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 Press Release


Phoenix, AZ (October 18) In what has become the norm in open wheel racing at Manzanita Speedway Jeremy Sherman ran wild in Saturday nightís Buddy Taylor Memorial race. Sherman decimated the 35 car field in the Arizona Sprint Car Association 25 lap feature on the half mile track and was equally as dominant in the Midget portion of the tripleheader.

            While Sherman was adding two more wins to his season total the father/son tandem of Ricky and R.J. Johnson were having a wild celebration of their own as they each captured driving titles. Ricky now stands alone with a total of eight championships, six in the Sprint Cars, one in Midgets and one in Dirt Modifieds, and R.J., at the tender age of 16 won the Midget title for the second straight year. 

Sherman had his usual sixth row starting berth in the Sprint Car feature but had powered the Dave Ellis chevy into second by the third lap. He chased down early the early leader, Darren Hagen, and grabbed the lead the sixth time around Manzyís half mile track. The pass came after a multicar pileup stopped the race as Bobby Seals flipped violently and cars driven by Eric Wilkins, Mike Martin, Brandon Lane and Josh Pelkey were also involved. Seals was transported to a nearby hospital for observation and the other drivers, were able to make minor repairs and continue but Martin pitted again and called it a night.

The remaining 20 laps were caution free and Sherman finished 10.53 seconds ahead of the í98 champion Bob Ream, Jr. with Hagen taking third ahead of Justin Fisher and Bugs Norbury.  Only eight cars were able to stay on the lead lap with Ricky Johnson, Matthew Rossi and Nathan High trailing. Wilkins, the defending champion, finished ninth, a lap down with Paul Norbury in tenth. The 19 laps in front of the pack raised Shermanís lap led total for the year to 131.

Thirty-three cars competed in the four heat races with only Davey Batemanís #18 and Casey Shumanís #35 missing the action. Bateman secured a ride in the J.R. Tuttle car after blowing a head gasket but Shuman, trying out his ride for the first time had terminal problems.

Brandon Lane beat Ream, Sherman and Mike Leslie in the first eight lapper to secure starting berths in the feature. In the second heat it was a determined Ricky Johnson who went after the points and bested Jeff Henry, Rossi and Paul Norbury. Bugs Norbury scored his sixth heat race win of the year as he held off Josh Pelkey, Martin and Kaylene Verville. Four more spots in the feature went to Charlie Fegan, Seals, Hagen and Brian Hatcher in the final heat.

Justin Fisher, who ran fifth in the second heat set a new 12 lap record in winning the semi main over Wilkins, High and Larry Lloyd. His time of 1:04. 62 was over four seconds quicker than the old mark of 4:09.95 set by Chris Bonneau last June.

Johnson won his first Arizona Race Mart trophy dash with Rossi, High and Shuman in pursuit.



Main Event: 1. Jeremy Sherman 2. Bob Ream, Jr. 3. Darren Hagen 4. Justin Fisher 5. Bugs Norbury 6. Ricky Johnson 7. Matthew Rossi 8. Nathan High 9. Eric Wilkins 10. Paul Norbury 11. Josh Pelkey 12. Brandon Lane 13. Larry Lloyd 14. Jeff Henry 15. Charlie Fegan 16. Mike Leslie 17. Kaylene Verville 18. Brian Hacker 19. Mike Martin 20. Bobby Seals

Lap Leaders: laps 1-6 Hagen, laps 7-25 Sherman


Semi Main: 1. Justin Fisher 2. Eric Wilkins 3. Nathan High 4. Larry Lloyd 5. Jess Dunham 6. Bernie Smith 7. Davey Bateman 8. Jay Ervine 9. Jimmy Norman 10. Andy Reinbold 11. Mark Deskovick 12. Brian Swinehart 13. R.J. Johnson 14. Alex Pruett (12 laps-Time 4:04.62 NTR)


1st Heat: 1. Brandon Lane 2. Bob Ream, Jr. 3. Jeremy Sherman 4. Mike Leslie 5. Larry Lloyd 6. Bernie Smith 7. Willy Grombach 8. Travis Cooley


2nd Heat: 1. Ricky Johnson 2. Jeff Henry 3. Matthew Rossi 4. Paul Norbury 5. Justin Fisher 6. Jesse Dunham 7. Jimmy Norman 8. Alex Pruett 9. Mark Deskovick


3rd Heat: 1. Bugs Norbury 2. Josh Pelkey 3. Mike Martin 4. Kaylene Verville 5. Eric Wilkins 6. Jay Ervine 7. Nathan High 8. Davey Bateman


4th Heat: 1. Charlie Fegan 2. Bobby Seals 3. Darren Hagen 4. Brian Hacker 5. R.J. Johnson 6. Brian Swinehart 7. Andy Reinbold 8. Michael Bonneau


Trophy Dash: 1. Ricky Johnson 2. Matthew Rossi 3. Nathan High 4. Casey Shuman



1.         Ricky Johnson                        3621

2.         Josh Pelkey              3515

3.         Eric Wilkins             3246

4.         Jeremy Sherman            3189

5.         Bugs Norbury                       2825

6.         Jay Ervine               2815

7.         Davey Bateman            2684

8.         Paul Norbury                       2609

9.         Jeff Henry               2543

            R.J. Johnson                        2543


 It did not take Sherman long to get to the front  in the Midget main and after taking the lead from R. J. Johnson on the third lap he lead the final 17 laps on his way to his sixteenth overall  win of the year, his sixth in the Midgets.  That put his laps led total at 85. Van Knill made a late charge to finish second with Justin Fisher third, giving the youngster two top four finishes and a new track record for the night. Fourth went to Mike Leslie with Terry Palmer getting his sixth top five finish of the year. Rounding out the top ten were R.J. Johnson, David Rosales, Mike Courtney, Jesse Turner and Adam Young.

