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See You At The Races!!!

 Press Release

by Windy McDonald

Phoenix, AZ (April 12) All three winners in Saturday nights open wheel tripleheader had to ask directions on how to get to the winner's circle since it was a new experience for each of them.

With the entire field pushing the cushion on Manzanita Speedway's one third mile track passing was at a premium and the defending champion Eric Wilkins was out front it  appeared that he was  on the way to his first win of the year. However Jeff Henry who had been holding off the rest of the pack found something a little lower on the track and wrested the lead from Wilkins on the 17th lap. Wilkins stayed on top of the track and Chuck Buckman, making his first start of the year and Charles Davis, Jr. dropped him further back.

Buckman was the first to find the lower groove. He was running fifth when the race was slowed due to a spin by Davey Bateman on the 15th lap but quickly moved past Josh Pelkey, Wilkins and Davis who all dropped down a bit for the final five laps.
Henry, who's previous best Sprint Car finish was a couple of third place efforts last year, decided that he had to give it a shot at moving down as it was certain that he could not get by running the same line as the leader. "Eric was bouncing through a hole coming off turn two so I decided to try the pass with him not at full speed...Thank goodness it worked," the elated winner said in a post race interview.

Buckman took second on the 18th lap but had to look at the tail section of the Robbie Allen/Steve Coury Pontiac, Buick GMC Buckley in the closing laps. Davis managed to get by Wilkins and applied pressure to Buckman who stood his ground and Davis took third. Wilkins was fourth at the line with Josh Pelkey taking fifth. Rounding out the top ten in the Fast Track feature were Joey Moriarity, Tony Smiley, Ricky Johnson, Bob Ream, Jr. and Paul Norbury.

Davis continued his assault on the record book as he blistered the one third mile track for two new records. In the past three events the two time champion has now lowered marks four times. Bob Ream, Jr.'s four lap record on the short track stood for over three years and appeared unbreakable. Davis knocked .70 seconds off the Ream's record with a blistering 59.05 on March 29th as he averaged 14.762 per lap. Most pundits felt that his record would stand good for years. However Davis was even faster Saturday night as he pushed the Evelyn BryanF&E Development Buckley to a mark almost a full second quicker in the Arizona Race Mart Trophy dash. He stopped the clock at 58:09, a a14.522 average. He was not through and went even faster in his eight lap heat race. He bettered the standard of 1:57.65 set by Wilkins in March of ‘02 as he averaged 14.411 (83.267 mph) for a total time of 1:55.29. That is just a tick of the clock off the 410 Sprint Car record of 14.442 held by Tony Elliott. Davis also set a four lap record on the half mile track last week.

In addition to those heroics Davis also assumed the points lead as he jumped past Josh Pelkey, Bob Ream, Ricky Johnson and the idled Marty Miller. Ream won the first heat race as he came out of the third row to beat Johnson and Pelkey. Behind Davis in the second heat were Jay Ervine and Wilkins. Tony Smiley took care of Henry and Buckman in winning the final heat. Bugs Norbury scored his second semi main win of the year as he beat his brother Paul as well as Brian Hacker, Jesse Dunham and Jimmy Norman.



Main Event: 
1. Jeff Henry 2. Chuck Buckman 3. Charles Davis, Jr. 4.Eric Wilkins 5. Josh Pelkey 6. Joey Moriarity 7. Tony Smiley 8. Ricky Johnson 9. Bob Ream, Jr. 10. Paul Norbury 11. Bernie Smith 12. R.J. Johnson 13. Jimmy Norman 14. Jeremy Sherman 15. Brian Hacker 16. Jay Ervine 17. Mike Kuemper 18. Jesse Dunham 19. Davey Bateman 20. Bugs Norbury
Lap Leaders: Laps 1-16, Wilkins–laps 17-25, Henry

Semi Main: 
1. Bugs Norbury 2. Paul Norbury 3. Brian Hacker 4. Jesse Dunham 5. Jimmy Norman 6. Bernie Smith 7. R.J. Johnson 8. Mike Kuemper 9. Steve Cushman 10. Tim Beal 11. Andy Reinbold (DNS-John Williams)

1st Heat: 
1. Bob Ream, Jr. 2. Ricky Johnson 3. Josh Pelkey 4. Joey Moriarity 5. Jimmy Norman 6. Steve Cushman 7. Andy Reinbold 8. Tim Beal (No time)
2nd Heat: 1. Charles Davis, Jr. 2. Jay Ervine 3. Eric Wilkins 4. Davey Bateman 5. Paul Norbury 6. Bernie Smith 7. R.J. Johnson 8. Mike Kuemper (Time; 1:55.72, 82.958 mph-New 8 lap record)

3rd Heat: 
1. Tony Smiley 2. Jeff Henry 3. Chuck Buckman 4. Jeremy Sherman 5. Bugs Norbury 6. Jesse Dunham 7. Brian Hacker 8. John Williams (Time: 2:01.73)

Trophy Dash: 
1. Charles Davis, Jr. 2. Eric Wilkins 3. Jay Ervine 4. Brian Hacker (Time: 58.09, 81.245 mph-New four lap record)

David Rosales sat out most of last year but landed a ride in the John Grau Midget for the 2003 season and, after finishing third in the season opener beat former champion David Birmingham, Jr. for his first ever win. Beating the 2001 titlist as well as the top two drivers last year made the victory even sweeter.

