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See You At The Races!!!

 Press Release

by Windy McDonald

Phoenix, AZ (March 29) Marty Miller stayed perfect, Justin Fisher got his first win and Thomas Ogle made it to the winner's circle in Saturday night's races at Manzanita Speedway.

A lot of hard driving plus a little bit of luck kept Marty Miller's undefeated Sprint Car season intact Saturday night at Manzanita Speedway. Miller, the 2000 Arizona Sprint Car Association driving champion won both his heat race and the Main event in the March 15th opener at Manzy, traveled to Perris California last week and won both his heat and main and then scored wins in both his heat race and feature Saturday night.

While Miller was fast he also need a helping hand from Lady Luck in getting his Bill and Linda Sweeney Buckley from ninth to first.  He was running third, a half lap behind the leader Charles Davis, Jr. midway through the 25 lap race when Davis cut a tire and retired. The yellow flag allowed the field to bunch up with Jeremy Sherman at the point. Sherman, fresh from winning the SCRA/USAC Gary Sokola Classic,  managed to keep Miller at bay until the 22nd lap. Miller had repeatedly tried to pass Sherman on the inside and finally tried a hard pass, pushed into Sherman shoving him high and then went on to the win.
Although the contact blew the left front tire on Sherman's car he managed to barely beat Bob Ream, Jr. to the checkered flag with Josh Pelky fourth and Bugs Norbury fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Ricky Johnson, Mike Martin, Tony Smiley, Rob Davis and Shon Deskins.

Eric Wilkins, after losing a motor in the season opener had another bad night. With one of the owners of his car, Bob Meixsell, in a local hospital, the defending champion jumped out front at the opening green flag and was slowing pulling away from Davis, Jr. who had started on the outside of the third row, when the magneto failed as he completed the fourth lap ending his night.

Davis then took over and pulled away from the field with his Fred & Evelyn Bryan Buckley. "Charging Charlie" was running about a quarter of a second faster than the rest of the field until he cut down his right rear tiee on a small piece of debris and coasted to a stop bringing out the yellow flag. Miller used the low side of the one third mile track and pulled along side Sherman in each turn but Sherman was up to the task and kept the lead. Miller drove in deep in turn one of the 22nd lap, slid wide and made contact with Sherman's Stacy Fuller owned machine. Bob Ream, Jr. was running third at the time and had to brake hard to avoid hitting Sherman.

With Sherman slowing due to the blown tire Miller pulled away to a 1:47 second advantage as he flashed under Chris Odom's checkered flag. Johnson and Martin made the big moves in the feature as they started far back in the field and drove their way to sixth and seventh respectively. Johnson had won the 12 lap semi in a record time of 3:01.01 (79.58 mph) and was 17th on the grid with Martin in 19th.

The 31 car field was divided into four heat races with only Charlie Fegan unable to compete. Sherman started fourth in the first heat and took the win over Bugs Norbury, Mike Boat and Bob Ream, Jr with a quick move on a restart following a yellow flag that carried him past both Boat and Ream. The second heat went to Jay Ervine who led wire to wire in beating eighth starting Wilkins, the 1997 champion Pelkey and Desjubs, In heat #3 it was Rob Davis leading all the way with Davis,  Jason Sutphen and Nathan High  in pursuit. The final heat was a donnybrook with Miller edging Ream,  John Gaston and Kaylene Vervile. Miller was pushed to a near track record as he tripped the clock at 1:58:53, just a tick of a clock off the eight lap record of 1:57.65 held by Wilkins.
The night's only serious crash came just after the green flag flew for the third heat. The cars were bunched entering the first turn and High ran out of room and vaulted into the air. While he continued Jeff Henry found no place to go and flipped as he exited turn two. He was able to walk away but his Robbie Allen ABC Body Shop car was through for the night.

Charles Davis, Jr. made it look easy in winning the trophy dash by almost a full straightaway as he broke the five year old four lap record held by Ream. He was clocked at 59:05 lowering the standard by .70 seconds. The Sprint Cars will be switching to Manzy's half mile track for the April 5th race with the IMCA Dirt Modifieds racing on the short track. Sixteen year old Justin Fisher passed Amy Maris on the 12th lap and went on to score his first win in the Midget main event with Maris in second ahead of David Rosales, David Rosales and Cole Houser.  Thomas Ogle led Danny Mathus, Jeff Greszler, Scott Pasmore and Tim Ogle to the finish line in the Mini Sprint featuree.

