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 Press Release

Sherman nips Johnson in ASCA sprints at Manzanita, Perry wins midgets
by Windy McDonald

Phoenix, AZ (April 29) Jeremy Sherman had to call on all the skills he has honed over the past 15 years and get just a little luck to win his third Arizona Sprint Car Association main event of the year Saturday night at Manzanita Speedway and unheralded Jeff Perry won a nail biter in the 20 lap Arizona Midget Racing Association feature.


Sherman started eighth in the 25 lap sprint car feature and was running second on the eighth lap with R.J. Johnson out front. Despite several yellow flags that kept the 24 car field bunched Sherman could not make a pass for the lead though he kept constant pressure on Johnson.

Sherman stayed on Johnson?s rear bumper and took the lead twice but each time a yellow flag flew and that moved the youngster back in front.

Most of the field was using the cushion at the top of the 1/3rd mile track and it started wearing thin in the late stages of the race. As he worked the 23rd lap Johnson slipped wide and that left the door open for Sherman who then held the lead for the final three laps. Johnson finished second and Nathan High was third. Ricky Hood who is being inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame this year used the bottom of the track to finish fourth.

The race for the win had the fans attention and few noticed as Bob Ream, Jr. used the bottom of the track as he came from 23rd to finish sixth. Mike Leslie also had a good finish after starting 22nd. He too used the low groove and ran eighth.

High came back from a hard crash in the last outing and climbed into Bob Bishop?s #62 for the first time and found a perfect fit that kept him running with the leaders and led to his best finish of the year.

Chuck Buckman finished fifth just ahead Ream then came Mike Martin, Leslie, Jeff Henry and Marty Miller. Miller was running second until Sherman tried a slide job that caused the 2000 champion to go wide and he dropped far back in the field but drove back to his third top ten of the year.

Johnson was available for the race as a result of having his USAC/CRA engine in the shop so he installed his 360 and stayed home where he almost pulled off what would have been an upset win.

The top four from each heat race went directly to the feature and the quickest eight qualifiers that transferred were inverted for the feature.

Johnson started in the third row of the first eight lap heat race and made a quick drive to the front. He won his heat over High, Steve Sandrolini and James Aragon. The second heat went to rookie driver Mike Colegrove who started on the pole and held off Sherman for the win. Buckman took third ahead of Bernie Smith. Hood started in the front row in the third heat and that was more than enough advantage for him to take the win over Martin who started seventh. Then came Henry and Chris Bonneau. The final heat went to Seainn Hendricsen who beat Brandon Lane, Miller and Jeff Slinkard.

Matthew Rossi, the quickest qualifier with a lap of 14.856, won the semi main which put eight drivers into the feature. Rossi went wire to wire in beating Robert Marfia, Jr., J.T. Imperial, Jay Ervine, Brian Hacker, Leslie, Ream and Josh Pelkey.

Pelkey entered the race ranked second in points but had a bad night. He had a fueling problem with the Total Seal car in his heat race and moved into a back-up for the semi main. He barely edged Andy Reinbold for the final transfer spot and then ran 15th in the feature.

The ASCA sprinters will be on Manzy?s half mile track for the first time this year next Saturday night and Dirt Modifieds will be on the short track.


Perry, whose previous best finish had been a seventh scored his first ever win in Midget competition with a dramatic come from behind win. He slipped past west coast driver Chris Rahe on the 19th lap for the win.

Before Perry made the late pass there was a multicar battle for the lead. John Sarna shot past pole sitter Darrin Bolton at the drop of the green and only yellow flags kept the field close. Sarna was being challenged somewhat by Bolton and Chris Rahe but had command until his car quit after leading the first ten laps.

Bolton took over and was on the cushion making Rahe use the bottom which was not as fast as the high groove. Rahe pulled even through the turns but Bolton was much quicker off the turns. Meanwhile Perry was watching the front running duo and patiently waited for a chance to challenge.

Bolton?s car gave up on the 16th lap and Rahe held off Perry, Mike Courtney and Paul Norbury until the 19th lap when Perry made the pass that netted him the win. Rahe crossed the line in second ahead of Mike Courtney who started tenth, Paul Norbury and super rookie Mike Colegrove. Rounding out the top ten were Bob Ream, Jr., Dustin Burkhart, C.J. Sarna and Mike Welker.

Paul Norbury went wire to wire in the first eight lap heat race with Nathan High second after starting fifth. Third went to Burkhart and Bugs Norbury, winner of the trophy dash, was fourth ahead of Colegrove.

