Traditional Sprint Car FanSite

See You At The Races!!!

 Press Release


Phoenix, AZ (October 4) The old Pepsodent toothpaste commercial stated “You will wonder where the yellow went”. After Saturday nights races at Manzanita Speedway  fans can quit wondering. The yellow showed up for the open wheel tripleheader as the combined 71 car field could seldom run more than five laps without a car stalling or crashing. When they were racing it was fierce as the battle for points is in its final days and that may have added to the contact between cars whether they were Sprints, Midgets or Mini Sprints.


Starting 17th in the Sprint Car feature was no problem for Jeremy Sherman who drove through the field to take the lead at the midpoint of the 25 lap feature on Manzanita Speedway’s one third mile track. For Sherman it marked his eighth Arizona Sprint Car Association win of the year. He also has five Midget Car wins and one win with the California sprinters. He stretched his ASCA win streak to five as he finished ahead of Nathan High, Davey Bateman, Mike Leslie who was making his first Sprint Car start and 1998 champion Bob Ream, Jr.


Rookie driver Willy Grombach beat Mike Boat into the first turn and led the first three laps before yielding to Matthew Rossi who survived a yellow flag restart following a two car incident involving Josh Pelkey who ran up and almost over a spinning Jeff Branaman. Pelkey was able to continue and keep his championship hopes alive. Rossi stayed in front and led until he had problems on the seventh lap and went off the end of the track in turn one.


Mike Martin, driving one of his best races ever diced with High and took the lead when Rossi exited the race. While working lap 12 High tried a low side pass for the lead and the two cars made contact sending Martin’s car flipping end over end. Although his Naquin Precision Earth Moving sprinter suffered extensive damage, Martin was uninjured.


On the restart following the red flag for the crash Sherman shot by High for a lead he never relinquished. Most eyes were centered back in the field where Ricky Johnson who had a 31 point lead heading into the feature was running just in front of Pelkey, the only driver with a shot at overtaking the five time Sprint Car champion.


Pelkey picked his way toward the front and when the yellow came out on the 19th lap when Joey Moriarity shot off the end of the track, Pelkey was four positions ahead of Johnson. Pelkey, the 1997 champion moved all the way to third but made contact trying to take over second, hit the back straightway wall and flipped his J.D. Byrider of Glendale Buckley. The field was already so decimated that Pelkey was credited with an 12th place finish which awards 90 points.


Johnson went to work and brought the Weiler Farms Ellis car home in sixth which expanded his lead over Pelkey to 61 (3431-3370) with only the October 18 Buddy Taylor Memorial on the half mile track remaining. Asley Corey took seventh, Jay Ervine was eighth. Eric Wilkins, the defending champion was running third at the white flag but spun due to contact and took ninth ahead of Moriarity. Johnson scored his third heat win of the year when he went wire to wire to beat Pelkey, Wilkins and Bateman in the first heat. High  also used the pole to good advantage in the second heat when he bested Martin, Ream and Branaman. The third heat went to another front row started with Moriarity finishing ahead of Mike Boat, Grombach and J.T. Imperial. Although running on only seven cylinders Rossi came out of the third row to beat Ervine, Justin Fisher and Darren Hagen. Despite all his successes, Sherman’s Parker Stores Trophy Dash win was his first of the year.



Main Event: 
1. Jeremy Sherman 2. Nathan High 3. Davey Bateman 4. Mike Leslie 5. Bob Ream, Jr. 6. Ricky Johnson 7. Ashley Corey 8. Jay Ervine 9. Eric Wilkins 10. Joey Moriarity 11. Jeff Henry 12. Josh Pelkey 13. Mike Martin 14. Willy Grombach 15. Jeff Branaman 16. Justin Fisher 17. Matthew Rossi 18. Mike Boat 19. J.T. Imperial 20. Darren Hagen

Lap Leaders: laps 1-3 Grombach, laps 4-7 Rossi, laps 8-12 Martin, laps 13-25 Sherman


