Phoenix, AZ (March 16) After a record breaking
performance in Saturday night's Gary Sokola Classic at Manzanita Speedway they
won't be calling Jeremy Sherman "Lucky" anymore. Instead he will take
his place alongside the very best in non winged sprint car racing and maybe a
new nickname—"Speedy" Sherman did call on lady luck in winning the
preliminary feature Friday night but it was all skill and a well prepared Mark
Priestly owned Stealth that carried him to his second major championship in a
row on the famed Manzy half mile dirt track.
Sherman stretch his
Manzanita win streak to four as he won both his preliminary race and then the
feature in last October's Western World Championships and was undaunted in
facing a field that included many of the top drivers in the nation including six
from the prestigious United States Auto Club in the Sokola Classic. That
competition just seemed to inspire him as he came out of the third row to pass
last year's Sokola Classic winner Tony Jones on the eighth lap and then lapped
almost half the field in running the fastest 40 laps ever at
Manzanita. His time was 14:08.37 for an average speed of 85.71 miles per hour.
a hard charging Steve Ostling who started 14th could even stay close. He was
about four seconds behind Sherman when he finally broke into second and closed
to within 1.12 seconds but fell back in heavy traffic and was 2.47 seconds back
at the checkered flag. Jones crossed the line third just ahead of Troy
Rutherford with the Sprint Car Racing Association champion Cory Kruseman in
fifth. Richard Griffin, a three time SCRA titlist was sixth, first year non
winged driver Damion Gardner seventh, former Arizona champion Bob Ream, Jr.
eighth, National Open champion Bud Kaeding ninth and two time USAC champion Tony
Unlike the Friday night races, Saturday night's
program was accident free with the only yellow flag of the night coming midway
through the semi main for a harmless spin. Elliott won the semi with heats going
to Rutherford, who was also the night's fastest qualifier, Cal Smith, J.J. Yeley
and Kevin Doty. Mike Spencer won a special Don Greenfield Memorial Rookie's
trophy dash and Kruseman, for the second straight night, captured the pole by
winning the Passing Masters dash.
SUMMARY: GARY SOKOLA CLASSIC
Main event: 1. Jeremy Sherman 2. Steve Ostling 3. Tony Jones 4. Troy Rutherford
5. Cory Kruseman 6. Richard Griffin 7. Damion Gardner 8. Bob Ream, Jr. 9. Bud
Kaeding 10. Tony Elliott 11. Levi Jones 12. Ricky Gaunt 13. John Scott 14. J.J.
Yeley 15. Jerry Coons, Jr. 16. Rip Williams 17. Derek Davidson 18. Kevin Doty
19. Cal Smith 20. Michael Hinrichsen 21. Jack DeArmond, Jr. 22. Paul Norbury 23.
Mike English 24. Tracy Hines.
LAP LEADERS: 1-8, Kruseman—9-40, Sherman
laps–no time) 1. Tony Elliott 2. Steve Ostling 3. Bob Ream, Jr. 4. Bud Kaeding
5. Charles Davis Jr. 6. Bobby Graham 7. Charlie Ekiss 8. Fred Bryan 9. Mike
Spencer 10. Dan Hillberg 11. Bobby Cody 12. Mark Nation 13. Adam Mitchell 14.
1st heat: (10 laps–Time, 3:30.50)1. Troy
Rutherford 2. Paul Norbury 3. John Scott 4. Damion Gardner 5. Bud Kaeding 6.
Charles Davis, Jr. 7. Bobby Cody 8. Adam Mitchell
2nd heat: (10
laps–Time: 3:28.29) 1. Cal Smith 2. Mike English 3. Levi Jones 4. Derek
Davidson 5. Tony Elliott 6. Dan Hillberg 7. Charlie Ekiss 8. Paul Beregszaszy
heat: (10 laps–Time: 3:26.89) 1. J.J. Yeley 2. Jack DeArmond, Jr. 3. Rip
Williams 4. Michael Hinrichsen 5. Steve Ostling 6. Bob Ream, Jr. 7. Fred Bryan
8. Glenn Crossno
4th heat: (10 laps–Time: 3:28.77) 1. Kevin
Doty 2. Tracy Hines 3. Jerry Coons, Jr. 4. Rickie Gaunt 5. Mike Spencer 6. Mark
Nation 7. Troy Rutherford
Rookie trophy dash: (4 laps–Time:
1:23.69)) 1. Mike Spencer 2. Michael Hinrichsen 3. Charlie Ekiss 4. Glenn
Passing Masters dash: (6 laps–Time: 2:03.70) 1. Cory
Kruseman 2. Richard Griffin 3. Tony Jones 4. Rip Williams 5. Jeremy Sherman 6.
Damion Gardner 7. Tracy Hines 8 .Troy Rutherford
Fast Time: Troy