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 Press Release

SPRINT CAR OPENER MARCH 15TH AT MANZANITA

(MARCH 11, 2003)  After having their March 1st season opener rained out, the Arizona Sprint Car Association drivers are chomping at the bit getting ready for the March 15th outing and a full field is expected with all the usual contenders for the championship being joined by a strong field of rookies.Programs should be at a premium because, as the saying goes, "you can't tell a driver without one."

While many of the drivers will go with last year's numbers there are a number of significant changes. Eric Wilkins will have his much deserved #1 on the Westgate Electric/Canyon Apparel Buckley and Bob Ream, Jr.'s Monte Taylor car will sport #2. Yuma's Mike Martin will have a #57 on his Naquin Precision Earth Moving car.Wilkins will be trying to become the first driver to put together back to back driving titles since Johnson turned the trick in 94-95.

While it can be expected that past champions Wilkins, Ream, Marty Miller, Josh Pelkey and Ricky Johnson will be mixing it up in the chase for the driving title, the battle for rookie of the year could steal the spotlight. The top two Midget drivers, R.J. Johnson and Justin Fisher will be prime contenders for the honor. Johnson, who at fifteen years of age became auto racing's youngest champion and sixteen year old Fisher waged a season long battle for the Arizona Midget Racing Association title last year. Fisher is hoping to get revenge on his buddy by beating him out for the rookie honors.

The sixty car field that is registered with the ASCA has many other rookies listed as their drivers. KFFR newsman Bruce St. James, Jeff McDonald, Jesse Dunham, Mike Kuemper (winner of a mini sprint car feature last year), Michael Shnackel, Dale Coldgrove, Larry Petersen, Michael Bonneau and John Williams. Channel 3 newman Scott Pasmore is also expected to drive a Jeff Henry backup car in a few outings.2003 also marks the return of Jimmy Norman to non winged sprint car racing. He will be in the seat of a Roy Fields owned H&E Equipment car.

Mini Sprints, headed by their points champion Dennis Parks and the Desert Dwarf Cars featuring perennial champion Kevin Cain, will also be opening their season. All three divisions will be competing on the one third mile track with the first green flag scheduled to wave at 7:30.

Manzy will also be opening the Friday night portion of its 2003 season. The Super Stocks, Factory Stocks and Bombers had a successful opener last Saturday night with both the Super Stocks and Factory Stocks staging a couple of race long side by side racing. Anthony Madrid, last year's Factory Stock champion and the 2001 Super Stock titlist bested James Seaton in the Super Stock race and Bobby Taylor held off former champion Kent Staley to win in the Factory Stocks. Randy Allen will be looking for a third straight win in the Bombers. 

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