Main Event:
1. Marty Miller 2. Jeremy Sherman 3. Bob Ream, Jr. 4. Josh Pelkey 5. Bugs Norbury 6. Ricky Johnson 7. Mike Martin 8. Tony Smiley 9. Rob Davis 10. Shon Deskins 11. Kaylene Verville 12. Brandon Lane 13. Jay Ervine 14. Jason Sutphen 15. Joey Moriarty 16. Charles Davis, Jr. 17. Nathan High 18. Eric Wilkins 19. Mike Boat 20. John Gaston
Lap Leaders: laps 1-4, Wilkins–laps 8-12, Davis, Jr.–laps 13-21, Sherman–laps 22-25, Miller

Semi Main: 1. Ricky Johnson 2. Brandon Lane 3. Mike Martin 4. Joey Moriarty 5. Brian Hacker 6. Ben Gregg 7. Paul Norbury 8. Terry Belcher, Jr. 9. Jimmy Norman 10. Rick Johnson 11. Mike Kuemper 12. Chris Bonneau 13. Justin Fisher ( Time: 3.01:01–79.57 mph- New 12 lap track record)

1st Heat; 1. Bugs Norbury 2. Mike Boat 3. Jeremy Sherman 4. Bob Ream, Jr. 5. Brandon Lane 6. Joey Moriarty 7. Chris Bonneay 8. Paul Norbury

2nd Heat: 1. Jay Ervine 2. Eric Wilkins 3. Josh Pelkey 4. Shon Deskins 5. Ricky Johnson 6. Ben Gregg 7. Jimmy Norman

3rd Heat: 1. Rob Davis 2. Charles Davis, Jr. 3. Jason Sutphen 4. Nathan High 5. Terry Belcher, Jr. 6. Mike Martin 7. Rick Johnson 8. Jeff Henry (Time: 2.04:93)

4th Heat: 1. Marty Miller 2. Bob Ream, Jr. 3. John Gaston 4. Kaylene Verville 5. Brian hacker 6. Mike Kuemper 7. Justin Fisher( Time: 1:58.53)

Trophy Dash: 1. Charles Davis, Jr. 2. Marty Miller 3. Bob Ream, Jr. 4. Brandon Lane (Time; 59:05, New four lap record)

After using consistently high finishes to end the 2002 season ranked second in points Justin Fisher finally got to the checkered flag in front as he scored his first career win in the Arizona Midget Racing Association 15 lap feature.
The defending champion, R.J. Johnson started alongside Mike Leslie and had the lead coming off turn two of the opening lap. The 15 year old stayed in front until he lost power while working the fifth lap ending his hopes of getting another win. Amy Maris took command and kept her Razor Oil Pumps car in front despite several yellow flags and a race stopping red flag brought about by a hard series of barrel rolls by Doug Elliott. Matthew Rossi was also involved and both cars were towed to the pits. David Birmingham, Jr. had problems and was the next one to retire quickly followed to the pits by Leslie.

Maris gave up the lead to Fisher on the 11th lap but was back in front the next time around. Then Fisher put the Capital Tree Service Midget to the front with a low side pass and stayed in front of Maris to the checkered flag. Behind the front running duo were David Rosales, Mike Courtney and rookie driver Cole Houser.Rounding out the top ten wre Robert Ellis, Dean Daly, James Tash, Terry Palmer and Dale Daly.

Birmingham was a wire to wire winner in the first heat race as he bested Leslie, Johnson and Palmer. Palmer, a former Dwarf Car champion took his first ride in a Midget since 1987 and was impressive. The second heat went to Elliott who won from the pole with sixth starting Maris taking second ahead of Fisher and Tash.
Birmingham also won the trophy dash as he held off a hard charge by Johnson with Fisher and Mike Welker trailing.

