American Sprint Car Series -- Tuesday's Top Ten TULSA, Okla. (July 26, 2005) -- The weeks just keep racing by and despite triple digit temps that plague much of the land, TTT rolls out once again in its regularly scheduled time slot.
American Sprint Car Series -- Tuesday's Top Ten
TULSA, Okla. (July 26, 2005) -- The weeks just keep racing by and despite triple digit temps that plague much of the land, TTT rolls out once again in its regularly scheduled time slot. And, as per tradition, ten random items revolving about the American Sprint Car Series have been compiled and blended in no particular order.
Without further ado, let us proceed.
1. A New Track Record! -- No, the American Sprint Car Series hasn't switched to the track-killing process of time trials. But a new track record was established at US 36 Raceway in Cameron, MO, on Friday night.
As the O'Reilly ASCS National Tour invaded US 36 Raceway for the first time, 35 sprinters passed through the pit gates. Never before had so many Sprint Cars converged upon Cameron, MO, for an event. In fact, Friday's 35 entries nearly doubled the track's big 410-ci special the week before, which drew 18 cars.
2. Let's Try This Again -- He's been unsuccessful in five previous attempts, but Gary Wright will get chance number six this Friday night at Oklahoma City's State Fair Speedway. That would be the chance to make it four ASCS National Tour wins in a row.
With Friday's win at Cameron, Wright established the eighth three-race win streak in ASCS history. Nobody's ever made it to four in a row. Wright's fifth career three-race win streak was halted earlier this season at State Fair Speedway when he was unable to dodge a spinning car on the opening lap and cut a tire.
3. Century Stuff -- Gary Wright is just two wins away from reaching the 100-victory mark in ASCS National Tour action after collecting win number 98 on Friday night at US 36 Raceway. It marked the 42nd different track upon which Wright has collected an ASCS checkered flag. Wright's 42 different tracks is more than the next entry on the all-time ASCS feature win list, which is Garry Lee Maier with 37 total wins.
The folks at Knoxville Raceway would probably love to see win number 100 come during the televised 360 Nationals next weekend (August 4 and 5), but Wright has a chance of getting there earlier with this weekend's events at Oklahoma City and Tulsa in addition to next Wednesday's Great Plains Shootout at NRP's I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, NE.
While Wright could reach win number 100 this weekend if he breaks out his broom, Kevin Ramey could start ASCS National Tour feature number 100 this weekend. Ramey, who stopped Wright's streak in May at State Fair Speedway, enters the weekend with 99 feature starts. Ramey will be the fourth to reach the century mark this season, with A.G. Rains, Darren Stewart and Cody Branchcomb also topping 100 this year. It could be another year or so before another driver reaches the 100 feature start mark, as the next active driver on the list is Sam Hafertepe, Jr., with 51 starts.
4. Yes Virginia, There are Sprint Cars! -- The American Sprint Car Series breaks new ground as the Heintz Performance ASCS Southern Tour converges upon Wythe Raceway in Wytheville, VA, this Saturday night. It marks the first ASCS appearance in the state of Virginia and the first time ever for Sprint Cars to pound the 0x00bd-mile clay oval.
Just wondering, but is Virginia the only state with a pair of 1/10-mile high-banked aluminum ovals?
5. Loose Wheels -- A couple of errant wheels went flying at US 36 Raceway in Friday night's feature. The first came when Darren Stewart's right rear wheel broke and flew off the car as be bounced to a stop off the top of turn four 16 laps into the race. The tire and wheel disappeared into the darkness, with a search party to be dispatched at daybreak.
Soon after, as Sam Hafertepe, Jr., flipped in turn two, Mitchell Moore's left rear escaped the rest of the car and forced Moore upside down as well. From Edgerton, KS, Moore had climbed to fourth before the wheel's departure in his first ASCS National Tour feature start since September of 2003.
6. Hittin' a Million Plus -- So you're an ASCS fan? Are you always checking the official site to get the latest info on your favorite driver, maybe see a picture or two? No need to worry, as you're not alone.
During the month of June (a month anchored by the 13th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek), the series official website, www.ascsracing.com, attracted in excess of one million hits for the first time in a one-month period. The site piled up 1,250,514 hits in June, running the twelve-month total for the period ended June 30, 2005, to 7.827 million hits.
7. A New Look -- A quick look at the top ten finishers in Friday night's ASCS National Tour event at US 36 Raceway revealed some different names than some have been accustomed to seeing. While Wright was a familiar face in victory lane, seven of the remaining top ten posted career best ASCS National Tour feature finishes with another matching a previous best.
Chris Morgan, Frank Brown and Jim Cameron each made their first series feature start and finished third, fifth and sixth, respectively. In his second National feature start, Kerry Grabill claimed fourth, with Mike Trent (seventh), Toby Chapman (ninth after starting 16th) and Bryan Grimes (tenth) also posting top career finishes. Eighth-place finisher Jon Corbin matched his previous best.
8. Crank Called -- Tony Crank surely thought he had the third and final transfer from Friday night's second "B" Main in the bag. But Mike Trent had an ace up his sleeve.
Trent had nearly climbed the front stretch wall in an earlier attempt to dispose of Crank, but the Sedalia shoe had successfully fought off the bid and was several car-lengths ahead of Trent as the white flag flew. Trent elbowed up however and hammered the cushion the final round to beat Crank under the flag by a narrow margin, leaving Crank on the sidelines for the "A" Main.
9. Rocky Mountain Tie -- Eric Miller has been through this before. And he's undoubtedly hoping for a different outcome this time around.
Last year, Miller and Keith Rauch engaged in a heated battle for the ASCS Rocky Mountain Region crown. The pair swapped the lead often and were even tied a time or two along the way. When rain washed out last season's finale, Miller found himself just four stinking points shy of the title.
Saturday night, Miller picked up his first series win of the season. In the process, he moved into a tie for the series point lead with Gary Taylor, who was forced out early. With a half-dozen point events remaining on the Rocky Mountain slate, no reason to believe this one won't go right down to the wire.
And while Taylor and Miller have positioned themselves as the primary contenders, Jake Pierson is lurking a close third in points and could very well play the role of spoiler.
10. Natalie's Wild Ride -- North Dakotan Natalie Sather went for a wild ride last week. And it wasn't even on a racetrack.
En route to Cameron, MO, in the middle of the week, another car ran a stop sign with Sather's vehicle in its sights. Sather tried to take evasive action, but there was no escape. Sather was tee-boned and her vehicle flipped off the road. Amazingly, Sather escaped with little more than a few bumps and bruises.
At the track, Sather muscled past WOW ace Randy Martin on the opening lap of her heat race and won it to claim the pole for the feature. Sather ran a strong third in the "A" Main until a spin after a caution flew sent her to the tail.
That should suffice for Volume I, No. XV, of Tuesday's Top Ten. Notes, comments, questions, suggestions and random items are welcome as always at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next week, any information you may desire regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.