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 Press Release

39th Annual Western World Championships at Manzanita Nov.9-11
by Windy McDonald

Phoenix, AZ (November 6) Dave Darland is heading into this weekend's 39th Annual Checker Auto Parts/Budweiser Western World Championships at Manzanita Speedway with a full head of steam, just as he did last year. Darland won the 2005 Oval Nationals at Perris Auto Speedway and then followed it up with a win in the 2005 Western. He repeated his win in the Oval Nationals Saturday night and with the momentum again on his side he will be among the favorites to repeat again in the Western.

Darland enters the Western, which gets underway Thursday night, ranked third in the USAC National Sprint Car chase and has little chance of overtaking the Tony Stewart Racing team mates, Josh Wise and Levi Jones. While Jones, the defending national champion champion is within reach, Wise who has a commanding 87 point lead over his team mate and Darland has an insurmountable 142 deficit.

Bud Kaeding has had the most success in recent Westerns and has to be considered one of the favorites. He crashed on the last lap while leading the 2001 race, won it in 2002, finished a close second to Tony Elliott in 2003, won again in 2004 and was trying to chase Darland down when his car quit on the final lap.

In addition to being a USAC national sprint car points race the Western will also play a part in crowning the USAC/CRA champion. Last year Damion Gardner cinched the title when he won the Friday night portion of the Western. This year it could be Cory Kruseman who pulls away. Following the Oval Nationals where Kruseman ran finished third the first night, last the second night and fourth in the finale he holds an 82 point lead over Gardner who lost ground by finishing 24th, sixth ands 15th.

While the USAC/CRA races will be run on Manzy's famed half mile track a large field of 360 c.i sprinters will be on the one third mile oval. Several USAC drivers will be running both divisions and and the local forces have not won the Parker Store 360 Western since Jeremy Sherman pulled it off in both 2002 and 2003.

Josh Ford and Cory Kruseman battled down to the wire in 2004 and beat Kruseman on the final lap. Last year Josh Pelkey came close to getting a win for the Arizona sprint car regulars as he and Kruseman battled virtually side by side after the only yellow flag with four laps completed. That made many cars finish a lap down and Pelkey got held up in traffic allowing Kruseman to take the win.

Joining Ford and Kruseman pulling double duty USAC drivers Levi Jones, Bill Rose, Charles Davis, Jr., R.J. Johnson, Dave Darland, Danny Sheridan, Jesse Hockett, Johnny Rodriquez and Jon Stanbrough will be challengers in the 360 field.

Local drivers participating in both divisions include two time Arizona Sprint Car Association champion Jeremy Sherman, fourth ranked Mike Leslie, fifth ranked Nathan High and Bruce St. James.

The format will be the same as the highly successful show last year. The USAC/CRA cars will all run full shows Thursday and Friday and use the points earned both nights to set the field for the Saturday night finals. Half of the 360 field will run their qualiying heats and main event on Thursday and the rest of the field will do the same on Friday night.

The theme for the 39th running of the Western will, quite appropiately be "Go Western".


0 Nathan High Goodyear, AZ
02 Matthew Rossi Peoria, AZ
2a Rickie Gaunt Torrance, CA
2az Jesse Hockett Warsaw, MO
2b Matt Neely
2h Dickie Gaines Paraadise, Island, IN
3 Rip Williams Yorba Linda, CA
4 Tony Jones Norco, CA
6 J.T. Imperial Mesa, AZ
7 Critter Malone Speedway, IN
7 Johnny Rodriguez Elk Grove, CA
7k Bruce St. James Phoenix, AZ
7w Tracy Hines New Castle, IN
8a Charles Davis, Jr. Buckeye, AZ
10e Shane Cottle Kokoko, IN
11 Dave Darland Lincoln, IN
11d Dustin Morgan Tulsa, OK
12az Casey Shuman Indianapolis, IN
15 R.J. Johnson Phoenix, AZ
15 Michael Trimble Morgan Hill, CA
16 Nadine Keller Norco, CA
18 Danny Sheridan Santa Maria, CA
20 Josh Wise Indianapolis, IN
21 Levi Jones Indianapolis, IN
22w Scotty Weir Marion, IN
38 Brady Short Bedford, IN
38 Cory Kruseman Ventura, CA
44 Mike Spencer Temecula, CA
44d Don Droud, Jr. Lincoln, NE
44s Jon Stanbrough Jamestown, IN
50 Damion Gardner Concorde, CA
59 David Cardey Perris, CA
61az Chuck Buckman Phoenix, AZ
66 A.J. Anderson Stateline, IN
67 Darren Hagen Riverside, CA
67k Jerry Coons, Jr. Tucson, AZ
71 TBA
73 Josh Ford Oxnard, CA
75 Jeremy Sherman Surprise, AZ
75z Rick Ziehl Las Cruces, NM
76 Mike Leslie Litchfield Park, AZ
85 Matt Stewart Winchester, CA
90 Chad Boespflug Hanford, CA
90t Chad Boespflug Hanford, CA
92 Daron Clayton Sikeston, MO
94 Blake Miller Yorba Linda, CA
97 Brandon Lane Gilbert, AZ
97m Bret Mellenberndt Sioux Falls, SD


3 Mike Martin Phoenix, AZ
4c Bryan Swinehart Prescott, AZ
5 Nathan High Goodyear, AZ
5d Shon Deskins Waddell, AZ
5h Dennis Krob Pearl City, HI
6r Scott Oliver Phoenix, AZ
7k Bruce St. James Phoenix, AZ
8 Bob Ream, Jr. Glendale, AZ
9x Kelly Denison Albuquerque, NM
10 Danny Sheridan Santa Maria, CA
11 Seanin Hendricsen Glendale, AZ
12 Jeff Henry Glendale, AZ
14 Bernie Smith Glendale, AZ
15 R.J. Johnson Phoenix, AZ
17 Mike Martin Phoenix, AZ
19 Andy Reinbold Chandler, AZ
20 Michael Colegrove Phoenix, AZ
20L Mikey Kuemper Phoenix, AZ
21 Cory Kruseman Ventura, Ca
21 Keith Rauch Denver, CO
27 Levi Jones Indianapolis, IN
30 Chad Boat Phoenix, AZ
31 Brian Hacker Surprise, AZ
32 Jesse Hockett Warsaw, MO
34 Daniel Williams Glendale, AZ
35 Jeff Oliver Perris, CA
42 Steve Sandrolini Chandler, AZ
45 Dennis Rodriguez Camarillo, CA
48 Thomas Ogle Cottonwood, AZ
54 TBA
55 Tony Everhart El Cajon, CA
55 Dave Darland Lincoln, IN
57 Shane Golobic Fremont, CA
61 Darrin Bolton CA
61az TBA
62 TBA
72 Tom Bonneau Phoenix, AZ
73 Josh Ford Oxnard, CA
75 Jeremy Sherman Surprise, AZ
76 Mike Leslie Litchfield Park, AZ
76a Art Mankel,III Dewey, AZ
77az Charles Davis, Jr. Buckeye, AZ
77k Charles Davis, Jr. Buckeye, AZ
78 Chris Bonneau Phoenix, AZ
79 Jon Stanbrough Jamestown, IN
91az TBA
94 Ronnie Clark Tucson, AZ
97x Derek DeMartino Las Cruces, NM
611 Bill Rose Plainfield, IN






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