Arizona's open wheel drivers are already looking forward to the
Arizona Race Mart/Sunoco "Salute to Indy" at Manzanita
Speedway on May 25th. The non winged Sprint Cars will be
running their first extra lap race of the year as the feature race
is slated for 50 laps on Manzy's one third mile track instead of the
usual 25. With both Sunoco Race Fuels and Arizona Race Mart, a
distributor of a wide race of racing parts and accessories, adding
to the purse which totals over $10,000 with a $1200 first place
paycheck, a field of 25-30 Sprint cars are expected. The
Arizona Midget Racing Association, featuring a couple of high school
freshman battling a field of veterans, are also on the card.
Bob Ream, Jr. led the final 25 laps in last year's race but the
1998 champion fell on hard times in the second half of the 2001
season and has yet to get to Manzanita's winner circle this year.
His best effortyear on the half mile track on April 20th when
he finished a car length behind the winner, Charles Davis, Jr..
Ream has failed to finish the last two events and hopes to use
the "Salute to Indy" to get back to the top of the chase
for the championship.
Eric Wilkins, despite missing one race and failing to finish in
the last outing, holds the points lead at press time after scoring
four wins and two seconds second in his seven starts. Marty
Miller, the 2000 driving champion has finished all seven races in
the top ten and finally got his first win since winning the
2000 "Salute to Indy" when he edged Chuck Buckman on May
Josh Pelkey, the 1997 driving champion and five time champion
Ricky Johnson also figure to be near the front when the checkered
flag falls on the fifty lap feature.
R.J. Johnson, a freshman at Cesar Chavez is the new points leader
and Greenway high frosh Justin Fisher ranks fourth in the
Midget standing's and Johnson, who recently turned 15, has already
scored a win this year. Steve Sussex, Jr. the 2000 driving champion
won last year's Midget portion of the "Salute to Indy".
The Memorial Weekend also features International Motor Contest
Association Dirt Modifieds and Dwarf Cars on May 24th and then close
out on May 26th with a Factory Stock/Bomber doubleheader. The
Bombers will line up Indy style with eleven rows, three abreast for
a 33 lap main event.