(August 5) The Discount Tire American Sprint Car Series (Canyon Division)
returns to Manzanita Speedway Saturday night after a rare weekend off. The UMP
Barnett Dirt Car Modifieds will also be back at Manzy for the first time since
Both divisions have had a dominant driver this year with Anthony Madrid (Dirt
Mods) and Jeremy Sherman (sprint cars) far out front. Madrid is seeking a third
Dirt Car Modified title and Sherman is trying to become the first ever sprint
car driver to win four consecutive driving titles.
Sherman has won seven of the 16 races contested this year and holds an 80
point lead over Charles Davis, Jr. who has five wins. Unless Sherman fails to
finish two or three races it will be virtually impossible for Davis to surpass
Sherman. In the ASCS points the winner receives 150 points and the runner-up
gets 146. After that each position garners only two points more that the driver
behind him. Davis has been involved in three crashes and that has cost him
dearly. He would need to gain an average of ten points in each race. There are
only eight races plus the Western left on the schedule with six of them at Manzy.
At the present time three of the races will be run on the half mile track. USA
and CAR each have a race left on their schedules.
Madrid, who has won four factory stock championship, two in the super stocks
and one each in the sport modifieds and circle trucks. He has won five of the 11
races staged this year and, like Sherman, has a strangle hold on the
championship. He won the 2005-05 titles. He now holds an insurmountable 128
point lead over Jason Noll, the 2006 champ. Unless some races are added to the
schedule Madrid could take an extended vacation and still win the title. The
winner of a Dirt Car Modified feature receives only forty points and if Noll
were to win all of them he would still be eight points short. Noll has won
twice, both times on the half mile track and only one race, the Anniversary race
August 23, is on the big track. Other winners hoping for a second win this year
are Jay Foster, Ricky Thornton, Jr., the defending champion, and R.C. Whitwell.
The Factory Stocks, Sport Modifieds and Manzanita Bombers will be sharing the
one third mile track Friday night with the running of the Ward Gray Memorial.
Ward is remembered as one of the nice guys in racing and a true sportsman. The
first race honoring Gray was a 100 lapper for Modified Stocks on July 21, 1978.
Danny Ambrose took the win. In 1979 Buddy Murphy won the 100 lapper and Ricky
Belcher took the win in the factory stocks. Tucsonís Ivan Russell beat the
locals in 1979 in the 100 lapper.
The race was changed to twin fifties in 1981 and Phil Hertel and Buddy Murphy
shared the wins but Jerry McCurdy was judged the overall winner as he finished
second to Hertel and was third in the second race.
As far as can be determined the race has been off the schedulesince then but
hopes to make a triumphant return Friday night with Factory Stocks, Sport
Modifieds and Bomber racing for their share of victory lane.
Bobby Taylor, a two time champion, has made a late rush to the head of the
field and will carry a 33 point lead in the Friday night races and that just
happens to also be his car number. Lyle Askren, Jr. came from the back row to a
sixth place finish last week and maintained second in the standings. Askren has
won one feature this year. Nine different drivers have visited the winnerís
circle with Matt Martinez a four time winner closely followed by Anthony Madrid
and Ron Poe who have each scored three wins. Other winners thus far have been
Taylor, Jason Upton, Brent Radtke and Daren Olney. All of the winners are
currently ranked in the top ten and all but Madrid are expected to be in the
field for the Ward Gray race.
Rookie driver Garrett Funk continues to reign supreme in the Sport Modifieds
and has won all but three races this year. Chris Rhein has two wins and Kerry
Campbell has scored once.
Which ever Czoka drives the #12 Bomber will be the pre race favorite as both
Kevin and Jeff have scored wins in the car. Their main competition will probably
come from Gavin McGee, Aaron Oachs or Mike Bray.
Races each night will start at 7:30. Instead of a happy hour at the beer
stand the price per can has been dropped one dollar and will now go for $3.00