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 Press Release

Sherman gets 96th main event win Sat. nite at Manzanita

(March 8) Jeremy Sherman drove into victory lane for the 96th time in the season opener for the American Sprint Car Series Saturday night at Manzanita Speedway. For Sherman it also marked his 68th win in the Arizona sprints.

Sherman started seventh in the 24 car field for the 30 lap feature and wrested the lead from Josh Pelkey on lap #12. As was the case in the last half of the 2007 season his main competition in the closing laps came from a car owned by Jim Massey but Saturday night it was Midwest driver Jesse Hockett who lost out to Sherman. R.J. Johnson led the first nine laps and crossed the finish line in third. 

Nathan High made a great drive from his sixth row starting berth to finish fourth ahead of Brian Camarillo. Bob Ream,. Jr. was the hard charger of the race as he came from 19th to seventh behind Chris Bonneau. The rest of the top ten were Justin Fisher, Shon Deskins and Thomas Ogle. 

The race was halted briefly when Ronnie Clark did a series of end over end flips while working the 23rd lap. Clark was not injured. 

Some new faces and several driver changes were evident in the season opener. Pelkey, who drove for Joey Moriarty the past few years, was without a ride when Moriarity opted to go late model racing. He found a good ride in the Ted Williams/Lucas Oil car and was running second until the rear end let go after completing 22 laps. High has moved into the Robbie Allen sprinter and had a great night in the car. He was high point man after the heat races and drove to fourth.

Carmarillo, a newcomer, found a fast groove on the bottom of the 1/3rd mile track and gained at least six positions in netting a top five finish. 

The heat races were lined up by the draw of a pill and points were awarded based on finishing position and passing points with the top 16, by points, earning berths in the 30 lap feature. Mike Leslie went wire to wire in the first heat with Charles Davis, Jr., Mike Martin, Johnson and Mike Bonneau earning their way into the feature. Getting transfer spots through the second heat were Jeremy Reagles, Hockett, Sherman and Fisher. The top four from the third heat were High, Clark, Mike Rux, Jr. and Jeff Henry. The fourth heat went to Chris Bonneau with Nick Auito and Pelkey transferring. 

The top eight from the ten lap semi filled the remaining open spots in the feature. Bernie Smith led the way with Deskins, , Ream, Ogle, Seainn Hendricsen, Colegrove, Camarillo and Scott Box filling the field. 

Andy Reinbold won his first trophy dash but was involved in an accident in the third heat and he was through for the night. 

In the co-featured mini sprint car feature Kiley Fellers chased down Dennis Parks, took the lead on the 11th lap and then used lapped traffic to pull away from the field. Dennis Carrier finished second in the season opener for the mini sprints followed by Parks, defending champion Kyle Shipley and Brandon George. Behind them were Rick Shuman, Mike Visser, Pat Wing and Ashley Robella.

The 22 car field ran three eight lap heat races which were won by Fellers, George and Martin. Kurt Stults, Kyle Shipley and Martin trailed Fellers to the checkered flag. Behind George were Robella, Wing and Shuman. Parks finished second ahead of Carrier and Josh Castro in the final heat. 

Visser beat out a six car field in winning the four lap trophy dash.

The season opener was a tribute to Jimmy Blanton who has been part of the racing scene for about 57 years (he is only sixty) and has participated in many ways to racing in general and sprint cars in particular. The CC and DD bleacher section was named for Blanton as one of the high points of the night. Numerous well wishers heaped praise on Blanton during intermission festivities. Included were Lealnd McSpadden, Calvin Landis, Ricky Johnson, Charles Davis, Jr., Rick Setser, Rex Foster, Phil Hertel, Bobby Martin Windy McDonald and Manzyís GM Steve Dunn. Track owner Bobby Martin presented a plaque honoring Blantonís many contributions to motorsports. 

USAC/CRA sprint cars headline the March 14-15 weekend schedule. As usual the sprint cars will be on the half mile track on the 15th. The USAC/CRA sprints will not make a return visit to Manzy until the Hall of Fame Vintage Classic in September. The AMRA midgets will share billing with the sprints and they stage their 2008 season opener. Barnett Dirt Modifieds, AMA Modlites and Sport Modifieds return in the Friday night outing.

