ASCS Tuesday's Top Ten -- Special Thursday Edition ELK POINT, South Dakota (June 15, 2006) -- Race delayed, this week's edition of TTT emanates from the heart of Sioux-per Pig country and all variety of other Sioux references....
ASCS Tuesday's Top Ten -- Special Thursday Edition
ELK POINT, South Dakota (June 15, 2006) -- Race delayed, this week's edition of TTT emanates from the heart of Sioux-per Pig country and all variety of other Sioux references. Two days later than Tuesday, Thursday still ranks as a solid time to take a look at ten random items relating to the latest American Sprint Car Series happenings, arranged in no particular order as per the norm.
Get a bite.
1. They'd Settle for a Slow Down -- The popular verse most likely sung by ASCS Patriot Sprint Group competitors as Ontario, New York's Chuck Hebing continues to put the hurt on in his best impression of Leonardo DiCaprio in the first-run "Cobra" rendition of "Catch Me if You Can".
And nobody has been successful catching Hebing thus far, with only a tangle while challenging for the lead at Jamestown, New York's Stateline Speedway on May 27 preventing Hebing from being five-for-five in Patriot action.
Sunday night, the ASCS Patriots hit The Hill Raceway in Bradford, PA, for the only 0x00bc-mile oval outing of the season. It made little difference in the outcome however, as Hebing made it to victory lane once again, denying the valiant efforts of Chris Muhleisen in this case.
To ease the pain, Hebing spread the hurt around by whipping up on the Southern Ontario Sprints on Friday night and the Empire Super Sprints on Saturday, making for a solid weekend triple score.
2. Slow Down; Verse 2 -- Another driver has scored three wins since the past edition of TTT, and that would be the "Racin' Cajun" or "Cajun Sensation" or whatever you prefer to call him. Either way, it would be Jason Johnson. ohnson looped his mount while challenging Sam Hafertepe, Jr., for the ASCS Sooner Region lead at Paris Motor Speedway on Friday night and fell back in the field. There's not much in this world like a riled-up Cajun though, and it proved true as Johnson elbowed up and raced back into the lead to take the win.
Then on Tuesday night, Johnson made the most of his first visit to I-90 Speedway in Hartford, SD, climbing from 12th to make a white-flag lap move into the lead past Brian Brown and an ASCS-best seventh win of the year in front of none other than Sam Hafertepe, Jr., who also made the trek from Texas.
Between his Friday and Tuesday triumphs, Johnson swatted down the NCRA ranks at WaKeeney on Sunday. A blown hard-compound tire on the final lap at an abrasive NCRA Salina, KS, Saturday track is the only thing that prevents Johnson from carrying a four-race win streak into Thursday night's ASCS Northern Plains vs. Midwest Region North-South Challenge at South Dakota's Park Jefferson Speedway.
3. Smokin' -- With the familiar family-owned No. 50z parked for the time being, 2001 ASCS National champion Zach Chappell has teamed up with Terry Henry. After a rough heat race outing at Paris on Friday night, the Talala, OK, racer went to work in the "B" Main by charging from tenth to take the win despite heavy smoke billowing from his machine, which was soon after discovered to be the result of a missing oil plug.
Chappell wasn't done providing a Parisian show though, as he raced through the field in an entertaining feature by passing another eleven cars to finish fourth by the time the checkered flag flew.
Unfortunately, the damage had already been done, with an ailing engine scratching Chappell's No. 92 from Saturday's Cowtown card after hot laps.
4. No Shock Here -- When an opening lap tangle in Saturday night's second Sooner Region "B" Main at Cowtown Speedway depleted the field to an apparent three cars, Shane Creswell made a quick call. And Tina Creswell, making her first post-baby ASCS appearance, rejoined the field minus a right rear shock and riding on sheer hope alone.