Main Event:
1. Justin Fisher 2. Amy Maris 3. David Rosales 4. Mike Courtney 5. Cole Houser 6. Robert Ellis 7. Dean Daly 8. James Tash 9. Terry Palmer 10. Dale Daly 11. Mike Leslie 12. David Birmingham, Jr. 13. Doug Elliott 14. Matthew Rossi 15. R.J. Johnson 16. Jim Nutter
Lap Leaders: laps 1-4, Johnson–laps 5-10, Maris–lap 11, Fisher–lap 12, Maris–laps 13-15, Fisher

1st Heat: 1. David Birmingham, Jr. 2. Mike Leslie 3. R.J. Johnson 4. Terry Palmer 5. David Rosales 6. Robert Ellis 7. Cole Houser 8. Dean Daly

2nd Heat: 1. Doug Elliott 2. Amy Maris 3. Justin Fisher 4. James Tash 5. Mike Courtney 6. Jim Nutter 7. Mike Welker (Time: 2.06:95)

Trophy Dash: 1. David Birmingham, Jr. 2. R.J. Johnson 3. Justin Fisher 4. Mike Welker (Time: 1:04.69)

Thomas Ogle did not turn it loose until the closing laps in the 20 lap Mini Sprint Car feature but once he decided to move he showed the same power that had carried him to a win in the second race of the 2002 season last March 23rd.
Ogle was situated in the third row at the start of the race and was content to let Kiley Fellers, Jeff Greszler and Terry Palmer set the pace. The pace was slowed by several yellow flags and was stopped when Robert Mitchell barrell rolled his car on the sixth lap. Mitchell was able to walk away from his mangled car.

Ogle methodically worked his way to the front as he got by a slowing Palmer and then moved into second behind race long leader Kiley Fellers. Danny Mathus was also on the move as he was in fourth after starting sixth and  Scott Pasmore had worked his way to fifth with a great drive from 15th.

Ogle finally wrested the lead from Fellers on the 15th lap and pulled away. Fellers lost it coming off the final turn and that put Mathus in second with Greszler following up his second place finish in the March 15th opener with a third place effort. Pasmore took passing honors with a fourth place finish and Tim Ogle, the winner's father, in fifth.  Behind the top five were Mark Stroh, Brandon George, Fellers, Tony Osuch and Rick Alexander.
Fellers won the first heat race over Palmer, Dennis Parks and Stroh; Kurt Schultz beat Ogle, Don Keesler and Jim Mattison in the second heat and Greszler bested George, Tim Ogle and Mathus in the final heat.

Dustin Carmony went wire to wire in the 10 lap semi main with Charles Mokry in third. Scott Pasmore was again the passing leader with a drive from tenth to third ahead of Scott Birdzell and Mitchell. Greszler won the trophy dash with Mathus, Palmer and Thomas Ogle in pursuit. 

Main Event:
1. Thomas Ogle 2. Danny Mathus 3. Jeff Greszler 4. Scott Pasmore 5. Tim Ogle 6. Mark Stroh 7. Brandon George 8. Kiley Fellers 9. Tony Osuch 10. Rick Alexander 11. Don Keesler 12. Dennis Parks 13. Trey Deane 14. Dustin Carmony 15. Terry Palmer 16. Kurt Stults 17. Robert Mitchell 18. Scott Birdzell 19. Jim Mattison 20. Charles Mokry
Lap leaders: laps 1-14, Fellers–laps 15-20, Ogle

Semi Main: 1. Dustin Carmony 2. Charles Mokry 3. Scott Pasmore 4. Scott Birdzell 5. Robert Mitchell 6. Rick Alexander 7. Tony Osuch 8. Trey Deane 9. Dale Janisse 10. Lance Petersen 11. Judd Hathaway 12. Michael Young 13. Dan Goodman

1st Heat: 1. Kiley Fellers 2. Terry Palmer 3. Dennis Parks 4. Mark Stroh 5. Dustin Carmony 6. Charles Mokry 7. Dale Janisse 8. Tony Osuch 9. Michael Young 10. Dan Goodman (Time: 2.05.78)

2nd Heat: 1. Kurt Stults 2. Thomas Ogle 3. Don Keesler 4. Jim Mattison 5. Judd Hataway 6. Rick Alexander 7. Tony Osuch 8. Robert Mobley  9. Scott Pasmore

3rd Heat: 1. Jeff Greszler 2. Brandon George 3. Tim Ogle 4. Danny Mathus 5. Scott Birdzell 6 Brian Shaw 7. Lance Petersen 8. Robert Mitchell 9. Brent Yarnell

Trophy Dash: 1. Jeff Greszler 2. Danny Matthus 3. Terry Palmer 4. Thomas Ogle 5. Kurt Stults 6. Charles Mokry (Time: 1.04:69)






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