HENRY WAS UNMOVEABLE IN HIS SPRINT CAR WIN
by Windy McDonald
Phoenix, AZ (May 14)... Jeff Henry, Rick Ward and Eric Wilkins shared
the winner’s circle Saturday night at Manzanita Speedway. Henry won in the
Arizona Sprint Car Associtation Sprints, Ward took the Dirt Modified feature and
Wilkins topped the field in the Midgets.
Jeff Henry, whose previous Arizona Sprint Car Association win came on April 12,
2003 , had the low groove on Manzanita’s Speedway and even though” I heard
them and I saw them trying to make the outside work but I wasn’t about to
move,” he said. It was the right decision but Henry said he was glad to
see the white flag.” I knew someone was coming”.
He was correct. It was a hard charging Mike Lesle who had driven from 15th to
second and was closing fast. He ran out of laps.
There will be no asterick beside this win. Henry earned it. “It would have
been better if I could have raced Jeremy (referring to Jeremy Sherman who had
been suspended by the ASCA board) but at least the car was there and Bobby Ream
was at the wheel,” he said in a post race interview.
Leslie, who has finished second in two other races savored this one. He had a
new car ready for the May 7 race but did not make it to the green flag as he was
knocked into the wall on the opening lap.
Bernie Smith drove his best race ever as he came home in third and edged Ream
which made the drive even better.
Ream drove the Fred Bryan sprinter which has carried Sherman to four wins this
year as well as three seconds and a third. Since moving into the car midway
through the 2004 season Sherman has won 11 times, has four seconds and a third.
He failed to finish only one race.
Ream said Sherman, a good friend had asked him to take over after being set down
for a race and fined $500. “I was glad to do it for Jeremy. It will keep the
owner’s points up.” Ream, who had his regular ride at the track put Midget
driver Darin Fala in the #8 car. Fala, making his first ever Sprint Car start
did not make the feature.
Josh Pelkey also expressed regret that Sherman was not running. He finished
fifth in the feature and moved to within striking distance of Sherman’s points
lead. He started the night 300 points in arrears but will be only 110 points
back when the sprints run the annual “Salute to Indy” 50 lapper May 28.
Rounding out the top ten were Brian Hacker, Jay Ervine, Nathan High, Thomas Ogle
and Bobby Boone. High replaced Chris Edwards in the Bob Bishop car after Chris
flipped hard in the Midget feature and stepped aside for Nathan who had
mechanical problems in the Jerry Pritchett car.
The 34 car field was divided into four heat races with the top four from each
heat making the feature.
Pelkey captured the first eight lapper with a win over Ervine, Boone and Ogle, a
first year driver. The second heat went to Jimmy Drinan over Larry Lloyd, Bruce
St. James and Michael Mundy, another rookie. Hacker topped the field in the
third heat with Smith, Andy Reinbold and Leslie getting the other transfer
spots. The Fred Bryan car remained perfect in heat race competition as
Ream outclassed the field. Henry finished second, Matt Rossi
third and Michael Bryan fourth.
The top four drivers in the 17 car semi main earned the final four spots in the
25 laps feature. Chris McArthur and Chris Edwards swapped the lead a couple of
times before McArthur took the win. Edwards was second, Mike Martin third and
Chuck Buckman fourth.
The standings were shuffled as several drivers had their best nights of the year
while others faltered. Ream moved up two spots to third while Henry’s win
vaulted him from seventh to fourth. Rossi dropped from third to sixth as he
finished 15th in the feature.
ARIZONA SPRINT CARS
Main Event: 1. Jeff Henry 2. Mike Leslie 3. Bernie Smith 4. Bob Ream, Jr. 5.
Josh Pelkey 6. Brian Hacker 7. Jay Ervine 8. Nathan High 9. Thomas Ogle 10.
Bobby Boone 11. Chris McArthur 12. Mike Martin 13. Andy Reinbold 14. Chuck
Buckman 15. Matt Rossi 16. Michael Bryan 17. Jimmy Drinan 18. Larry Lloyd 19.
Michael Mundy 20. Bruce St. James (25 laps, time: 9.42.53)
Lap Leaders: Lap 1 Drinan, laps 2-25 Henry
1st Heat: 1. Josh Pelkey 2. Jay Ervine 3. Bobby Boone 4. Thomas Ogle 5. Chris
Edwards 6. Shon Deskins 7. Art Garcia 8. Don Keesler 9. Mike Bonneau (Time:
2nd Heat: 1. Jimmy Drinan 2. Larry Lloyd 3. Bruce St. James 4. Michael Mundy 5.
Chris McArthur 6. Richard Ronco 7. Seainn Hendricsen 8. Marty Miller 9. Chuck
3rd Heat: 1. Brian Hacker 2. Bernie Smith 3. Andy Reinbold 4. Mike Leslie 5.
Davey Bateman 6. Tim Beal 7. Jesse Dunham 8. Nathan High (Time: 2:03.38)
4th Heat: 1. Bob Ream, Jr. 2. Jeff Henry 3. Matt Rossi 4. Michael Bryan 5.
Johnny Williams, Jr. 6. Ben Gregg 7. Darin Fala 8. Mike Martin (no time)
Semi Main: 1. Chris McArthur 2. Chris Edwards 3. Mike Martin 4. Chuck Buckman 5.
Davey Bateman 6. Ben Gregg 7. Shon Deskins 8. Art Garcia 9. Johnny Williams, Jr.
10. Jesse Dunham 11. Don Keesler 12. Tim Beal 13. Richard Ronco 14. Darin Fala
15. Seainn Hendricsen 16. Marty Miller 17. Mike Bonneau (no time)
Arizona Racemart Trophy Dash: 1. Bob Ream, Jr. 2. Josh Pelkey 3. Bernie Smith 4.
Andy Reinbold (Time: 1:00.66)
UNOFFICIAL ASCA POINTS
1. Jeremy Sherman
2. Josh Pelkey 1221
3. Bob Ream, Jr.
4. Jeff Henry
5. Mike Leslie 1015
6. Matt Rossi
7. Mike Martin 993
8. Nathan High 988
9. Jay Ervine
10. Bernie Smith 865