Taylor on Top of ASCS Rocky Mountain Region Heap TULSA, Okla. (September 22, 2005) -- For the second year in a row, the American Sprint Car Series Rocky Mountain Region championship came down to the wire. And this time, it was...
Taylor on Top of ASCS Rocky Mountain Region Heap
TULSA, Okla. (September 22, 2005) -- For the second year in a row, the American Sprint Car Series Rocky Mountain Region championship came down to the wire. And this time, it was Gary Taylor prevailing to capture the series championship, becoming the fifth different series champion in as many years.
Taylor and Eric Miller battled for the title throughout the year, with Jake Pierson in the mix as well much of the way. In the end, it was a timely sweep on the final weekend of the 19-event season that sealed the deal for Taylor by a narrow 20-point margin over Miller.
It was 21-year-old Pierson breaking out of the gates quickly in 2005, leading the points race over the early portion of the season. Pierson sat atop the point charts until the seventh event of the season on June 17, when Taylor took command.
Over the next several races, Taylor extended his point lead to 50 markers over Miller by July 9. That 50-point advantage evaporated over the next two events however, with most of the damage done on July 23 at Rocky Mountain National Speedway as Miller picked up his first series victory of the season. Combined with Taylor's DNF, Miller's victory moved the pair into a tie for the point lead with a half dozen events remaining.
With an August 20 win at Sweetwater Speedway in Rock Springs, WY, Miller extended his point lead to 40 points after his second feature win of the season. Miller escaped a pivotal Labor Day weekend in Kansas with a 28-point advantage over Taylor, while Pierson's title hopes were essentially doused when he missed the feature cut by one spot at Thomas County Speedway in Colby, KS, on September 4.
With his only victory of the season thus far a non-point event at Thomas County Speedway in August, Taylor saved the best for last. Taylor emerged from a wild battle for the lead to take the win at Black Hills Speedway on September 16, then charged to victory lane in the season finale the next night at Gillette Thunder Speedway.
While Taylor swept the series' weekend finale, Miller could only muster 13th and 11th place finishes. What had been a 28-point lead entering the weekend had turned into a 20-point deficit for Miller.
As the Snohomish, WA, native Taylor celebrated his first ASCS Rocky Mountain Region title, Thornton, Colorado's Miller settled for runner-up honors aboard the Miller Brothers Racing PJM Services/Fab-Tech No. 4 for the third year in a row. Hailing from Bellvue, CO, Pierson finished third in points for the second year in a row aboard the Pierson Concrete Construction No. 77d Maxim.
In his first full year on the ASCS Rocky Mountain Regional trail, Denver's Jeff Heffner raced to a fourth-place finish in points, with Aurora, CO, shoe John Jacob climbing the ladder to fifth in points after a tenth place showing in 2004.
Sixteen-year-old rookie shoe Josh Fellows of Loveland, CO, earned a sixth-place ranking, with Ft. Collins, CO, racer Scott Milan earning a third consecutive ASCS Rocky Mountain Region top-ten ranking by finishing seventh. Fifty-two year-old rookie Bob Schaeffer of New Castle, CO, held on to eighth in points despite missing the final four races of the season. Joe Wagner's first full season of Sprint Car racing resulted in a ninth-place ranking for the Denver racer, with Littleton, CO, rookie pilot Cyrus Perme completing the top ten.
A total of 125 different drivers competed in at least one ASCS Rocky Mountain Region event in 2005, with ten drivers earning trips to victory lane. Randi Miller scored four wins, with Taylor and Patrick Bourke taking three wins each. Eric Miller and Jason Martin each recorded two wins, with single wins snared by Jake Pierson, Johnny Herrera, Gary Wright, Danny Jennings and Dennis Park.
The 2005 American Sprint Car Series Rocky Mountain Region season consisted of 19 events at ten different tracks throughout Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.