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See You At The Races!!!

 Press Release

by Windy McDonald

Phoenix, AZ (May 17) Eric Wilkins, Doug Elliott and Charles Mokry made their first appearance of the year in Manzanita Speedway's winner's circle Saturday night.

Racing under less than ideal conditions, Eric Wilkins showed his championship form as he mastered a  hard, slick, windblown track to get his first win of the year in the season's  sixth Arizona Sprint Car Association race . The Sprint Car main was the 17th race staged on Manzy's one third mile track which was packed slick by  a 78 car field which included a season high 35 Sprint Cars. Many of the top drivers, lined up by point average, never contended for the win. Wilkins methodically urged his way to the front. The H&E Equipment Services Buckley was lined up on the outside of the fourth row for the main event green flag and Wilkins showed great patience as he picked his way toward the front. 
He was trailing Bugs Norbury and Nathan High when Norbury  fish tailed slightly while coming through turn four to compete the 22nd lap and High had to lift to avoid contact.  Wilkins maneuvered to the inside and  shot past both. He then pulled away the remaining three laps for his first win of the year.

Several drivers were impressive. Norbury, driving the Lowell Carsten Speedmart  led laps 17-21 and  had his best ever finish with a strong second..  Nathan High may have influenced some prospective sponsors as he came out of the fourth row to keep pressure on the leaders and was third at the line. The chase for the driving championship saw some changes as points leader Josh Pelkey was involved in a late race  four car crash that involved the cars running fourth through seventh. Pelkey, who was in seventh at the time rejoined the field but could only get back to 12th. Ricky Johnson made it a 60 point swing with a fourth place finish. The five time champion came into the race 30 points behind Pelkey but will have a 30 point lead when the Sprints run their 50 lap Sunoco/Arizona Race Mart Salute to Indy next Saturday night.

That last multicar crash benefitted those running eighth and back. Davey Bateman, the leader of the first four laps, was in fourth with Jeremy Sherman trying to take the position. They made contact sending both cars spinning. Jeff Henry had no place to go and entered the crash as did Pelkey. Henry's car was put on the hook but the other three drivers were able to restart. Bob Ream, Jr. took fifth after starting 16th. The rest of the top ten were Chris Bonneau, Jay Ervine, Mike Keumper, Jimmy Norman and Charles Davis, Jr.
Keumper, a rookie, was spectacular in the early stages of the race. He took the lead from Bateman on the fifth lap and kept the field at bay until he blew a tire while working the 17th lap.

The top four from each of the heat races made the main and that left 19 cars scheduled for the semi with only John Williams unable to answer the call. Jeff Branaman won the 15 lapper with Brandon Lane, Jimmy Norman and Paul Norbury getting the other main event transfer spots. Eric Wilkins led all eight laps in the first heat race with Bateman, Davis, Jr, and Brian Hacker also transferring. The second heat went to Shon Deskins over Sherman, Henry and Joey Moriarity.  The top four in the third heat were Ricky Johnson, Bonneau, Ervine and Pelkey while Bugs Norbury, Keumper, High and Ream made the main through the fourth heat. Davis won the trophy dash for the fourth time this year as he bested Chuck Buckman, Bonneau and Ervine.


