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 Press Release

Even a flat tie cannot stop Rossi in Manzy Sprints
by Windy McDonald

Phoenix, AZ (July 22) Matthew Rossi received bad news and good news Saturday night at Manzanita Speedway. Rossi was seeking a second straight win in the Arizona Sprint Car Association feature race and was running second to Mike Bonneau under a caution flag with 11 laps remaining in the 25 lap feature when he got the bad news--ASCA officials made him aware that his left rear tire had gone flat. Rossi elected to stay out and received the good news when he flashed under the checkered flag and became probably the first driver to ever win a sprint car race with a flat rear tire.

When the green flag fell on the restart following the lap 14 yellow the 21 year old driver went to work on Bonneau who had led the entire race. Rossi did not change his driving style and despite the flat tire, he went by the leader two laps later. Bonneau ran over the right rear on Rossi's car a lap later and faded to tenth.

To make his win even more remarkable Matthew had three former champions in pursuit. Bob Ream, Jr., driving the car that finished second a week earlier with R.J.Johnson in the seat, made several attempts to take the lead but Rossi was up to the challenge and Ream had to be content with a second place finish, his best since he won the season opener in March.

Jeremy Sherman, the defending champion and nine time winner this year, finished third after starting 11th, two rows behind Rossi and Josh Pelkey, the 1997 champion, came out of the fifth row to finish fourth with 14 year old Chad Boat in fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Jeff Henry, Bernie Smith, Nathan High, Mike Colegrove and Bonneau.

After doing no better than fourth in his heat race Sherman declined an offer of a $1000 bonus if he could win from the back row. It proved to be the right decision.

Colegrove earned the Weld Wheels hard charger award with a strong drive from 23rd to ninth and maintained his third place ranking in the points chase.

Rossi, who finished second in the race prior to his two wins has vaulted from ninth in the point standings to fourth, with July being a very good month. During the month he has also won two heat races and a trophy dash.

The heat races went to Ream, Henry and Pelkey. They got off to a bad start when six of the nine starters in the first eight lapper crashed before a lap was completed. The only drivers able to avoid the crash which started up front were Mike Bonneau, Boat and Chris Bonneau. Ream was involved but was able to restart as was Brain Hacker. Boat finished second to Ream with Mike Bonneau finishing ahead of his brother and Hacker. Sidelined were Mike Leslie, Mike Martin, Andy Reinbold and Colegrove.

The second heat was tame as Henry moved from third to take the win over Smith, Seainn Hendricsen, Sherman and Mike Mundy. Mike Rux was scheduled to drive the Lowell Carstens #91 but suffered mechanical problems in hot laps and was through for the night. The track was getting fast and Henry completed the eight laps in 2:03.71.

Behind Pelkey in the final heat were Justin Fisher, Rossi, Ben Gregg and High. The running time was 2:00.28. Brandon Lane was a no show as he had problems in the trophy dash that ended his night early.

Ream scored his second trophy dash win of the year with a win over Rossi, Mike Martin and Lane.

The sprint cars will take a much needed rest as their next race is not until August 19th when they share the one third mile track with the AMRA midgets.



Main Event: 1. Matthew Rossi 2. Bob Ream, Jr. 3. Jeremy Sherman 4. Josh Pelkey 5. Chad Boat 6. Jeff Henry 7. Bernie Smith 8. Nathan High 9. Mike Colegrove 10. Mike Bonneau 11. Mike Leslie 12. Brian Hacker 13. Chris Bonneau 14. James Aragon 15. Justin Fisher 16. Ben Gregg 17. Trey Deane 18. Mike Mundy 19. Andy Reinbold 20. Seainn Hendricsen 21. Dana Fite 22. Thomas Ogle 23. Mike Martin.

