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See You At The Races!!!

 Press Release

by Windy McDonald

Phoenix, AZ (April 26) Jeremy Sherman and Chris Edwards recorded their first wins of the season while Kiley Fellers romped to his second straight win in Manzanita Speedway's open wheel tripleheader Saturday night.

Jeremy Sherman was without a ride for Saturday night's Arizona Sprint Car Association races at Manzanita Speedway as his regular ride, the Stacey Fuller car, was awaiting a new engine. However Sherman struck a deal with owner/driver Tim Beal and it paid off with Sherman getting his first win of the year and Beal getting his first win ever. Sherman lined up in the third row with the Beal's Auto Body sponsored sprinter and used up only six laps in taking the lead. Josh Pelkey, the 1997 champion, shared the third row with Sherman and followed him to the front. It was virtually nose to tail in the final half of the race with heavy traffic keeping it even closer. The two were never more than a car length apart as Sherman called on all his skills to keep Pelkey at bay. Josh's J.D. Byrider car was still on Jeremy's tail at the checkered flag.

Chris Bonneau beat pole sitting Jesse Dunham into the first turn and led the first two laps. The race was slowed when points leader Charles Davis, Jr. and Chuck Buckman made contact in turn two while working the third lap. Both cars were through for the night.
At the ensuing restart Nathan High made a pass for the lead and stayed in front until Sherman and Pelkey went past.  High faded and Ricky Johnson, seventh at the green flag diced with Bonneau and Joey Moriarity and finally claimed third. Bonneau, who had faded early made a great recovery and his fourth place finish was the best of his career. Moriarity stayed in the thick of the battle and came home in fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Jimmy Norman, Davey Bateman, Steve Cushman , Brian Hacker and High. Bateman's drive from 16th made him the hard charger of the night. Pelkey took over the points lead. It marks the first time he has been atop the standings since his championship season six years ago.

The running of the semi produced the only serious crash of the night and sent Bugs Norbury to a nearby hospital. Norbury did numerous flips on the opening lap of the semi and was knocked unconscious for several minutes while the paramedics worked to free him from his severely damaged car. However he was alert and talking when he was transported. Jay Ervine captured the semi main over Norman, Jeff Slinkard, Brian Hacker and R.J. Johnson.

Buckman beat Pelkey, High and Dunham in the first heat. Bonneau scored in the second heat by beating Tony Smiley, Moriarity and Ricky Johnson. The third heat had Davis winning from the second row. While he was not near the record he set in the last outing it was the second fastest eight laps ever.  Smiley beat Davis, his brother-in-law,  in the trophy dash. The Arizona Sprints will return to Manzanita's one third mile track on May 17.


Main Event: 1. Jeremy Sherman 2. Josh Pelkey 3. Ricky Johnson 4. Chris Bonnea 5. Joe Moriarity 6. Jimmy Norman 7. Dave Bateman 8. Steve Cushman 9. Brian Hacker 10. Nathan High 11. Paul Norbury 12. Jesse Dunham 13. Mike Kuemper 14. Ben Gregg 15. R.J. Johnson 16. Jeff Slinkard 17. Mike Miller 18. Jay Ervine 19. Chuck Buckman
Lap leaders: laps 1-2, Bonneau–laps 3-5, High–laps 6-25, Sherman
Semi Main: 1. Jay Ervine 2. Jimmy Norman 3. Jeff Slinkard 4. Brian Hacker 5. R.J. Johnson 6. Davey Bateman 7. Paul Norbury 8. Mike Kuemper 9. Ben Gregg 10. Jeff Henry 11. Andy Reinbold 12, Bernie Smith 13. Bugs Norbury
1st Heat: 1. Chuck Buckman 2. Josh Pelkey 3. Nathan High 4. Jesse Dunham 5. Jeff Slinkard 6. Jay Ervine 7. Davey Bateman 8. Brian Hacker 9. Ben Gregg (Time: 2:04.00)
2nd Heat: 1. Chris Bonneau 2. Tony Smiley 3. Joey Moriarity 4. Ricky Johnson 5. Bugs Norbury 6. Jeff Henry 7. Paul Norbury 8. Bernie Smith (Time: 2:04.11)
3rd Heat: 1. Charles Davis, Jr. 2. Steve Cushman 3. Jeremy Sherman 4. Mike Miller 5.R.J. Johnson 6. Jimmy Norman 7. Mike Kuemper 8. Andy Reinbold (Time: 1:57.83)

Trophy Dash: 1. Tony Smiley 2. Charles Davis, Jr. 3. Ricky Johnson 4. Paul Norbury (Time: 1:02.37)

1. Josh Pelkey 910
2. Ricky Johnson 880
3. Charles Davis, Jr. 840
4. Jeremy Sherman 817
5. Bob Ream, Jr. 695
6. Jay Ervine 676
7. Marty Miller 595
8. Bugs Norbury 551
9. Eric Wilkins 540
10. Paul Norbury 518

It took Kiley Fellers several years to get to the Mini Sprint winner's circle but after that first elusive win on April 11th, he is feeling the power. He started third and chased down early leader Scott Pasmore to take the lead on the seventh lap. Pasmore faded as his Purcell's Western States Tire machine overheated.

While Fellers and his Budget Signs/Western Garage Door car was never seriously challenged, a late charge by sixth starting Jeff Greszler cut his margin of victory to a scant two car lengths. Charles Mokry came out of the fifth row to nail down third with Dave Alexander taking fourth ahead of Danny Mathus. Rounding out the top ten were Dustin Carmony, Mark Stroh, Pasmore, Tim Ogle and Joey Strobel.