Main Event: 1. Eric Wilkins 2. Bugs Norbury 3. Nathan High 4. Ricky Johnson 5. Bob Ream, Jr. 6. Chris Bonneau 7. Jay Ervine 8. Mike Keumper 9. Jimmy Norman 10. Charles Davis, Jr. 11. Joey Moriarity 12. Josh Pelkey 13. Davey Bateman 14. Jeff Branaman 15. Jeremy Sherman 16. Jeff Henry 17. Paul Norbury 18. Brian Hacker 19. Shon Deskins 20. Brandon Lane
Lap leaders: Davey Bateman, laps 1-4--Mike Keumper, laps 5-16–Bugs Norbury, laps 17-21–Eric Wilkins, laps 22-25
Semi Main: 1. Jeff Branaman 2. Brandon Lane 3. Jimmy Norman 4. Paul Norbury 5. R.J. Johnson 6. Tim Beal 7. Jeff Slinkard 8. Chuck Buckman 9. Steve Cushman 10. Jeff Wheeler 11. Bernie Smith 12. Buddy Earle 13. Willy Grombach 14. Mike Miller 15. Andy Reinbold 16. Jesse Dunham 17. Ryan Linder 18. Bruce St. James
1st Heat: 1. Eric Wilkins 2. Davey Bateman 3. Charles Davis, Jr. 4. Brian Hacker 5. Brandon Lane 6. R.J. Johnson 7. Chuck Buckman 8. Buddy Earle 9. Andy Reinbold
2nd Heat: 1. Shon Deskins 2. Jeremy Sherman 3. Jeff Henry 4. Joey Moriarity 5. Jeff Branaman 6. Paul Norbury 7. Steve Cushman 8. Jeff Wheeler 9. Ryan Linder
3rd Heat: 1. Ricky Johnson 2. Chris Bonneay 3. Jay Ervine 4. Josh Pelkey 5. Bernie Smith 6. Tim Beal 7. Jeff Slinkard 8. Mike Miller 9. John Williams
4th Heat: 1. Bugs Norbury 2. Mike Keumper 3. Nathan High 4. Bob Ream, Jr. 5. Jimmy Norman 6. Jesse Dunham 7. Bruce St. James 8. Willy Grombach
Trophy Dash: 1. Charles Davis, Jr. 2. Chuck Buckman 3. Chris Bonneau 4. Jay Ervine
1. Ricky Johnson 1070
2. Josh Pelkey 1040
3. Charles Davis, Jr. 1000
4. Jeremy Sherman 942
5. Bob Ream, Jr. 860
6. Jay Ervine 841
7. Bugs Norbury 810
8. Eric Wilkins 781
9. Chris Bonneau 651
10. Paul Norbury 616

It was evident in the Texas Roadhouse trophy dash that Charles Mokry would be a force with which to reckon in the fifth Mini Sprint Car race of the year on Manzanita's one third mile track. The Mini Sprints had shed their wings for this one and most of the field handled it well and Mokry beat Thomas Ogle in the six car four lap dash. After winning his heat race Mokry lined up fourth for the 15 lap feature with Ogle starting just in front of him. Kiley Fellers was on the pole and shot past Ogle to lead the first lap. Ogle tapped Fellers coming through turn four of the second lap and took the lead as Fellers worked to keep out of the fence. He recovered as the field sped by and his Budget Signs/Arizona Race Mart car was clipped by Scott Pasmore. The contact knocked off the right front wheel ending Fellers try for a third straight win. Pasmore was able to continue.

Ogle stayed out front with Mokry running on his tail. Lap after lap Mokry tried the outside but Ogle repulsed his every move until the 13th lap when the two raced side by side off turn two and Mokry had the lead when they came off turn four. He led the final two laps with Ogle crossing the line in second. Dustin Carmony made a great drive to get third. He started 12th after winning the semi.Fourth went to rookie driver Tony Osuch with Brandon George, the defending champion in fifth. Jeff Henry came home in sixth with Scott Pasmore getting his fourth top ten finish in his four starts as he beat Mark Stroh for seventh. Jeff Greszler took ninth and Jessica Patterson notched her first top ten finish.
George won the first heat over Osuch and Dale Janisse; Stroh beat Ogle and Pasmore in the second heat while Fellers and Henry finished behind Mokry in the third heat.  Following Carmony in the semi were Judd Hathaway, Danny Mathus, Tim Ogle and Patterson. 

