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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 second to Ream in the first heat and R.J. Johnson was behind Wilkins in
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.
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.
fourth heat was a runaway for High who finished ahead of Ben Gregg, Ryan Linder
and Jeff McDonald.
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
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.
the third restart Scott Pasmore went end over end, landed on his wheels and was
able to away.
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.
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.
High scored his second win of the year in the Arizona Race Mart trophy dash by
beating Ricky Johnson, Pelkey and Wilkins.
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.