Two late yellow flags allowed Jeremy Sherman to make up ground and it led to
his eighth Arizona Sprint Car Association victory of the season in Saturday
night's 40th Annual Hank Arnold Memorial Race at Manzanita Speedway. However,
had a vote been taken for the most popular driver after the checkered flag,
fifteen year old rookie sensation Mike Colegrove would no doubt have won hands
down. The 2005 mini sprint car champion had earlier won the co-featured midget
main event and was in command in the sprint car feature until the yellow
flags, one on lap 19 and another two laps later, allowed the field to close
When the lap 19 yellow was displayed, Sherman, who started eighth, was
running third and had a couple of lapped cars between him and second place
Bernie Smith. He got by the traffic as well as Smith, who had led the first 13
laps, before the yellow flew again. This time he was on the rookie's rear
bumper. He got a great jump on the restart and used a low line pass exiting
turn four for the lead on lap 22.
Colegrove led laps 14 through 21 in the 25 lap feature on Manzanita
Speedway's half mile track and finished second after Sherman passed him
following the second yellow flag.
Another youngster, nineteen year old R.J. Johnson, also had much of the
fans support with a great drive from 13th to finish a close third in the
sprint feature. In his five starts at Manzy (he races with the USAC/CRA when
they run at Perris) he has been no worse than fourth and has finished second
twice. Two time ASCA champion Charles Davis, Jr., another regular with the
USAC/CRA sprints, took time away from that series to compete and finished
fourth. Smith hung on for his second top five finish of the year. Rounding out
the top ten were Nathan High, Josh Pelkey, Justin Fisher, Mike Martin and Andy
Reinbold. Fisher was the hard charger of the race as he drove from 19th,
passing 11 cars on his way to the eighth place finish. Johnson and Jon Taylor,
the 13th place finisher, each passed ten cars.
Attrition was high in the feature as only 15 of the 24 cars that started
the feature were around for the checkered flag. Three cars were eliminated
with only one lap completed. Brandon Lane, last week's second place finisher,
Brian Hacker and Chris Bonneau were involved and all three of their cars were
taken to the pits by the wreckers.
Jeff Henry had a top ten finish going but ASCA officials had him black
flagged when he ran into Davis under the lap 21 yellow flag. Henry reportedly
thought Davis had roughed him up but realized later that it was not Davis who
was the guilty party. The infraction place Henry 15th.
The well prepared half mile track produced a new eight lap record as Jeff
Henry started on the pole and won the third heat by almost a full
straightaway. His time of 2:38.06 was a little over a half second faster than
the old mark of 2:38.62 set by Bob Ream, Jr. November 18, 2000. He averaged
91.107 mph in his record run.
Ream had the pole for the final heat and was running at near record speed
when the race was halted due to a horrifying crash with one lap remaining.
Marty Miller, fighting for a main event berth after starting last in the seven
car field, ran over the right rear wheel on Brian Hacker's car, did an end
over end flip and then cleared the 12 high fence in turn one as he did another
flip. He landed very close to 35th Avenue which runs alongside the track. The
fans were holding their breath and when pit announcer Rick Setser's voice came
over the p.a. with news that Miller was okay, their was a long, loud sigh of
relief. Miller, the 2000 champion was injured in a turn one crash in 2003 that
kept him out for the season. This one, managed to walk away from.
Lane caputured the trophy dash and became the 11th different driver to
claim a trophy in the first 11 outings of the year.
Colegrove got started right with a wire to wire win in the first heat as
Davis stole the show with a great drive from the back row to finish second.
Seainn Hendricsen ran third and Johnson earned the final main event berth with
a fourth place finish. High beat Sherman into the first turn of the second
heat and scored his second heat race win of the season. Jay Ervine finished
third ahead of Pelkey. Finishing behind Henry in his record run were Reinbold,
Shon Deskins and Lane. Trailing Ream to the finish line in the final heat
wwwre Smith, Hacker and Chris Bonneau.
Bruce St. James lost an engine in hot laps and Mike Leslie had mechanical
problems and also did not start.
Colegrove started on the pole in the 20 lap midget feature and was still in
front at the checkered flag with New Mexico driver Robert Marfia second and
Dustin Burkhart third. He won in only his fifth start in the midgets, joining
Chad Boat as winner's in their rookie season. Numerous yellow flags kept the
field close and Marfia kept constant pressure on the leader but the pressure
did not faze the rookie. Mike Welker, the defending champion, finished fourth
with 13 year old West Coast driver Kyle Larson coming from 17th to fifth.
Rounding out the top ten were Jeff Perry, John Sarna, Bugs Norbury, Lonnie
Oliver and C.J. Sarna.
Leslie's bad luck continued in the midgets as he came out of the back row
and was catching the leader's when Sherman crossed up and Leslie had no place
to go. He hit the front end of the Pat Fly midget being driven by Sherman and
rolled his car ending a frustrating night.