Main Event: 1. Charles Mokry 2. Thomas Ogle 3. Dustin Carmony 4. Tony Osuch 5. Brandon George 6. Jeff Henry 7. Scott Pasmore 8. Mark Stroh 9. Jeff Greszler 10. Jessica Patterson 11. Tim Ogle 12. Judd Hathaway 13. Brent Yarnal 14. Scott Birdzell 15. Dan Goodman 16. Danny Mathus 17. Dale Janisse 18. Jody Parks 19. Robert Mobley 20. Kiley Fellers
Lap leaders: Kiley Fellers, lap 1–Tim Ogle, laps 2-13–Charles Mokry, laps 14-15
Semi Main: 1. Dustin Carmony 2. Judd Hathaway 3. Danny Mathus 4. Tim Ogle 5. Jessica Patterson 6. Joey Parks 7. Scott Birdzell 8. Dan Goodman 9. Jim Mattison 10. Michael Young 11. Brian Shaw 12. Kurt Stults 13. Don Keesler
1st Heat: 1. Brandon George 2. Tony Osuch 3. Dale Janisse 4.Robert Mobley 5. Don Keesler 6. Lance Peterson 7. Joey Parks 8. Jim Mattison 9. Chris Day 10. Rick Alexander
2nd Heat: 1. Mark Stroh 2. Thomas Ogle 3. Scott Pasmore 4. Jeff Greszler 5. Dustin Carmony 6. Judd Hathaway 7. Kurt Stults 8. Michael Young 9. Danny Mathus
3rd Heat: 1. Charles Mokry 2. Kiley Fellers 3. Jeff Henry 4. Brent Yarnal 5. Jessica Patterson 6. Dan Goodman 7. Scott Birdzell 8. Brian Shaw 9. Tim Ogle
Trophy Dash: 1. Charles Mokry 2. Thomas Ogle 3. Mark Stroh 4. Don Keesler 5. Jeff Greszler 6. Danny Mathus

Lady Luck has not been kind to R.J. Johnson after his championship season last year. For the second straight race the youngster has led the most laps but he has yet to drive under a checkered flag. Doug Elliott, after starting ninth, was trailing both Johnson and Chris Edwards with six laps to go and ended up in the winner's circle for the first time this year as Johnson had magneto trouble put him in the pits after leading the first 13 laps and after leading one lap Edwards blew a tire. Once in front Elliott outdueled Justin Fisher to score his second career win. Colorado driver Andy Eatwell came from 15th to finish third with Adam Young in fourth ahead of David Rosales. Rounding out the top ten were Mike Courtney, Cole Houser, Terry Palmer, Robert Ellis and Dean Daly.

Young won the first heat race over Ellis and Mike Leslie while Johnson led Fisher and David Birmingham, Jr. to the second heat race checkered flag. Elliott started off the night by beating Rosales, Birmingham and Edwards in the trophy dash. Rosales maintained the points lead and has a seven point lead over Fisher who vaulted from fourth to second. Elliott's win moved hm into third only nine points back.  Birmingham,  started the night only four points in arrears but was the first car to exit the feature when he blew a tire. He is now ranked fourth 18 points back.

Main Event: 1. Doug Elliott 2. Justin Fisher 3. Andy Eatwell 4. Adam Young 5. David Rosales 6. Mike Courtney 7. Cole Houser 8. Terry Palmer 9. Robert Ellis 10. Dean Daly 11. Dale Daly 12. Chris Edwards 13. R.J. Johnson 14. Mike Leslie 15. David Birmingham, Jr.
1st Heat: 1. Adam Young 2. Robert Ellis 3. Mike Leslie 4. Mike Courtney 5. Doug Elliott 6. David Rosales 7. Terry Palmer (DNS–Andy Eatwell)
2nd Heat: 1. R.J. Johnson 2. Justin Fisher 3. David Birmingham, Jr. 4. Dean Daly 5. Cole Houser 6. Dale Daly (DNS–Chris Edwards)
Trophy Dash: 1. Doug Elliott 2. David Rosales 3. David Birmingham, Jr. 4. Chris Edwards
1. David Rosales 246
2. Justin Fisher 239
3. Doug Elliott 237
4. David Birmingham, Jr.228
5. Mike Courtney 215
6. Cole Houeer 203
7. Robert Ellis 198
8. R.J. Johnson 177
9. Chris Edwards 170
10. Mike Leslie 152






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