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See You At The Races!!!

 Press Release

This weekend at Manzanita Speedway
by Windy McDonald

The American Sprint Car Series returns to Manzanita Speedway Saturday night and the Barnett Dirt Modifieds make a return trip to the half mile track, only their second race of the year on the big track. 

The sprint cars will again be on the short track and will again probably be a Sherman/Davis. Jeremy Sherman is 28 points ahead of Davis as they near the midway point of their season. Through the first nine races both Davis and Sherman have scored three wins, Casey Shuman has won twice and R.J. Johnson picked up the other win. While 28 points can be made up in one race, Sherman has yet to finish out of the top ten and the point system used by the ASCS makes gaining ground very difficult. The is four points difference between winning and finishing second. After that there is only a two point drop per position. For Davis to tie for the points lead he would need to win and finish 14 positions ahead of Sherman. If he ran second or worse he would need a 16 position edge to tie. 

Davis was crashed in the season opener and Sherman took the win and that gave him a 44 point lead. Since that time Davis has been the best but has gained only 16 points. 

The two have nearly identical records with Davis having 8 top five finishes to Sherman's seven. However Sherman has finished in the top ten in all nine races, one more that Davis. 

Johnson is ranked third but is only six points ahead of Nathan High who is overdue for a win. He has five top fives, the same as Johnson, but has only those five in the top ten while Johnson has seven. 

Josh Pelkey, the 1997 champion, has come close. In the last race he led briefly but gave way to Sherman and Davis in the closing laps. The 1998 champion, Bob Ream, Jr. seems to be regaining his form. He led 16 laps last time out and finished fourth proving that he can run with the leaders. Last year's top ranked rookie, Jeremy Reagles, has finished as high as second and could drive his Mopar powered sprinter to the winner's circle on any given night. 

Anthony Madrid carries a substantial lead over Jason Noll in the Barnett Racing Series for the Dirt Modifieds. He will still be leading the points chase by at least 45 points even if he is a no-show. That is not likely as Madrid seeks his 116th career win. Anthony has scored his 115 wins in a span of only 15 years. He got his first win in a bomber on July 16, 1993. He has won two dirt modified titles and may wrap up his third title long before the season ends.

Tony Steele has yet to win at Manzy but has been consistent and is ranked third ahead of the defending champion Ricky Thornton, Jr.

Noll won the May 10 race on the half mile track with Chuck Kuehl second ahead of Madrid. Terry Belcher, Jr. was the best in the field as he flew away at the drop of the green and built a three second advantage over the field in only five laps. However mechanical problems put him in the pits and he again failed to finish. 

The Friday night card features the AMA Modlites, Sport Modifieds, Factory Stocks and Bombers. Robert King, Jr. is the points leader in the Modlites and has posted two wins His teammate, Clayton Echols is ranked second. Jason Noll took his first ride in a modlite when he subbed for Bill McDowell in the May 16th modlite outing and he came home in front of the field. 

Ron Pole got a little breathing room in his effort to get his first driving title with a win last Saturday night after blowing an engine Friday night. He will carry a 31 point lead over Bobby Erdman when they take the track Friday night. Matt Martinez had a rough night and dropped from second, only three points back, to third, 36 in arrears.

Rookie driver Garrett Funk has been the biggest surprise of the year as he has won the last three feature races in the sport modifieds after finishing seventh in the season opener. Chris Rhein won the opener but has not been able to handle Funk whose father, Ron, is also a points leader. He leads the field in the Super Stock Touring Series. 

As usual the bombers figures to be a wide open affair. However if you were forced to pick a winner you would probably go with Mike Bray or Jeff Czoka. 

Races start each evening at 7:30 p.m. with the front gate opening at 6:00. Happy hour with half priced beer lasts from the time the gates open until the first race is on the track.






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