Rosales found the high groove early and moved from his third row starting berth early. He was second by the fourth lap and then, after racing side by side for the lead for two laps, took control on the eighth lap. Even though the field was bunch a couple of times for harmless spins, Rosales' lead was never seriously challenged but the battle for second was a donnybrook as Chris Edwards was on the high side with Birmingham, Justin Fisher and R.J. Johnson dicing. Edwards went off the track in turn four, dropped to sixth but managed to climb back to fifth at the checkered flag.  It was Rosales by 1.03 seconds at the line with Birmingham, Fisher and last year's champion Johnson in that order. Rounding out the top ten were Doug Elliott who came back strong after his crash in the opener, Jay Rosales, Robert Ellis, Darren Hagen and Cole Houser.

Hagen was at the wheel of one of the Ford Focus cars and, although down on power, ran well with the locals. Mike Leslie won the first heat from the front row as he held off third row starters Edwards and Fisher. The second heat went Birmingham who bested Elliott and D. Rosales. Mike Courtney won the trophy dash. 


Main event: 
1. David Rosales 2. David Birmningham, Jr. 3. Justin Fisher 4. R.J. Johnson 5. Chris Edwards 6. Doug Elliott 7. Jay Rosales 8. Robert Ellis 9. Darren Hagen 10. Cole Houser 11. Jesse Turner 12. Mike Courtney 13. James Tash 14. Terry Palmer 15. Mike Leslie 16. Dale Daly
Lap Leaders: Laps 1-7, Birmingham–Laps 8-20, Rosales

1st Heat: 
1. Mike Leslie 2. Chris Edwards 3. Justin Fisher 4. Mike Courtney 5. Terry Palmer 6. Jay Rosales 7. Robert Leslie 8. R.J. Johnson (No Time)

2nd Heat: 
1. David Birmingham, Jr. 2. Doug Elliott 3. David Rosales 4. Darren Hagen 5. Cole Houser 6. Jesse Turner 7. Dale Daly 8. James Tash (Time: 2:05.27)

Trophy Dash: 
1. Mike Courtney 2. David Rosales 3. Justin Fisher 4. Cole Houser (Time: 1:02.49)

For Kiley Fellers, his crew and all of his friends, the final lap of the 20 lap Mini Sprint Car feature was the longest of the night. Fellers had led the season open 14 laps and was still running second when he spun out on the final lap. That spin, plus one while leading at Casa Grande last week, preyed heavy on the mind when Kiley who took the lead on the fourth lap, took the white flag. "Yeah, I was thinking about it. I tried to compensate by taking it easy on that last lap but I almost blew it when the #70 car closed in and I had to nail it hard. Thankfully, everything worked," he said in victory lane.

The #70 he was referring to was Dustin Carmony who started sixth and was about five car lengths back until he closed on the final circuit but fell short of making the pass on Fellers' Budget Signs/Arizona Race Mart entry. Tim Ogle got by Scott Pasmore on the 18th lap after they had traded positions a couple of times and finished third. Pasmore, who started 10th, finished fourth for the second straight race at Manzy with Brent Yarnal in fifth. Rookie driver Tony Usuch was the night's hard charger with a great drive from 23rd to sixth. The rest of the top ten were Dave Alexander, Don Keesler, Rick Alexander and Jessica Patterson. Tim Ogle barely edged his son Thomas in winning the first heat race with Jeff Greszler in third. Danny Mathus topped Fellers and Brandon George in the second heat while Carmony was better than Joey Parks and Keesler in the final heat. Dave Alexander won the trophy dash.


Main Event: 
1. Kiley Fellers 2. Dustin Carmony 3. Tim Ogle 4. Scott Pasmore 5. Brent Yarnal 6. Tony Osuch 7. Dave Alexander 8. Don Keesler 9. Rick Alexander 10. Jessica Patterson 11. Kurt Stults 12. Brandon George 13. Jim Mattison 14. Mark Stroh 15. Thomas Ogle 16. Joey Parks 17. Scott Birdzell 18. Richie McQuillan 19. Jeff Greszler 20. Danny Mathus 21. Allen Beck
:Lap Leaders: Laps 1-3, Greszler–Laps 4-20, Fellers

1st Heat: 
1. Tim Ogle 2. Thomas Ogle 3. Jeff Greszler 4. Scott Pasmore 5. Rick Alexander 6. Dave Alexander 7. Mark Stroh 8. Jessica Patterson (Time: 2:08.90)

2nd Heat: 
1. Danny Mathus 2. Kiley Fellers 3. Brandon George 4. Kurt Stults 5. Tony Osuch 6. Scott Birdzell 7. Robert Mitchell 8. John Sarna (Time: 2:08.01)

3rd Heat: 
1. Dustin Carmony 2. Joey Parks 3. Don Keesler 4. Brent Yarnal 5. Jim Mattison 6. Richie McQuillan 7. Allen Beck (DNS–Don Goodman) (Time: 2:06.86)

Trophy Dash: 
1. Dave Alexander 2. Kiley Fellers 3. Danny Mathus 4. Jeff Greszler 5. Scott Pasmore (Time:1:04.12)






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