman became the
first Phoenix driver to win the Western last year and will try for a repeat in
the Ellis Racing Products sprinter. The SCRA cars will be divided into two
groups. Half the field will run qualifying heats, semi and main event Thursday
night and the other half will repeat the process Friday night. The championship
races–Consy, semi and 40 lap feature headlines the Saturday night card. The
360 sprinters run their qualifying heats on Friday night with the finals
Saturday night. The 360 winners share is $1200 with $500 to start the feature.
The Mini Sprints run their qualifiers Thursday night and their feature race
The F&E Development 150 lap Bomber Enduro is set for Saturday night,
November 16. About 80 cars are expected to start the long grind which has a
$1000 check waiting for the winner.
Dave Ellis will be presenting the Kenz & Leslie/BG Products Duel in the
Desert II November 22-23. 360 non winged Sprint Cars and Midgets will race for a
combined $73,300 purse. Main event winners in each division will be rewarded
with a $2500 payday each night. The Sprint Cars will be on the half mile track
and the Midgets will compete on the one third mile oval.
Some records have already been set and at least one more record is expected
to be broken before the final checkered flag falls. Anthony Madrid has set a
record for most Factory Stock wins in a season (18) most stock car wins in a
season(23), most starts in a season (52) and needs only three more wins to break
the record of 25 wins in a season. The record was set in 1977 when Hall of Fame
driver Lealand McSpadden won eight sprint car races, eight Midget races, seven
Super Modified races and two Sprint Buggy features. He entered only 35 races
that year and failed to start the first three after breaking in the heat races.
Madrid has at least seven more starts to try to get the three wins. He has
both Factory Stock and Bomber events October 12 and again October 25 and Dirt
Modified races October 19 and at the Nationals November 2-3.
Terry Belcher can tie the record for most Dirt Modified wins in a season if
he can win either the October 19 race or one of the features at the Nationals.
His eight wins trail the record of nine set by Ricky Johnson in 1994. There have
been eight different winners in the Sprint Cars this year and that ties the
record. Several drivers have been knocking on the door and should one of them
get to the line first in the Buddy Taylor Memorial that will go in the record
books. The youngest driving champion in Manzanita's 51 year history will
undoubtedly be crowned at the Taylor Memorial. Fifteen year old R.J. Johnson
needs only to start the feature to win the 2002 Arizona Midget Racing
Association title. George Fronsman has cinched the West Connection Super Stock
title with two races half mile track races remaining on the schedule. The Super
Stocks will take to the big track Saturday night, October 12th and then in the
Liberty Buick/Peoria Pontiac-GMC Final Showdown October 26. Madrid can
concentrate on breaking the record without regard to points as he has already
won his second Factory Stock title. He won first in 1996 and was the Super Stock
champion last year. The point season for the Dirt Modifieds is over and Ricky
Thornton keeps the crown whle the Dwarf Cars have two races remaining on their
card the final of which is on October 19. Dino Soto, with nine feature wins, is
trying for his first driving title.