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
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
ARIZONA SPRINT CAR ASSOCIATION
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
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
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
UNOFFICIAL ASCA POINT STANDINGS
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
SHELTON BEATS REAGLES TO MAKE IT TWO IN A ROW
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
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
ARIZONA MINI SPRINT CAR ASSOCIATION
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.
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