Semi Main: 
1. Jeremy Sherman 2. Mike Leslie 3. Ashley Corey 4. Jeff Henry 5. R.J. Johnson 6. Kaylene Verville 7. Paul Norbury 8. Bugs Norbury 9. Tim Beal 10. Jimmy Norman 11. Brian Hacker 12. Andy Reinbold 13. Bruce St. James 14. Jesse Dunham 15. Bernie Smith


1st Heat: 
1. Ricky Johnson 2. Josh Pelkey 3. Eric Wilkins 4. Davey Bateman 5. Jeremy Sherman 6. Andy Reinbold 7. Jesse Dunham 8. Bugs Norbury


2nd Heat: 
1. Nathan High 2. Mike Martin 3. Bob Ream, Jr. 4. Jeff Branaman 5. Mike Leslie 6. Jimmy Norman 7. Brian Hacker 8. Jeff Henry


3rd Heat: 
1. Joey Moriarity 2. Mike Boat 3. Willy Grombach 4. J.T. Imperial 5. Ashley Corey 6. R.J. Johnson 7. Bruce St. James 8. Paul Norbury


4th Heat: 
1. Matthew Rossi 2. Jay Ervine 3. Justin Fisher 4. Darren Hagen 5. Tim Beal 6. Kaylene Verville 7. Mike Bonneau 8. Bernie Smith


Trophy Dash: 
1. Jeremy Sherman 2. Jay Ervine 3. Bob Ream, Jr. 4. R.J. Johnson 



1.         Ricky Johnson                        3431

2.         Josh Pelkey              3370

3.         Eric Wilkins             3106

4.         Jeremy Sherman            2969

5.         Jay Ervine               2767

6.         Bugs Norbury                       2665

7.         Davey Bateman            2 635

8.         R.J. Johnson                        2503

9.         Paul Norbury                       2469

10.       Jeff Henry               2413




For the second straight race the lead in the Midget feature was like a hot potato as three drivers produced six lead changes with Mike Leslie finally leading the final three laps for his second win of the year.


Mike Courtney shot out of the second row to lead the first three laps then Leslie, who started fourth put his Kenz & Leslie/BG Chemicals car in front for a couple of laps but had trouble getting off turn two and Courtney blasted by on the outside to regain the point. However Leslie was back in front for lap seven and the former Dwarf Car champion Terry Palmer, up from 11th squeezed by on the inside to lead the 12th lap. Leslie was not to be denied as he regained the lead and brought it home three laps later.


Palmer finished second with Courtney applying pressure. David Birmingham, Jr. crossed the line in fourth and David Rosales was fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Cole Houser, Bobby Ellis, Jesse Turner, Amy Maris and Justin Fisher. It was a tough night for the defending champion and points leader R. J. Johnson. He broke in the trophy dash and parked his Weiler Farms Ellis for the night. Dave Ellis talked things over with his driver, Jeremy Sherman, and they decided to put R.J. in the car that had carried Sherman to five wins.


R. J. got a feel for the car in the second heat race and finished third behind Leslie and Houser. Only three cars started the second heat out of the scheduled seven and Birmingham, Jr. bested Courtney and Maris.  Johnson entered the main event one point behind Birmingham who had earlier won the Cantera Homes trophy dash. His chances of regaining the lead appeared good when Birmingham was tapped in the feature and spun. He tagged the field and was working his way back to the front runners when Palmer inadvertently tapped Johnson and sent him spinning. Johnson tagged the field but the steering was damaged and he parked the Ellis car just short of the turn two wall. He was credited with 11th and that, coupled with Birmingham’s fourth place finish leaves him facing a 23 point deficit heading into the season finale, the Buddy Taylor Memorial in two weeks.



