AZ (May 22) Marty Miller and Dustin Cormany scored wire to wire wins in
Saturday night’s open wheel doubleheader at Manzanita Speedway. With
his right rear tire going flat, the checkered flag for Saturday night’s
Arizona Sprint Car Association feature race at Manzanita Speedway came just in
time for the 2000 champion Marty Miller. Miller, who had led from the green flag
25 laps earlier, had a slim lead over two time champion Charles Davis, Jr. as
they crossed the finish line giving him his second win of the year.
one third mile track starting taking rubber early and the right rear tires were
smoking through and off the turns and some were doing wheelies by the midpoint
of the race.
Miller was thankful that the checkered flag fell when it did. “I had
two holes in the tire, it was completely worn out,” he said in a post race
interview. “Charlie was still in
good shape and I don’t think I could have held him off another lap”.
shared the front row with Bernie Smith and immediately put his Buckley in front.
Smith stayed in second with Josh Pelkey and Jeff Slinkard applying pressure
while Davis was working his Smiley/Zoriki machine toward the front from his
third row starting berth.
He claimed second by the tenth laps but was about 1.35 seconds behind
Miller. That changed when a yellow flag for a harmless spin allowed the field to
bunch up just as the leaders were encountering traffic. Miller
went back to work with Davis staying close. The complexion of the race changed
on the 17th lap when J.T.Imperial got airborne and did a series of
flips after running over the right rear wheel of another car. He quickly jumped
from his Matazal Dirt Works car and looked over the badly damaged car. Also
involved in the crash were Mike Martin, Ben Gregg and Nathan High, all of whom
were able to rejoin the field.
Wilkins was running sixth at the red flag but had punctured the right rear tire.
His crew made the change but the 2002 champion restarted at the end of the pack
in 17th. With the new
rubber he had the fans attention as he quickly passed three cars but the passes
were wiped out when Smith spun and was hit by Willy Gromach. Both cars were
through for the night. While
Wilkins had the fastest car on the track and drove back to ninth,
the battle for the lead heated up as Davis ran nose to tail with Miller.
He made a hard charge on the final lap but the night belonged to Miller.
Pelkey, who had moved into the Total Seal car that had been driven by Joey
Moriarity, gave it a good ride and the 1997 champion brought it home in third.
Jeff Slinkard was never out of the top five and was fourth at the finish line
ahead of six time champion Ricky Johnson. R.J.
Johnson was the hard charger of the race as he came from 20th to
finish sixth. Behind him were Bugs Norbury, points leader Bob Ream, Jr., Wilkins
and Andy Reinbold who notched his first top ten finish of the year.
won his fourth heat race of the year as he was never headed and finished well
ahead of Wilkins who started sixth. J.T. Imperial who had earlier won his second
trophy dash of the year, was third and Gregg earned the other main event
transfer spot. Ricky Johnson led
the way in the second heat as he went wire to wire. Miller made a great drive
from the third row to take second ahead of Reinbold and Grombach. The
third heat produced a first time winner as Smith led Slinkard, Martin and Ream
to the checkered flag. Heat number
four gave main event berths to fourth starting Steve Sussex, Jr., Pelkey, Chuck
Buckman and Nathan High.
1. Marty Miller 2. Charles Davis, Jr. 3. Josh Pelkey 4. Jeff Slinkard 5. Ricky
Johnson 6. R.J. Johnson 7. Bugs Norbury 8. Bob Ream, Jr. 9. Eric Wilkins 10.
Andy Reinbold 11. Mike Martin 12. Nathan High 13. Ben Gregg 14. Mikey Kuemper
15. Chuck Buckman 16. Bernie Smith 17. Willy Grombach 18. J.T. Imperial 19.
Brian Hacker 20. Steve Sussex, Jr.
leaders: laps 1-25 Miller
1. Charles Davis, Jr. 2. Eric Wilkins 3. J.T. Imperial 4. Ben Gregg 5. Mikey
Kuemper 6. Jeff McDonald 7. Michael Bryan 8. Jeff Henry
1. Ricky Johnson 2. Marty Miller 3. Andy Reinbold 4. Willy Grombach 5. Tim Beal
6. Chris Bonneau 7. Brian Hacker 8. Dolan Hall
1. Bernie Smith 2. Jeff Slinkard 3. Mike Martin 4. Bob Ream, Jr. 5. Bugs Norbury
6. R.J. Johnson 7. Paul Norbury 8.
Buddy Earle 9. Dale Colegrove
1. Steve Sussex, Jr. 2. Josh Pelkey 3. Chuck Buckman 4. Nathan High 5. Scott
Pasmore 6. Mike Miller 7. Seainn Hendricson
1. Mikey Kuemper 2. Brain Hacker 3. Bugs Norbury 4. R.J. Johnson 5. Paul Norbury
6. Scott Pasmore 7. Seainn Hendricson 8. Buddy Earle 9. Dolan Hall 10. Tim Beal
11. Michael Bryan 12. Chris Bonneau 13. Jeff McDonald 14. Mike Miller 15. Dale
1. J.T. Imperial 2. Eric Wilkins 3. Ricky Johnson 4. Bob Ream, Jr.