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 Press Release

ASCS Sprints Return To Manzanita Speedway
by Windy McDonald

(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 July 12th.

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 per can.

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