Johnson, who became the nationís youngest champion when he won the AMRA title last year and his sixth place finish was more than enough to take the crown again. However R.J. would have preferred to have David Birmingham, Jr. competing Saturday night and settled the championship on the track. The AMRA hit Birmingham with a $600 fine as they placed the blame on him  for a trophy dash crash in the last outing. Birmingham elected to sit it out and that took him out of contention for a second driving championship and he dropped to third in the final standings.  

Robert Ellis captured his second heat race win of the year and secured the rookie of the year title as he beat Knill, Leslie and Johnson. Sherman had no trouble in winning the second heat over Fisher, Courtney and Jeff Perry. Dino Tomassi flipped during the running of the second heat. He was uninjured but he was through for the night.

Courtney beat Leslie,  Rosales and Palmer in winning his second trophy dash of the year. 




Main Event: 1.Jeremy Sherman 2. Van Knill 3. Justin Fisher 4. Mike Leslie 5. Terry Palmer 6. R.J. Johnson 7. David Rosales 8. Mike Courtney 9. Jesse Turner 10. Robert Ellis 11. Adam Young 12. Amy Maris 13. Jeff Perry 14. Dale Daly

Lap Leaders: laps 1-3 Johnson, laps 4-20 Sherman


1st Heat: 1. Robert Ellis 2. Van Knill 3. Mike Leslie 4. R.J. Johnson 5. Terry Palmer 6. David Rosales 7. Amy Maris 8. Dale Daly


2nd Heat: 1. Jeremy Sherman 2. Justin Fisher 3. Mike Courtney 4. Jeff Perry 5. Adam Young 6. Cole Houser 7. Jesse Turner 8. Dino Tamossi


Trophy Dash: 1. Mike Courtney 2. Mike Leslie 3. David Rosales 4. Terry Palmer



1.         R.J. Johnson                                    845

2          David Rosales                                    816

3.         David Birmingham, Jr.            809

4.         Justin Fisher                           807

5.         Mike Leslie                           758

6.         Robert Ellis                              751

7.         Mike Cortney                                    694

8.         Terry Palmer                          687

9.         Cole Houser                         657

10.       Jeremy Sherman                       525

            For Charles Mokry the 2003 Mini Sprint Car season did not live up to his expectations but he got some solace out of taking a hard fought win in the final race of the year. It marked only his second win of the year on the Manzanita clay and the race was not decided until the Steve Cushman waved the checkered flag.

            Mokry got by early leader Tim Ogle and built a lead but Dustin Carmany was on the move. After finally grabbing the second spot he cut into Mokryís lead and it appeared that he was set for one of his patented final turn passes. The two race hard into turn three of the final lap and Carmony shot to the inside as they exited turn four. However he had no magic this night and was a car length back as they flashed across the finish line.

            Ogle hung on for third with Jeff Greszler who had already clinched his first driving championship holding off Scott Pasmore for fifth. Rounding out the top ten were two time winner Danny Mathus, three time winner Kiley Fellers, Thomas Ogle, defending champion Brandon George and Dallas Caldwell

            Scott Birdzell set a new ten lap record of 2:42.16 in winning the semi main. The old record, the oldest in the book was a 2:43.69 clocking by Greszler on July 4, 1997. Caldwell trailed Birdzell across the line ahead of Mark Stroh, Robert Mobley and Tony Osuch.

            Mathus put his name atop the list of heat race winners as he scored his sixth win over Pasmore, Carmony, Tim Ogle and Caldwell. The second heat went to Dennis Parks who bested Fellers, Jim Prebble, Trey Deane and Birdzell. The final heat saw Thomas Ogle win over Mokry, Greszler, George and Stroh.

            Carmony beat Mathus, Fellers, Parks and Mobley in winning the George S. Thompson Company/Walton Construction trophy dash for the third time this year.




Main Event: 1. Charles Mokry 2. Dustin Carmony 3. Tim Ogle 4. Jeff Greszler 5. Scott Pasmore 6. Danny Mathus 7. Kiley Fellers 8. Thomas Ogle 9. Brandon George 10. Dallas Caldwell 11. Mark Stroh 12. Dennis Parks 13. Scott Birdzell 14. Tony Osuch 15. Robert Mobley 16. Jeff Henry 17. Jim Mattison 18. Brian Arnty 19. Jim Prebble 20. Trey Deane

Lap Leaders: laps 1-8 Tim Ogle, laps 9-20 Mokry


Semi Main: 1. Scott Birdzell 2. Dallas Caldwell 3. Mark Stroh 4. Robert Mobley 5. Tony Osuch 6. Jeff Henry 7. Jim Mattison 8. Brian Arnty 9. Kurt Stults 10. Rick Alexander 11. Don Keesler 12. Michael Young (10 laps, Time: 2:42.16, NTR)


1st Heat: 1. Danny Mathus 2. Scott Pasmore 3. Dan Carmony 4. Tim Ogle 5. Dallas Caldwell 6. Robert Mobley 7. Jim Mattison 8. Brian Arnty 9. Kurt Stults


2nd Heat: 1. Dennis Parks 2. Kiley Fellers 3. Jim Prebble 4. Trey Deane 5. Scott Birdzell 6. Tony Osuch 7. Rick Alexander 8. Brian Shaw


3rd Heat: 1. Thomas Ogle 2. Charles Mobley 3. Jeff Greszler 4. Brandon George 5. Mark Stroh 6. Jeff Henry 7. Don Keesler 8. Michael Young


Trophy Dash: 1. Dustin Carmony 2. Danny Mathus 3. Kiley Fellers 4. Dennis Parks (4 laps, Time: 1:03.58 NTR)






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