SUMMARY 

AMERICAN SPRINT CAR SERIES

Main Event: (30 laps) 1. Jeremy Sherman 2. Jesse Hockett 3. R.J. Johnson 4. Nathan High 5. Brian Camarillo 6. Chris Bonneau 7. Bob Ream, Jr. 8. Justin Fisher 9. Shon Deskins 10. Thomas Ogle 11. Bernie Smith 12. Michael Colegrove 13. Mike Leslie 14. Jeremy Reagles 15. Scott Box 16. Mike Martin 17. Mike Bonneau 18. Josh Pelkey 19. Ronnie Clark 20. Nick Auito 21. Seainn Hendricsen 22. Charles Davis, Jr. 23. Mike Rux, Jr. 24. Jeff Henry

Lap leaders: laps 1-9 Johnson, laps 10-11 Pelkey, laps 12-30 Sherman

1st Heat: (8 laps) 1. Mike Leslie 2. Charles Davis, Jr. 3. Mike Martin 4. R.J. Johnson 6. Brian Camarillo 7. Ryan Linder 8. Bobby Taylor (no time)

2nd Heat: (8 laps) 1. Jeremy Reagles 2. Jesse Hockett 3. Jeremy Sherman 4. Justin Fisher 5. Shon Deskins 6. Seainn Hendricsen 7. Thomas Ogle 8. Scott Box (time-1:59.18)

3rd Heat: (8 laps) 1. Nathan High 2. Ronnie Clark 3. Mike Rux, Jr. 4. 5. Alex Pettas 6. Karl Jay 7. Andrew Reinbold (time-2:02.97)

4th Heat: (8 laps) 1. Chris Bonneau 2. Nick Auito 3. Josh Pelkey 4. Bernie Smith 5. Bob Ream, Jr. 6. Brandon Lane 7. Michael Colegrove 8. Leland Fuller (time-2:01.78)

Semi Main: (10 laps) 1. Bernie Smith 2. Shon Deskins 3. Bob Ream, Jr. 4. Thomas Ogle 5. Seainn Hendricsen 6. Michael Colegrove 7. Brian Camarillo 8. Scott Box 9. Ryan Linder 10. Brandon Lane 12. Leland Fuller 13. Alex Pettas (DNS-Andy Reinbold, Bobby Taylor) 

Trophy Dash: (4 laps) 1. Andrew Reinbold 2. Jeremy Sherman 3. Bob Ream, Jr. 4. Mike Leslie (no time)

ARIZONA MINI SPRINTS

Main Event: (20 laps) 1. Kiley Fellers 2. Dennis Carrier 3. Dennis Parks 4. Kyle Shipley 5. Brandon George 6. Rick Shuman 7. Mike Visser 8. Pat Wing 9. Paul Martin 10. Ashley Robella 11. Dallas Caldwell 12. Joshua Shipley 13. Josh Castro 14. Stephen Sanchez 15. Jeff Gresler 16. Jim Mattison 17. Travis Keesler 18. Derek Sell 19. Bryan Walter 20. Kurt Stults 21. Dustin Cormany 22. Tyler Keesler

Lap leaders: laps 1-10 Parks, laps 11-20 Fellers

1st Heat: (8 laps) 1. Kiley Fellers 2. Kurt Stults 3. Kyle Shipley 4. Joshua Shipley 5. Mike Visser 6. Stephen Sanchez 7. Tyler Keesler 8. Derek Sell (time-2:02.81)

2nd Heat: (8 laps) 1. Brandon George 2. Ashley Robella 3. Pat Wing 4. Rick Shuman 5. Jim Mattison 6. Tyler Keesler (time-2:02.47)

3rd Heat: (8 laps) 1. Paul Martin 2. Dennis Parks 3. Dennis Carrier 4. Josh Castro 5. Dallas Caldwell 6. Jeff Greszler 7. Ryan Walter 8. Dustin Cormany (time-2:01.44)

Trophy Dash: (4 laps) 1. Mike Visser 2. Paul Martin 3. Kyle Shipley 4. Brandon George 5. Josh Castro 6. Dennis Parks

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