(September 16) Three years, three months and 16 days of frustration ended for the 1997
Arizona Sprint Car Association champion Saturday night when Josh Pelkey made
the high groove on Manzanita Speedway's one third mile track work and he beat
the odds on favorite Jeremy Sherman to get to the winners circle. His last win
came on May 31, 2003. Pelkey and the entire crew on the Joey Moriartiy
sprinter were estatic. Although winnless for that long period Pelkey has been
consistent. He ended the 2003 season ranked second in points, was sixth in
2004 and second again last year. He entered Saturday night's race again second
in points. Behind the two front runners were Mike Leslie, Nathan High and Bob
A false start led to a horrendous crash in the feature. The field
accelerated off the fourth turn but did not receive a flag. Some of the front
runners noticed that there was no traffic light on and slowed on the back
straightaway and Brian Hacker ran up over a wheel and did a series of end over
end flips. He was alert and concious but after an examination the paramedics
decided to transport him to a local hospital for observation. He was treated
Andy Reinbold had the lead on the restart and drove a flawless race until
his sprinter bicycled in turn three while working the 14th lap. His car did a
couple of violent snap rolls but he quickly climbed from the car without
Mike Leslie inherited the lead and led two laps but as he had done three
times earlier, Pelkey went by. Pelkey had taken second from Leslie on three
occassions only to have the pass wiped out because of a yellow flag. This time
is stuck as he led the 15th lap.
Sherman got by Leslie two laps later but Pelkey had dropped to the bottom
and lapped a couple of cars to give him all the cushion he needed to end his
Leslie maintained third with Nathan High fourth and Bob Ream, Jr. in fifth.
Rounding out the top ten were Mike Bonneau, Bernie Smith, Tom Ogle and Chris
Bonneau who was the hard charger with a drive from the inside of the 10th row.
Mike Martin got his name on the winners' list early as he beat Pelkey,
Reinbold and Mike Colegrove in the Arizona Race Mart trophy dash.
Leslie went wire to wire in the first eight lap heat race and beat Nathan
High who charged from his third row starting berth. Jeff Henry had an even
better drive as he started eighth and ran third. James Aragon was fourth and
Mike Bonneau, fresh off a top five main event finish the week before, took
Pelkey showed the power in the Total Seal sprinter as he held off Sherman
in the second heat. His time of 1:58.62 was one of the fast times turned this
year in heat race competition. Behind the two front runners were Ream, Seainn
Hedricsen and Matthew Rossi.
The final heat was won by Reinbold who was moved onto pole when Don Earven
scratched. That was more than enough advantage as Andy easliy beat Martin,
Hacker, Colegrove and Shon Deskins.
ARIZONA SPRINT CAR ASSOCIATION--1/3rd MILE TRACK
Main Event: 1. Josh Pelkey 2. Jeremy Sherman 3. Mike Leslie 4. Nathan High
5. Bob Ream, Jr. 6. Mike Bonneau 7. Bernie Smith 8. Tom Ogle 9. Shon Deskins
10. Chris Bonneau 11. Darrin Bolton 12. Mike Colegrove 13. Daniel Williams 14.
John Williams 15. Dennis Klob 16. Andy Reinbold 17. Matthew Rossi 18. Seanin
Hendricson 19. Mike Martin 20. Jeff Henry 21. James Aragon 22. Trey Dean 23.
Lap leaders: laps 1-12 Reinbold, laps 13-14 Leslie, laps 15-25 Pelkey
1st heat: 1. Mike Leslie 2. Nathan High 3. Jeff Henry 4. James Aragon 5.
Mike Bonneau 6. Bernie Smith 7. Chris Bonneau 8. John Williams 9. Daniel
Williams (8 laps, time:2:10.05)
2nd Heat; 1. Josh Pelkey 2. Jeremy Sherman 3. Bob Ream, Jr. 4. Seanin
Hendricston 5. Matthew Rossi 6. Tom Ogle 7. Darrin Bolton 8. Dennis Krob (8
laps time: 1:58.62)
3rd Heat: 1. Andy Reinbold 2. Mike Martin 3. Brian Hacker 4. Mike Colegrove
5. Shon Deskins 6. Trey Dean--DNS: Bruce St. James, Don Earven (8 laps, time:
Arizona Racemart Trophy Dash: 1. Mike Martin 2. Josh Pelkey 3. Andy
Reinbold 4. Mike Colegrove