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See You At The Races!!!

 Press Release

By Windy McDonald

Phoenix, AZ (September 23)Manzanita Speedway’s regular season finale drew a total of 87 cars for the tripleheader with the Arizona Sprint Car Association providing a near record count with 37 cars in the pits. Jeremy Sherman took the sprint car feature and Eric Wilkins used a fourth place finish to win the 2004 driving championship.

Jeremy Sherman continued his winning ways in the Arizona Sprint Car Association feature at Manzanita Speedway Saturday night and Eric Wilkins used a strong fourth place finish in the season finale to win the ASCA driving championship for the second time.

Sherman has been perfect at Manzy since moving into the Fred Bryan sprinter in July but this, his sixth win at Manzy, came hard as he had to chase down J.T. Imperial and then use one of his patented “slide jobs” on the 18th lap to secure the win. Imperial was still close at the finish line with his best effort ever.

Wilkins needed only to finish 14th or better to add the 2004 driving title to the one he won in 2002 but was not content to run back in the pack and came out of the sixth row to finish fourth behind Marty Miller.

Wilkins, who missed one race early in the season, entered the season finale with a 105 point lead and was 97 points ahead of the 1998 champion Bob Ream, Jr. when he lined up two rows behind Ream for the 25 lap feature. Ream spun on the 12th lap while running fourth and then bicycled later and almost flipped. He finished on the lead lap in 17th. With Wilkins notching his 18th top five in his 22 starts he finished 167 points up in this, his final year as he had previously announced his retirement.

Most of the fans were pulling for Imperial to pull off the upset and the youngster almost got it done. The yellow flew several times allowing Sherman to rest on his rear bumper and J.T. was up to the challenge. He left the door slightly open for Sherman to get an inside line entering turn three and “I figured I would not get another chance so I drove it in as deep as I could and it stuck”, Sherman said in his post race interview.

“If I had to get beat I would rather for it to be Jeremy that did it”, was the way J.T. described the finish.

Marty Miller used a strong third place finish and a win in his heat raceto vault from tenth to eighth in the final standings.

For the second straight race R.J. Johnson had motor problems after winning his heat race and his father Ricky, a six time champion, gave up his car. R.J. had to start last in the 20 car field and was the hard charger of the race with a fifth place finish.

Rounding out the top ten were Nathan High, Josh Pelkey, Mike Martin, Shon Deskins and Justin Fisher.

The 37 car field put ten cars into the first heat race and nine in the other three making the job of getting into the feature by finishing in the top four tough on those drawing bad numbers. The cream rose to the top however as Nathan High came from tenth in the first heat to finish third behind Scott Pasmore, a first time winner, and Terry Belcher who was subbing for Paul Norbury. Seainn Henricson finished fourth after starting eighth.

R.J. Johnson started fifth in the second heat and put a Jeremy Sherman type slide job on Chuck Buckman to take the win. Davey Bateman finished third and sixth starting Steve Sussex was fourth.

The two contenders for the championship were in the third heat with Ream starting sixth and Wilkins lining up dead last in the field. Marty Miller went wire to wire with Ream taking second, Wilkins third and Jesse Dunham fourth.

The final heat went to Imperial with an impressive win over Jay Ervine. Sherman came from sixth to take third and Mike Martin came from last to fourth. The race was halted early when Charlie Fegan did a flip after contact with Sherman. Fegan was not injured.

Only the top four in the 15 lap, 17 car semi transferred to the feature. Josh Pelkey had the pole and was still in front at the checkered flag with Ricky Johnson second, Justin Fisher third and Shon Deskins fourth.

Chris Bonneau did a series of end over end flips off turn two but managed to walk away.

Jeff Henry scored his first trophy dash win of the year as he beat Ream, Sherman and Belcher.

The Sprints will now get ready for the Weld Wheels 360 Western World which is part of the NAPA/Budweiser Western on November 4-6. which also features USAC Sprints. The 360’s will be on the one third mile track while the 410 sprinters will race on the half mile oval



Main Event:
1. Jeremy Sherman 2. J.T. Imperial 3. Marty Miller 4. Eric Wilkins 5. R.J. Johnson 6. Nathan High 7. Josh Pelkey 8. Mike Martin 9. Shon Deskins 10. Justin Fisher 11. Chuck Buckman 12. Davey Bateman 13. Brandon Lane 14. Seainn Hendricson 15. Scott Pasmore 16. Jesse Dunham 17. Bob Ream, Jr. 18. Steve Sussex 19. Terry Belcher 20. Jay Ervine

Lap leaders:
lap 1 Pasmore, laps 2-17 Imperial, laps 18-25 Sherman

1st Heat:
1. Scott Pasmore 2. Terry Belcher 3. Nathan High 4. Seainn Hendricson 5. Josh Pelkey 6. Ben Gregg 7. Jeff Henry 8. Willy Grombach 9. Andrew Reinbold 10. Ashley Corey

2nd Heat:
1. R.J. Johnson 2. Chuck Buckman 3. Davey Bateman 4. Steve Sussex 5. Justin Fishser 6. Brandon Lane 7. Rick Byler 8. Brian Hacker 9. Jeff McDonald

3rd Heat:
1. Marty Miller 2. Bob Ream, Jr. 3. Eric Wilkins 4. Jesse Dunham 5. Ricky Johnson 6. Bernie Smith 7. Michael Bryan 8. Chris Bonneay 9. Lonnie Oliver

4th Heat:
1. J.T. Imperial 2. Jay Ervine 3. Jeremy Sherman 4. Mike Martin 5. Shon Deskins 6. Tim Beal 7. Steve Sandrolini 8. Chris McArthur 9. Charlie Fagen

Semi Main:
1. Josh Pelkey 2. Ricky Johnson 3. Justin Fisher 4. Shon Dekins 5. Brandon Lane 6. Jeff Henry 7. Tim Beal 8. Willy Grombach 9. Andrew Reinbold 10. Ben Gregg 11. Michael Bryan 12. Ashley 13. Steve Sandrolini 14. Chris McArthur 15. Bernie Smith 16. Lonnie Oliver 17. Chris Bonneau

Trophy Dash:
1. Jeff Henry 2. Bob Ream, Jr. 3. Jeremy Sherman 4. Terry Belcher


Eric Wilkins 4402
Bob Ream, Jr. 4235
R.J. Johnson 3672
Nathan High 3505
Ricky Johnson 3200
Josh Pelkey 3132
Jeff Henry 2838
Marty Miller 2715
Chuck Buckman 2687
Bernie Smith 2612






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