Thomas Ogle came from the fourth row to win the first eight lap heat race. He made a pass on the sixth lap that carried him past race long leader Brent Yarnal with Richie McQuillan taking third. The second heat wnet to Danny Mathus who beat Alexander and Pasmore. The final heat was won by Greszler who trailed Fellers until the sixth lap when he finally assumed the lead. Fellers hung on for second with Mokry getting third. Tim Ogle made a great drive from fifth row to capture the semi main with Kurt Stults, Jessica Patterson and Stroh in pursuit. Fellers also won the Texas Roadhouse trophy dash and picked up a $25 gift certificate from the sponsor as well as the winner's trophy.


Main Event: 1. Kiley Fellers 2. Jeff Greszler 3. Charles Mokry 4. Dave Alexander 5. Danny Mathus 6. Dustin Carmony 7. Mark Stroh 8. Scott Pasmore 9. Tim Ogle 10. Joey Strobel 11. Richie McQuillan 12. Brent Yarnal 13. Rick Alexander 14. Kurt Stults 15. Jessica Patterson 16. Scott Birdzell 17. Lance Peterson 18. Joey Parks 19. Thomas Ogle 20. Tony Osuch
Lap leaders: laps 1-6, Pasmore–laps 7-20, Fellers
Semi Main: 1. Tim Ogle 2. Kurt Stults 3. Jessica Patterson 4. Mark Stroh 5. Joey Parks 6. Lance Peterson 7. Tony Osuch 8. Scott Birdzell 9. Allen Beck 10. Judd Hathaway 11. Dan Goodman 12. Dale Janisse 13. Jim Mattison 14. Don Keesler 15. Brian Shaw 16. Michael Young

1st Heat: 1. Thomas Ogle 2. Brent Yarnal 3. Richie McQuillan 4. Joey Strobel 5. Kurt Stults 6. Brian Shaw 7. Dale Janisse 8. Scott Birdzell 9. Tony Osuch 10. Judd Hathaway (Time: 2:11.49)

2nd Heat: 1. Danny Mathus 2. Dave Alexander 3. Scott Pasmore 4. Rick Alexander 5. Jessica Patterson 6. Allen Beck 7. Joey Parks 8. Michael Young 9. Dan Goodman (Time: 2:11.23)

3rd Heat: 1. Jeff Greszler 2. Kiley Fellers 3. Charles Mokry 4. Dustin Carmony 5. Jim Mattison 6. Mark Stroh 7. Don Keesler 8. Tim Ogle 9. Robert Mobley (Time: 2:08.99)

Trophy Dash: 1. Kiley Fellers 2. Thomas Ogle 3. Danny Mathus 4. Don Keesler 5. Tim Ogle 6. Dustin Carmony (Time: 1:06.88)

The outing for the Arizona Midget Racing Association could have been billed the Edwards and Johnson show. The two combined for the best three races of the evening with R. J. Johnson besting Chris Edwards in the trophy dash and then Edwards getting revenge in their heat race. The 20 lap feature a had more of the same. R.J. the defending AMRA champion started on the outside of the front row and beat Mike Leslie into the first turn. He withstood numerous yellow flags that kept the field close as Edwards was coming through the field and fighting to get to the front. He got by Doug Elliott for third and then took third as Leslie faded.

As they had done in the preliminary races, it was another barn burner with Johnson, just ten days past his 16th birthday, repeatedly beating back Edwards charge. The race was decided when Edwards went to the front as Johnson suffered mechanical problems and exited the race with four laps remaining. David Birmingham, Jr., the 2001 champion dropped Elliott to third as he tried to close on Edwards but had to be content with runnerup honors. Behind Elliott were David Rosales who had started 13th and rookie driver Cole Houser. The rest of the top ten were Robert Ellis, Mike Courtney, Dean Daly, Dale Daly and Johnson. Elliott bested Leslie and Birmingham in the first heat.
Justin Fisher entered the night atop the points standings but was a scratch from both the trophy dash and his heat race and lasted only three laps in the feature.
Rosales, with his third straight top five finish has a four point lead over Birmingham heading into a May 17 showdown.


Main Event: 1. Chris Edwards 2. David Birmingham, Jr. 3. Doug Elliott 4. David Rosales 5. Cole Houser 6. Robert Ellis 7. Mike Courtney 8. Dean Daly 9. Dale Daly 10. R.J. Johnson 11. Adam Young 12. Mike Leslie 13. Justin Fisher 14. Ben Peterson
Lap leaders; laps 1-16, Johnson–laps 17-20, Edwards

1st Heat: 1. Doug Elliott 2. Mike Leslie 3. David Birmingham, Jr. 4. David Rosales 5. Robert Ellis 6. Dean Daly (Time: 2:07.49)

2nd Heat: 1. Chris Edwards 2. R.J. Johnson 3. Mike Courtney 4. Cole Houser 5. Ben Peterson 6. Adam Young 7. Dale Daly (No Time)

Trophy Dash: 1. R.J. Johnson 2. Chris Edwards 3. David Birmingham, Jr. 4. David Rosales (Time: 1:05.16)

1. David Rosales 202
2. David Birmingham, Jr 198
3. Doug Elliott 169
4. Justin Fisher 168
5. Mike Courtney 160
6. Cole Houser 153
7. Robert Ellis 148
8. Chris Edwards 143
9. R.J. Johnson 137
10. Mike Leslie 119






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