Sherman won the first heat in the midgets as he came out of the second row
to beat Burkhart, Mike Marfia, Brian Swinehart and Ken Perry. Marfia moved to
the pole of the second heat when Leslie scratched so that he could try to get
his sprint car ready for heat race action. He pulled away from the field as he
beat Colegrove into the first turn and went on to take the win. Colegrove was
second ahead of John Sarna, Larson and C.J. Sarna. The third heat wnet to
Norbury who used the high groove on the one third mile track to get his second
heat victory of the season. Welker finished second ahead of Stevie Sussex,
Jeff Perry and Oliver. Jim Voitel bicycled getting into turn one midway
through the final heat and did a series of hard barrell rolls. He walked away
from the crash uninjured.
Sussex won the dash. He started third but had the lead going into turn one.
John Sarna was the lead on the third lap but Sussex drove back by to get his
first dash win of the year.
Hank Arnold's famous "Twister", restored by Don Brown, was on
hand and was the pace car for the sprint car feature.
HANK ARNOLD MEMORIAL
ARIZONA SPRINT CAR ASSOCIATION (1/2 MILE TRACK)
Main Event: (25 laps) 1. Jeremy Sherman 2. Mike Colegrove 3. R.J. Johnson
4. Charles Davis, Jr. 5. Bernie Smith 6. Nathan High 7. Josh Pelkey 8. Justin
Fisher 9. Mike Martin 10. Andy Reinbold 11. Shon Deskins 12. Seainn Hendricsen
13. Jon Taylor 14. Kelly Dennison 15. Jeff Henry 16. Bob Ream, Jr. 17. Steve
Sandrolini 18. Jay Ervine 19. Ben Gregg 20. Matthew Rossi 21. Mike Bonneau 22.
Brandon Lane 23. Chris Bonneau 24. Brian Hacker
Lap leaders: laps 1-13 Smith, laps 14-21 Colegrove, laps 22-25 Sherman
1st Heat: (8 laps) 1. Mike Colegrove 2. Charles Davis, Jr. 3. Seainn
Hendricsen 4. R.J. Johnson 5. Dana Fite 6. Jon Taylor 7. Steve Sandrolini
2nd Heat: (8 laps) 1. Nathan High 2. Jeremy Sherman 3. Jay Ervine 4. Josh
Pelkey 5. Ben Gregg 6. Justin Fisher 7. Mike Bonneau (time: 2:39.94)
3rd Heat: (8 laps) 1. Jeff Henry 2. Andy Reinbold 3. Shon Deskins 4.
Brandon Lane 5. Mike Martin 6. Matthew Rossi (time: 2:38.06 new track record)
4th Heat: (8 laps) 1. Bob Ream, Jr. 2. Bernie Smith 3. Brian Hacker 4.
Chris Bonneau 5. Kelly Dennison 6. Marty Miller (no time, red flag)
Semi Main: (12 laps) 1. Mike Martin 2. Matthew Rossi 3. Justin Fisher 4.
Ben Gregg 5. Mike Bonneau 6. Kelly Dennison 7. Jon Taylor 8. Steve Sandrolini
9. Dana Fite (time: 4:07.97)
ARIZONA RACE MART TROPHY DASH: (4 laps) 1. Brandon Lane 2. Mike Colegrove
3. Jeremy Sherman 4. Dana Fite (time: 1:22.25)
UNOFFICIAL ASCA POINTS
1. Jeremy Sherman 2379
2. Josh Pelkey 1809
3. Mike Colegrove 1633
4. Nathan High 1554
5 Jeff Henry 1527
Bernie Smith 1527
7. Mike Leslie 1416
8. Mike Martin 1397
9. Matthew Rossi 1384
Marty Miller 1370
ARIZONA MIDGET RACING ASSOCIATION (1/3 MILE TRACK)
Main Event: (20 laps) 1. Mike Colegrove 2. Robert Marfia 3. Dustin Burkhart
4. Mike Welker 5. Kyle Larson 6. Jeff Perry 7. John Sarna 8. Bugs Norbury 9.
Lonnie Oliver 10. C.J. Sarna 11. Brian Swinehart 12. Ken Perry 13. Jeremy
Sherman 14. Stevie Sussex 15. Mike Leslie 16. Mike Marfia
Lap leaders: laps 1-20 Colegrove
1st Heat: ( 6 laps) 1. Jeremy Sherman 2. Dustin Burkhart 3. Mike Marfia 4.
Brian Swinehart 5. Ken Perry 6. R.J. Johnson
2nd Heat: (6 laps) 1. Robert Marfia 2. Mike Colegrove 3. John Sarna 4. Kyle
Larson 5. C.J. Sarna (DNS-Mike Leslie)
3rd Heat: (6 laps) 1. Bugs Norbury 2. Mike Welker 3. Stevie Sussex 4. Jeff
Perry 5. Lonnie Oliver 6. Jim Voitel
Trophy Dash: (4 laps) 1. Stevie Sussex 2. Dustin Burkhart 3. John Sarna 4.