American Sprint Car Series -- Tuesday's Top Ten TULSA, Okla. (July 12, 2005) -- Like it or not it's Tuesday, and you know exactly what that means. Once again ten random items from this past weekend's slate of American Sprint ...
American Sprint Car Series -- Tuesday's Top Ten
TULSA, Okla. (July 12, 2005) -- Like it or not it's Tuesday, and you know exactly what that means. Once again ten random items from this past weekend's slate of American Sprint Car Series racing action have been gathered up and assembled in no discernible order for your reading ease.
We be getting' down with no delay...
1. Three Abreast -- Hats off to ASCS Midwest Region racers Chad Humston, Jason Martin and Billy Alley for going the extra mile in Friday night's Lawrence Ideus Memorial at Nebraska Raceway Park's I-80 Speedway.
Not content with the traditional three-wide salute to the fans, which takes place prior to the feature at pace lap speed, the trio orchestrated their own three-wide salute at breakneck speed as they barreled off the final corner with the checkered flag in sight.
"I don't know how they didn't crash!" exclaimed Knoxville Raceway and Chili Bowl mic master Tony Bokhoven, who took advantage of an idle Friday night to take in some ASCS action. Humston got the nod in the three-wide race for second, with Martin third and Alley fourth with fueling problems.
2. Baja Cracks Top Ten -- More than nine years after his first O'Reilly ASCS National Tour feature start, Johnny "Baja" Miller made career start number two Friday night at Paris Motor Speedway. "Baja" made the most of it by finishing ninth, his first career ASCS National Tour top ten. His first start came during Devil's Bowl Speedweek action on June 18, 1996, when he was credited with 16th.
3. R&R -- The Tony Bruce, Jr., team took a rare weekend off over the Fourth of July weekend, soaking in some rays at a Kansas lake. With at least 45 starts in 2005 already in the books, the Liberal, KS, team had earned a break after climbing to third in National Tour points.
And it appeared to pay off, as a rejuvenated Bruce solidified his leading Brodix Rookie of the Year status by finishing a strong fifth Friday night at Paris.
Bruce was spied after Saturday's I-30 Speedway hot laps picking the brain of Memphis vet Mike Ward. "I've gotta talk to someone that knows what the hell they're doing here 'cause we sure don't." Bruce must have gained something from the conversation as he earned the pole position for the feature while his mentor for the evening made a late pass of Sam Hafertepe, Jr., in the fourth heat to take the front row outside for the feature. "We actually had totally opposite setups, but it seemed to work for both of us," Bruce admitted afterward.
Bruce chased Ward much of the way before ducking underneath to take the lead and appeared to have his first career ASCS triumph in sight. A spinning Josh Lofton negated the move a half lap later however, and 20-year-old Bruce settled for his second podium finishing of the year, breaking up a cusp-of-the-AARP trifecta that had 46-year-old Gary Wright and 49-year-old Ward in first and second.
4. You Only Turn 21 Once -- And Colstrip, Montana racer Brent Kronfuss was ready to take full advantage of the landmark birthday in Saturday night's ASCS Rocky Mountain Region feature at Gillette Speedway in Wyoming.
Kronfuss held down fifth place much of the way before finding something up top. Kronfuss quickly made his way up to second and was reeling in leader Randi Miller when a late caution flew, setting up a two-lap dash to the stripe.
A snow mobile racing grad (a phenomenon generally reserved for the Rocky Mountain Region, definitely don't see too many of those in the Gulf South Region), Kronfuss made a bid up top, but the hearty celebration was not to be as he slid off the track and into the firing lane, where he watched the final lap. He was ultimately credited with a 17th place finish rather than the potential win.
When Rocky Mountain Region coordinator Jim Starr handed out the checks, Kronfuss kidded, "Do I still get paid for second?" Always with a witty retort at the ready, Starr responded, "Yep, you got paid for second in the street stock feature." Gotta love those sympathetic types don't ya?
5. Another One that Got Away -- Saturday night seemed to be the night, as Tony Bruce, Jr., and Brent Kronfuss both narrowly missed out on career ASCS firsts, as chronicled in the previous two items.