The second heat was called after a hard crash when Dale Daly spun and was hit by his brother Dean. Dean?s car rolled bringing out a red flag. Ream went by the crash after the red was displayed and the AMRA officials disqualified him. However Perry was already in the pits and Mike Leslie did not start and that left only one car, Lonnie Oliver, running. The race was called and was scored the way they were running on the last green lap and that gave the win to Ream with Oliver second, Perry third and then the Daly brothers.

The final heat went to Bolton who led wire to wire. His win came over sixth starting John Sarna, Rahe, Courtney and Michael Marfia.


Main Event: 1. Jeremy Sherman 2. R.J. Johnson 3. Nathan High 4. Ricky Hood 5. Chuck Buckman 6. Bob Ream, Jr. 7. Mike Martin 8. Mike Leslie 9. Jeff Henry 10. Marty Miller 11. Mike Colegrove 12. Bernie Smith 13. Chris Bonneau 14. Matthew Rossi 15. Josh Pelkey 16. Steve Sandrolini 17. James Aragon 18. Jay Ervine 19. J.T. Imperial 20. Jeff Slinkard 21. Seainn Hendricsen 22. Brian Hacker 23. Robert Marfia, Jr. 24. Brandon Lane

Lap leaders: laps 1-22 Johnson, laps 23-25 Sherman

1st Heat: (8 laps) 1. R.J. Johnson 2. Nathan High 3. Steve Sandrolini 4. James Aragon 5. Matthew Rossi 6. J.T. Imperial 7. Dana Fite 8. Jon Taylor (Time: 2:02.04)

2nd Heat: (8 laps) 1. Mike Colegrove 2. Jeremy Sherman 3. Chuck Buckman 4. Bernie Smith 5. Robert Marfia, Jr. 6. Jay Ervine 7. Bob Ream, Jr. 8. Mike Leslie (Time: 2:01.28)

3rd Heat: 1. Ricky Hood 2. Mike Martin 3. Jeff Henry 4. Chris Bonneau 5. Ryan Linder 6. Jason Tanner 7. Andy Reinbold (no time)

4th Heat: (8 laps) 1. Seainn Hendricsen 2. Brandon Lane 3. Marty Miller 4. Jeff Slinkard 5. Brian Hacker 6. Johnny Williams 7. Josh Pelkey (Time: 2:06.56)

Semi Main: (12 laps) 1. Matthew Rossi 2. Robert Marfia, Jr. 3. J.T. Imperial 4. Jay Ervine 5. Brian Hacker 6. Mike Leslie 7. Bob Ream, Jr. 8. Josh Pelkey 9. Andy Reinbold 10. Ryan Linder 11. Jon Taylor 12. Dana Fite 13. Jason Tanner 14. Johnny Williams (no time)

Arizona Race Mart Trophy Dash: (4 laps) 1. Mike Martin 2. Jeff Slinkard 3. Jeremy Sherman 4. Matthew Rossi (Time: 1:00.69)

Fast Time: Matthew Rossi-14.876, 80.667 mph)


Main Event: (20 laps) 1. Jeff Perry 2. Chris Rahe 3. Mike Courtney 4. Paul Norbury 5. Mike Colegrove 6. Bob Ream, Jr. 7. Dustin Burkhart 8. Lonnie Oliver 9. C.J. Sarna 10. Mike Welker 11. Darrin Bolton 12. Bugs Norbury 13. Nathan High 14. John Sarna 15. Michael Marfia (no time)

Lap leaders: laps 1-10 John Sarna, laps 11-15 Bolton, laps 16-18 Rahe, laps 19-20 Perry

1st Heat: (8 laps) 1. Paul Norbury 2. Nathan High 3. Dustin Burkhart 4. Bugs Norbury 5. Mike Colegrove 6. C.J. Sarna 7. Tyler Brown (Time: 2:05.44)

2nd Heat: (8 laps) 1. Bob Ream, Jr. 2. Lonnie Oliver 3. Jeff Perry 4. Dale Daly 5. Dean Daly (DNS Mike Leslie)

3rd Heat: (8 laps). Darrin Bolton 2. John Sarna 3. Mike Colegrove 4. Mike Courtney 5. Michael Marfia 6. Mike Welker

Trophy Dash: (4 laps) 1. Bugs Norbury 2. Dustin Burkhart 3. Paul Norbury 4. C.J. Sarna (Time: 1:00.69)






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