Phoenix, AZ (March 7) Bob Ream, Jr. ended
his 20 month victory drought and Adam Crippen scored his first ever win in
Saturday night’s twin bill on Manzanita Speedway’s half mile track.
Bob Ream, Jr., winless since July 4, 2002, was
flawless in winning the 25 lap Arizona Sprint Car Association season opener at
Manzanita Speedway. “The Bullet” started on the outside of the third row and
watched as Charles Davis, Jr,, the 1996 and ’99 ASCA champion and former
Western World champion Jeremy Sherman battled for the top spot.
Sherman had problems with the #51 usually
driven by six time champion Ricky Johnson who was ill and gave Jeremy the ride,
and he coasted to a stop on the track on the seventh lap.
One the ensuing start both Ream and Jay Ervine
shot by Davis who was losing air in his right rear tire. Davis dropped to fourth
in one lap and then the race was halted when J.T. Imperial shot hard into the
retaining wall coming off turn four. The J.R.Tuttle car caught the end of the
wall at the old pit entrance and virtually destroyed the car. Imperial, despite
a damaged helmet, managed to walk to the ambulance under his own power. He was
later taken to a local hospital for further checks.
The crew on Davis’ Tony Smiley owned car, added
air to the right rear and tightened a bead lock and crossed their fingers hoping
the tire would not lose too much air. At
the drop of the green Ream went back to work and built a lead that stretched to
over three seconds. However Eric Wilkins and Jerry Coons, Jr. were flying from
their 16th and 17th starting positions and both closed on
Coons, who has spent the past six years in the
Midwest, finally took second and set his sights on the Ream’s Buckley. However
he ran out of time and had to be content with a second place finish in the Bill
Sweeney car. Wilkins, who had
earlier knocked almost a full second off the four lap record in winning the
Arizona Race Mart trophy dash, was third just ahead of Davis. Erivine took
fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Jeff Slinkard, Mike Martin, up from 20th,
Davey Bateman, Tim Beal and Bernie Smith.
Beal beat Chuck Buckman, R.J. Johnson and
Slinkard in the first eight lap heat race. The second heat went to Imperial over
his J.R. Tuttle Motorsports team mate Jay Ervine, Jeff Henry and Darren Hagen.
Davis passed Ream midway through the third heat and pulled away for the
win. Ream was second ahead of Bateman and Smith. In the final heat it was
Sherman, Joey Moriarity, Josh Pelkey and Wilkins.
Four cars were eliminated from the feature in a
first lap crash. Cars driven by Buckman, Johnson, Hagen and Henry required
wrecker service after getting together. Lowell
Carsten was the night’s hard luck owner. Paul Norbury tipped over in the first
heat but came back to run in the semi where he failed to finish. Bugs Norbury,
in the other Carsten entry, did a wild series of flips in the early laps of the
ARIZONA SPRINT CAR ASSOCIATION
1. Bob Ream, Jr. 2. Jerry Coons, Jr. 3. Eric Wilkins 4. Charles Davis, Jr. 5.
Jay Ervine 6. Jeff Slinkard 7. Mike Martin 8. Davey Bateman 9. Tim Beal 10.
Bernie Smith 11. Josh Pelkey 12. Rob Davis 13. Joey Moriarity 14. J.T. Imperial
15. Mike Kuemper 16. Jeremy Sherman 17. Chuck Buckman 18. R. J. Johnson 19. Jeff
Henry 20. Darren Hagen
Lap Leaders: laps 1-7 Davis, Jr; laps 8-25
1. Tim Beal 2. Chuck Buckman 3. R.J. Johnson 4. Jeff Slinkard 5. Charlie
Fegan 6. Andy Reinbold 7. Michael
Bryan 8. Paul Norbury 9. Casey Shuman
1. J.T. Imperial 2. Jay Ervine 3. Jeff Henry 4. Darren Hagen 5. Mikey Kuemper 6.
Bobby Seals 7. Rob Davis 8. Chris McArthur (Time 2:51.16)
1. Charles Davis, Jr. 2. Bob Ream, Jr. 3. Davey Bateman 4. Bernie Smith 5. Mike
Miller 6. Ryan Linder 7. James Aragon
1. Jeremy Sherman 2. Joey Moriarity 3. Josh Pelkey 4. Eric Wilkins 5. Jerry
Coons, Jr. 6. Bugs Norbury 7. Seainn Hendricson 8. Ben Gregg (Time: 2:44.90
1. Jerry Coons, Jr. 2. Mikey Kuemper 3. Rob Davis 4. Mike Martin
Mike Leslie 6. Charlie Fegan 7. Bobby Seals 8. Mike Miller 9. James Aragon
10. Andy Reinbold 11. Ryan Linder 12. Paul
Norbury 13. Chris McArthur 14. Casey Shuman 15. Seainn Hendrichson 16. Ben Gregg
17. Bugs Norbury
1. Eric Wilkins 2. Bugs Norbury 3. Jeremy Sherman 4. Josh Pelkey (Time: 1:18.16,
New four lap record)