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See You At The Races!!!

 Press Release

By Windy McDonald

Phoenix, AZ (October 9) Bob Ream, Jr. pulled off a last lap pass in winning the 25 lap Arizona Sprint Car Association feature race at Manzanita Speedway Saturday night. Dustin Cormany scored in the Mini Sprints and Chad Boat topped the field in the Modified Midgets.
             Bob Ream, Jr., facing a 183 point deficit in his bid to earn a second ASCA driving title, let it all hang out as he made a last lap pass to win his sixth feature race of the year.  The win, coupled with a ninth place finish by the points leader Eric Wilkins, kept his hopes of adding to his 1998 title alive with only two races remaining on the ASCA schedule.

Ream proved early that he was among the  best in a record field of 38 sprinters  as he made a drive from seventh to first in the first eight lap heat race. Wilkins, who started fourth could do no better than third and Ream, who started the evening 183 points in arrears, cut ten points off Wilkins’ lead.

With two grooves still left on the one third mile track after 17 races had been run, the drivers were still able to race high or low in the 25 lap feature. Ream, as expected stayed low and methodically moved to the front.

Steve Sussex survived a couple of restarts to lead the first lap then gave way to Chris Bonneau who led for a lap before the 2000 champion Marty Miller took over. He led until the yellow flag flew when Wilkins, who started ninth, tried to squeeze below Nathan High for fourth on the sixth lap. He touched wheels with High’s car and spun out. That placed him 19th on the restart.

On that restart Ream drove low on the track and managed to grab the lead from Miller on the seventh lap. Miller continued to push the cushion and kept pressure on Ream until he gave way to Josh Pelky midway through the race.

Pelkey was on top and Ream on the bottom as they battled lap after lap. Pelkey drove past Ream coming off turn two on lap 22 and headed for what he hoped would be his first win of the year.

Ream stayed low and pulled even in each turn but Pelkey had the faster line off the turns. Ream drove it in deep into turn one of the final lap and had the lead down the back straightaway. A disappointed Pelkey had to be content with a second straight runner-up finish.

Miller drove from 11th to finish third after his brief lead early in the race. Nathan High, winner the previous week, had another top five finish with a strong fourth. The Johnson family followed with R.J. beating his father Ricky. Bonneau was seventh at the checkered flag and Bernie Smith celebrated his 31st birthday by beating Wilkins for eight. Tenth went to Mike Martin who started 17th finished tenth.

Bonneau finished second to Ream in the first heat and R.J. Johnson was behind Wilkins in fourth.

Sussex won his second heat of the year by beating Smith, Jay Ervine and Rick Byler in the second eight lapper. The race was halted almost before it began when Jeremy Sherman flipped after jumping the cushion on the first lap.

The third heat let Pelkey show his power as he chased down Ricky Johnson and finally made a pass that netted him his fourth heat victory. Also earning main event berths were Miller and Jeff Henry.

The fourth heat was a runaway for High who finished ahead of Ben Gregg, Ryan Linder and Jeff McDonald.

The 38  car field necessitated a consolation race which was run without a yellow flag and went to rookie driver Steve Sandrolini. Chuck Buckman started last in the posted ten car, ten lap race after he jumped the start and gave up the pole. He drove back to finish second and earned his way into the semi along with Sandrolini, James Aragon and Tim Beal.

The semi was disastrous for several drivers. Four cars bunched together as they raced off turn four and two cars started flipping. Seainn Hendricson flipped hard into the catch fence which did its job and kept the car on the track. At the same time Paul Norbury flipped. They both walked away and Norbury was able to rejoin the field.

On the third restart Scott Pasmore went end over end, landed on his wheels and was able to away.

The drivers got in two green flag laps before J.T. Imperial and Davey Bateman made hard contact bringing out the yellow just two laps into the race.

Mike Martin took the lead from Michael Bryan and stayed in front until the checkered flag fell on the 15 lapper. Brian Hacker, the pole sitter on the final restart, finished second ahead of Bryan and Buckman.

Nathan High scored his second win of the year in the Arizona Race Mart trophy dash by beating Ricky Johnson, Pelkey and Wilkins.

The Sprint Cars will be on the half mile track for the running of the October 16 Buddy Taylor Memorial and expect another large field as several New Mexico drivers figure to make the trip to honor Taylor who lost his life in a Sprint Car crash at Manzy in 1978.


Main Event: 1. Bob Ream, Jr. 2. Josh Pelkey 3. Marty Miller 4. Nathan High 5. R.J. Johnson 6. Ricky Johnson 7. Chris Bonneau 8. Bernie Smith 9. Eric Wilkins 10. Mike Martin 11. Jeff McDonald 12. Chuck Buckman 13. Brian Hacker 14. Ben Gregg 15. Michael Bryan 16. Rick Byler 17. Jay Ervine 18. Jeff Henry 19. Steve Sussex, Jr. 20. Ryan Linder

Lap Leaders: lap1 Sussex, lap 2 Bonneau, lap 3 Ricky Johnson, laps 4-6 Miller, laps 7-21 Ream, laps 22-24 Pelkey, lap 25 Ream

1st Heat: 1. Bob Ream, Jr. 2. Chris Bonneau 3. Eric Wilkins 4. R.J. Johnson 5. Seainn Hendricson 6. Davey Bateman 7. Brandon Lane 8. Chuck Buckman 9. Cole Houser 10. Buddy Earle

2nd Heat: 1. Steve Sussex, Jr. 2. Bernie Smith 3. Jay Ervine 4. Rick Byler 5. Michael Bryan 6. Mike Martin 7. Bobby Marcum 8. James Aragon 9. Tim Beal 10. Jeremy Sherman

3rd Heat: 1. Josh Pelkey 2. Ricky Johnson 3. Marty Miller 4. Jeff Henry 5. Brian Hacker 6. J.T. Imperial 7. Andy Reinbold 8. Art Garcia 9. Steve Sandrolini

4th Heat: 1. Nathan High 2. Ben Gregg 3. Ryan Linder 4. Jeff McDonald 5. Paul Norbury 6. Ashley Corey 7. Scott Pasmore 8. Chris McArthur 9. Jesse Dunham

Semi Main: 1. Mike Martin 2. Brian Hacker 3. Michael Bryan 4. Chuck Buckman 5. Tim Beal  6. Brandon Lane 7. Andy Reinbold 8. Steve Sandrolini 9. James Aragon 10. Bobby Marcum 11. Ashley Corey 12. Davey Bateman 13. J.T. Imperial 14. Scott Pasmore 15. Paul Norbury 16. Seainn Hendricson

Consolation Race: 1. Steve Sandrolini 2. Chuck Buckman 3. James Aragon 4. Tim Beal 5. Buddy Earle 6. Jesse Dunham 7. Chris McArthur 8. Cole Houser

Trophy Dash: 1. Nathan High 2. Ricky Johnson 3. Josh Pelkey 4. Eric Wilkins

Notes:  Jeremy Sherman flipped in heat #2 Seainn Hendricson, Paul Norbury and Scott Pasmore flipped in the semi main. None were injured







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