Lap leaders: Mike Bonneau laps 1-15, laps16-25 Rossi

1st Heat: 1. Bob Ream, Jr. 2. Chad Boat 3. Mike Bonneau 4. Chris Bonneau 5. Brian Hacker 6. Mike Leslie 7. Mike Martin 8. Andrew Reinbold 9. Mike Colegrove

2nd Heat: 1. Jeff Henry 2. Bernie Smith 3. Seanin Hendricsen 4. Jeremy Sherman 5. Mike Mundy 6. James Aragon 7. Trey Deane (DNS-Mike Rux)

3rd Heat: 1. Josh Pelkey 2. Justin Fisher 3. Matthew Rossi 4. Ben Gregg 5. Nathan High 6. Dana Fite 7. Thomas Ogle (DNS-Brandon Lane)

Arizona Race Mart Trophy Dash: 1. Bob Ream, Jr. 2. Matthew Rossi 3. Mike Martin 4. Brandon Lane


1. Jeremy Sherman 3127

2. Josh Pelkey 2443

3. Mike Colegrove 2274

4. Matthew Rossi 2168

5. Nathan High 2158

6. Jeff Henry 2138

7. Bernie Smith 2055

8. Mike Leslie 2023

9. Mike Martin 2011

10. Andy Reinbold 1730


Brandon Shelton won a second straight Manzanita Speedway feature as he went wire to wire in the 20 lap mini sprnt car main event and beat the points leader Jeremy Reagles who was seeking his ninth win of the year. Kurt Stults notched his fourth top five of the year with a strong third place finsh. Kyle Shipley had to win the semi main to earn a main event berth and then drove from 12th to fourth, just ahead of Dennis Carrier. Rounding out the top ten were Nick Iuto, Ron Copley, Paul Martin, Josh Castro and Tyler Keesler.

Jeff Greszler, the 2003 driving champion, had a front row berth for the first six lap heat race and made it look easy in beating Reagles, Keesler, Ryan Lindhorst and Ron Copley. The second heat went to the 1997 champion Dave Alexander, Greszler's team mate, as he also went wire to wire in beating Martin, Joey Grimes, Dallas Caldwell and Colby Coleman. The final heat for the 26 car field was won by Stults who also had a front row starting position. He beat Shelton who shared the front row with Carrier in third ahead of Iuto and Shipley.

Behind Shipley in the semi main were Copley, Castro, Daniel Williams, Coleman, Pat Wing, Sr., Dustin Carrier and Rick Alexander who all transferred to the feature.

Stults won the six car trophy dash by finishing ahead of Dennis Carrier, Reagles, Shelton, Lindhorst and Dave Alexander.

The mini sprints will be back on Manzy's short track August 4th when they share the track with the Barnett Harley Davidson Dirt Modifieds and the Desert Dwarf Cars.


Main Event: 1. Brandon Lane 2. Jeremy Reagles 3. Kurt Stults 4. Kyle Shipley 5. Dennis Carrier 6. Nick Iuto 7. Ron Copley 8. Paul Martin 9. Josh Castro 10. Tyler Keesler 11. Dallas Caldwell 12. Ryan Lindhorst 13. Colby Coleman 14. Rick Alexander 15. Jeff Greszler 16. Pat Wing, Sr. 17. Joey Grimes 18. Daniel Williams 19. Dustin Carrier 20. Dave Alexander

Lap leaders: laps 1-20 Shelton

1st Heat: 1. Jeff Greszler 2. Jeremy Reagles 3. Tyler Keesler 4. Ryan Lindhorst 5. Ron Copley 6. Daniel Williams 7. Josh Castro 8. Rick Alexander

2nd Heat: 1. Dave Alexander 2. Paul Martin 3. Joey Grimes 4. Dallas Caldwell 5. Colby Coleman 6. Steve Tellas 7. Chad Elmer 8. Ashley Robella 9. Mike Visser

3rd Heat: 1. Kurt Stults 2. Brandon Shelton 3. Dennis Carrier 4. Nick Iuto 5. Kyle Shipley 6. Brent Yarnal 7. Dennis Parks 8. Pat Wing, Sr.

Semi Main: 1. Kyle Shipley 2. Ron Copley 3. Josh Castro 4. Daniel Williams 5. Colby Coleman 6. Pat Wing, Sr. 7. Dustin Carrier 8. Rick Alexander 9. Steve Tellas 10. Chad Elmer 11. Dennis Parks

Trophy Dash: 1. Kurt Stults 2. Dennis Carrier 3. Jeremy Reagles 4. Brandon Shelton 5. Ryan Lindhorst 6. Dave Alexander






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