Southwest Region Tucson preview

ASCS Southwest Region Fires Off Saturday at USA TULSA, Okla. (March 9, 2009) -- The winged forces of the American Sprint Car Series Southwest Region fire to life for the first time in 2009 this Saturday night with the series...

ASCS Southwest Region Fires Off Saturday at USA

TULSA, Okla. (March 9, 2009) -- The winged forces of the American Sprint Car Series Southwest Region fire to life for the first time in 2009 this Saturday night with the series season opening event at Tucson's USA Raceway.

Reigning series champion Rick Ziehl will have a stout cast of characters to contend with in the lidlifter, including a pair of drivers better know for their non-wing Sprint Car prowess.

Joining the ASCS Southwest Region winged ranks on Saturday's card will be Charles Davis, Jr., and Mike Martin, both of whom will likely contend for the series title while also vying for the non-wing Discount Tire Co. ASCS Canyon Region championship. There are no conflicting dates between the two Arizona-based Regional series.

Driving for Joe Morales in Southwest action, "Chargin' Charles" Davis has ranked second in ASCS Canyon points over each of the past two seasons. Martin ranked fourth in Canyon points last year.

Neither driver has extensive winged experience. With approximately 20 career winged Sprint Car feature starts, Davis hasn't waged winged war since the 2000 season. Martin has made four winged starts over the past three seasons, including a fifth-place ASCS Southwest showing at Manzanita last August.

No stranger to Tucson's winged Sprint Car circles, Rick Ziehl of Las Cruces added last year's inaugural ASCS Southwest Region championship to several previous titles including the top position at USA Raceway in 2007.

Ziehl took the 2008 ASCS Southwest crown by just 22 points over El Paso's Shawn Sander, with Cody Cambensy, Ben Gregg and Ronnie Clark rounding out the top five in points. Other top ten finishers included Joshua Williams, Jessica Van Dyke, Mike Rux, Jr., John Gaston and Steve Lohn.

Ziehl will be one of at least two reigning ASCS champions in competition on Saturday night, as defending ASCS Rocky Mountain Region champion Derrik Ortega is scheduled to be on hand. The Albuquerque shoe took last year's Rocky Mountain title at just 17 years of age to become the youngest champion in ASCS history.

Saturday's ASCS Southwest Region opener at USA Raceway goes green at 7:00 p.m.

The semi-banked, 3/8-mile USA Raceway clay oval is located east of Tucson off I-10 Exit 268, then 1.6 mile south on Craycroft Road, which turns into Los Reales. For more information, contact the track at 520-574-8515.

Based out of Tucson's USA Raceway, the ASCS Southwest Region is currently scheduled for 13 nights of competition. Ten of those events will take place at USA Raceway with another three cards mixed on atop Manzanita Speedway's 1/3-mile clay oval.

The American Sprint Car Series, in its 18th year of sanctioning Sprint Car racing events, brings the best of Sprint Car racing to nearly 100 different tracks throughout 25 states and Canada in 2009. Anchored by the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters, ASCS also consists of a dozen different Regions throughout the nation.

Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.

-credit: ascs

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Rick Ziehl , Mike Martin , Ronnie Clark , Ben Gregg
Teams Williams