(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.
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
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.
SPRINT CAR RESULTS
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
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.
1. Ricky Johnson 2. Josh Pelkey 3. Eric Wilkins 4. Davey Bateman 5. Jeremy
Sherman 6. Andy Reinbold 7. Jesse Dunham 8. Bugs Norbury
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
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
1. Matthew Rossi 2. Jay Ervine 3. Justin Fisher 4. Darren Hagen 5. Tim Beal 6.
Kaylene Verville 7. Mike Bonneau 8. Bernie Smith
1. Jeremy Sherman 2. Jay Ervine 3. Bob Ream, Jr. 4. R.J. Johnson
BEATS MIDGET FIELD FOR HIS SECOND WIN OF THE YEAR
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.
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
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.
AMRA MIDGET RESULTS
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
1. David Birminghman, Jr. 2. Mike Courtney 3. Amy Maris (DNS-Jesse Turner, R.J.
Johnson, Mark Passerrelli, Bobby Ellis)
1. Mike Leslie 2. Cole Houser 3. R.J. Johnson 4. Justin Fisher 5. David Rosales
6. Terry Palmer (DNS-Mike Boulier)
1. David Birmingham, Jr. 2. Mike Courtney 3. R.J. Johnson 4. Bobby Ellis
David Birmingham, Jr.
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
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.
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
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
1. Tim Ogle 2. Jim Prebble 3. Tony Osuch 4. Dennis Parks 5. Robert Mobley 6.
Dallas Caldwell 7. Dave Alexander 8. Michael Young
1. Danny Mathus 2. Scott Birdzell 3. Jeff Greszler 4. Kiley Fellers 5. Judd
Hathaways 6. Brian Shaw (DNS-Charles Mokrey, Brandon George)
1. Dustin Carmony 2. Thomas Ogle 3. Mark Stroh 4. Terry Cornwell 5. Jim Mattison
6. Kurt Stults 7. Scott Pasmore 8. Don Keesler
1. Dustin Carmony 2. Kiley Fellers 3. Jim Mattison 4. Mark Stroh 5. Dennis Parks