While Bruce just missed out in Little Rock and Kronfuss was teased in Wyoming, Foster Landon nearly snapped a three-year winless streak in ASCS Sooner Region competition in Saturday's Sooner debut at Thunder Valley Speedway in Fayetteville, AR.
Landon led the way for better than ten laps. But all it took was one little slip out of the preferred groove for former ASCS National champion Zach Chappell to take quick advantage. With his ARCA deal done for the time being, Chappell picked up his first win of the year while Landon settled for a season-best second place finish.
Afterward, the Landon camp got a kick out of watching pitbound pyromaniacs play with left over fireworks. It got really amusing when an errant popper lit up a bush along the pit fence. Watching the group scramble for water to put out the potential inferno had to have been a priceless spectacle.
6. Brown Barrage -- Just four nights after capturing his first career ASCS feature win in Monday's Midwest Region go at Park Jefferson, Missouri's Brian Brown backed it up by capturing the 16th Annual Lawrence Ideus Memorial at Nebraska Raceway Park's I-80 Speedway in Greenwood.
Brown's second win in four nights was worth $2,000 and a free right rear tire from Triple R Tires. It also reportedly marked the end of Brown's Bus probation in Knoxville.
7. You Say You Want Passing? -- Then an ASCS event at Little Rock's I-30 Speedway may have the cure for what ails you. No one-lane parades in Little Rock, as on Saturday night, Gary Wright became the second consecutive winner to come from eleventh in ASCS action at I-30 Speedway. Tim Crawley turned the trick from eleventh during the ASCS Speedweek finale in June that still has fans buzzing about a "best they've ever seen" race.
One night after battling past Kevin Ramey on a fast Paris oval, Wright put on quite the clinic at I-30 by charging from eleventh to take the lead on the 23rd lap then stretched his advantage to nearly a straightaway by the time Joe Clay, Jr., threw the checkered flag at the No. 9.
With the weekend sweep, Wright is just three triumphs away from the Century win mark in ASCS National Tour action. Wright also extended his streak of top-five feature finishes to nine. The series record for consecutive top-fives is thirteen, established by none other than "The Texan" over the latter portion of 1994 and early 1995.
8. 50 for 15 -- After a tenth-place run at Paris, 19-year-old Sam Hafertepe, Jr., made his 50th career ASCS National Tour feature start in Saturday night's main event at I-30 Speedway. The Sunnyvale, Texas teen's 50th career start netted a seventh place finish, his best outing to date in Little Rock even with Sam Sr. recording a rare absence when the #15 sprinter is in action.
Sam's celestial brother Kevin Ramey (the pair share the same November 8 birthday, separated by 16 years of course) is just one start away from becoming the 21st driver to make 100 National Tour feature starts. Start number 99 for Ramey resulted in a sixth place finish at I-30 after finishing second at Paris the previous night.
9. Jumping Jacob -- Aurora, Colorado racer John Jacob turned in his initial top-ten finishes of the season by taking eighth at Gillette then tenth at Sheridan. As a result, Jacob bypassed rookie pilots Josh Fellows and Joe Wagner to climb two positions to seventh in Rocky Mountain Region points.
Fifty-two year old rookie Bob Schaeffer of New Castle, CO, by way of Florida, still stands best among the Rocky Mountain rookie crop.JSchaeffer is fourth in points behind Gary Taylor, Eric Miller and Jake Pierson, and is just four markers out of third after a runner-up run Sunday night at Sheridan, where a city-wide power outage cut the feature to 15 circuits.
10. Hat Trick -- Not to be outdone by National Tour weekend sweeper Gary Wright, Randi Miller pulled off a Sprint Car rarity over the weekend. The term "hat trick", derived from that ancient and long forgotten sport of ice hockey, is applicable in this case, as Randi scored three feature wins over the weekend at Black Hills, Gillette and Sheridan. With the triple, Randi now has 36 Rocky Mountain wins dating back to 2001. Next on the list over that time span is 2002 champ Mike Dreiling with six wins.
That should suffice for this week.
Lucky Edition No. XIII of Tuesday's Top Ten Volume I has come to a long-awaited conclusion. Questions, comments, criticism, etc., is always welcome at email@example.com.
Until next week, any information you may desire regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.