Main Event: 
1. Mike Leslie 2. Terry Palmer 3. Mike Courtney 4. David Birmingham, Jr. 5. David Rosales 6. Cole Houser 7. Bobby Ellis 8. Jesse Turner 9. Amy Maris 10. Justin Fisher 11. R.J. Johnson 12. Mike Boulier 13. Mark Passerrelli

Lap Leaders: laps 1-3 Courtney, laps 4-5 Leslie, lap 6 Courtney, laps 7-11 Leslie lap 12 Palmer, laps 13-15 Leslie


1st Heat: 
1. David Birminghman, Jr. 2. Mike Courtney 3. Amy Maris (DNS-Jesse Turner, R.J. Johnson, Mark Passerrelli, Bobby Ellis)


2nd Heat:
1. Mike Leslie 2. Cole Houser 3. R.J. Johnson 4. Justin Fisher 5. David Rosales 6. Terry Palmer (DNS-Mike Boulier)


Trophy Dash: 
1. David Birmingham, Jr. 2. Mike Courtney 3. R.J. Johnson 4. Bobby Ellis



1.                  David Birmingham, Jr.       815

2.                  R.J. Johnson          791

3.                  David Rosales            765

4.                  Justin Fisher       745

5.                  Bobby Ellis            687

6.                  Mike Leslie         681

7.                  Cole Houser           642

8.                  Terry Palmer            631

9.                  Mike Courtney         621

10.              Adam Young       437


After getting his first win of the year in the previous race on September 13, Danny Mathus dominated the 25 car field of Mini Sprints to make it two in a row. By winning the second heat Mathus started on the outside of the front row and steadily pulled away from the pack. His lead was reduced several times due to yellow or red flags but at each restart he proved to have the best car on the track. He dueld early with Tim Ogle with Dustin Carmony and Jim Prebble in pursuit. Prebble was involved in one of the incidents and dropped out of the race and Thomas Ogle moved up to challenge his father for the second spot and Carmony dropped back to fourth. They were still running in that order when the checkered flag dropped on the 20th lap. Tony Osuch, the leading rookie,came out of the fourth row to nail down fifth. Runaway points leader Jeff Greszler took sixth and behind him were Dallas Caldwell, making his first start, Dave Alexander, Dennis Parks and Kiley Fellers


Judd Hathaway captured the 12 lap semi over Alexander, Robert Mobley, Brian Shaw and Caldwell. Tim Ogle bested Prebble, Osuch and Parks in the first heat race. Mathus came from fourth to first on the opening lap of the second heat and had Scott Birdzell, Gresler and Fellers trailing. The final heat was won by Carmony who used one of his patented final turn charges to nip Thomas Ogle at the line. Mark Stroh was third ahead of Terry Cornwell. Carmony won the Parker Stores trophy dash over Fellers, Jim Mattison and Stroh.




Main Event: 
1. Danny Mathus 2. Tim Ogle 3. Thomas Ogle 4. Dustin Carmony 5. Tony Osuch 6. Jeff Greszler 7. Dallas Caldwell 8. Dave Alexander 9. Dennis Parks 10. Kiley Fellers 11. Judd Hathaway 12. Mark Stroh 13. Brian Shaw 14. Robert Mobley 15. Kurt Stults 16. Scott Pasmore 17. Terry Cornwell 18. Jim Prebble 19. Scott Birdzell 20. Michael Young
Lap Leaders: laps 1-20 Mathus


Semi Main: 
1. Judd Hathaway 2. Dave Alexander 3. Robert Mobley 4. Brian Shaw 5. Dallas Caldwell 6. Kurt Stults 7. Scott Pasmore 8. Charles Eckman 9. Michael Young 10. Jim Mattison 11. Charles Mokry

1st Heat: 
1. Tim Ogle 2. Jim Prebble 3. Tony Osuch 4. Dennis Parks 5. Robert Mobley 6. Dallas Caldwell 7. Dave Alexander 8. Michael Young


2nd Heat: 
1. Danny Mathus 2. Scott Birdzell 3. Jeff Greszler 4. Kiley Fellers 5. Judd Hathaways 6. Brian Shaw (DNS-Charles Mokrey, Brandon George)


3rd Heat: 
1. Dustin Carmony 2. Thomas Ogle 3. Mark Stroh 4. Terry Cornwell 5. Jim Mattison 6. Kurt Stults 7. Scott Pasmore 8. Don Keesler


Trophy Dash: 
1. Dustin Carmony 2. Kiley Fellers 3. Jim Mattison 4. Mark Stroh 5. Dennis Parks







Get your own FREE Guestbook from htmlGEAR