With three cars set to advance to the "A" Main, Tina rode along behind the able mounts of young shoes Trey Robb, Cody Branchcomb and Dex Eaton, with her only hope being that one would somehow not make it to the finish. And luck was on the lady's side this time, as 14-year-old Robb made what would could only be termed a rookie mistake by spinning in the third turn on the final round with the race well in hand. And in turn, handing a transfer position to Tina Creswell.
Shane Creswell later summed it up best, "We should have bought a lottery ticket tonight."
Tina made the most of the free pass by climbing to 14th in a typically adventurous Cowtown "A" Main.
5. It's All About Winston -- Dain Naida announced before Saturday's ASCS Sprints on Dirt Card at Winston Motor Speedway that he and his wife, Amanda, were expecting a baby.
So, it seemed only appropriate that the waters somehow opened for Naida in the feature event, with the former SOD champion somehow missing a wild opening lap melee and climbing from 13th in the original starting grid to the pole position on the restart.
Naida still had his work cut out for him though, outdueling Joe Bares in the early rounds then holding off Brett Mann in the latter stages to score his first SOD win since July of 2001.
So, with a new baby on the way and big win at Winston, would it be safe to assume that the new arrival's name will be "Winston"?JSuppose we'll have that answer a few months or so down the road.
6. Hard Times -- A pair of Texas racers endured hard luck during the Sooner Region's weekend events, including Eric Baldaccini and Preston Peebles II.
On both Friday and Saturday night, Baldaccini lined up in prime transfer position from "B" Main action only to have errant rivals chop off the front of his mount in the opening two corners on both nights.
While Keller's Baldaccini suffered the indignity of front-end abuse, West Texas Lubbock racer Peebles was haunted by driveline woes from the outset.
Peebles missed his Paris heat after driveline failure in hot laps, then charged from the scratch position in the "B" Main only to fall one spot short at the checkered flag. A night later at Cowtown, Peebles had his heat race well in hand until the driveline failed once again.JUnable to make repairs before the "B" Mains, Peebles was a frustrated feature watcher.
Honorable mention on the Hard Luck front, an undesired recognition, goes to Foster Landon. Landon destroyed a car in Sooner vs. Mid-South heat race action at Little Rock's I-30 Speedway before melting down a motor in hot laps at Paris.
7. Just Plain Fast -- There's nothing fancy about Brad Knab's ASCS Patriot Sprint Group entry. No fancy graphics, no abundance of sponsors to clutter up the wing. Just a plain 'ol red car with the white number "38" on it.
But since missing the series season opener, Knab has made his presence known on the racetrack by finishing among the top ten in four consecutive features to climb into the top ten in points. Along the way, Knab has a pair of podium runs as well, including a third place showing in Sunday's go at The Hill in Bradford, PA.
8. What's All the Yelling About? -- So the casual observer may have asked himself at Saturday's Sooner Region event at Cowtown Speedway near Fort Worth. It was Cowtown's annual Yell-Off, with each half of the packed stands trying to out yell the other half.JCertainly and interesting and amusing way to get the crowd involved.
By the end of the night, the yelling was for 20-year-old Sam Hafertepe,r., who didn't let lapped traffic spoil his victory drive like it did just one night before in Paris, TX. This time, Hafertepe also brought an end to a streak of seven different drivers making it to victory lane in seven Sooner Region events at Cowtown. Hafertepe also won the season opener at Cowtown.
9. The Perfect Storm -- A full moon. One hundred degree heat.JAnd the fast, 0x00bc-mile high banks of Cowtown Speedway. Confrontation was inevitable.
And it happened when Brian McClelland and George White beat on one another under a caution period, finally coming to a stop in turn three for a quick discussion that was quickly put to a halt by ASCS official Will Hale. White rejoined the race, while McClelland was done for the night.
10. A First -- Veteran race chasers have likely seen most every kind of possible delay. But Tuesday's track-packer delay at I-90 may have been a first.
With the "B" Mains in staging and ready to go, the tractor hauling a packing device through turn two dumped the machinery in the corner. The roller rolled to the bottom of the turn, while the crated, filled with dirt, sat helplessly in the middle of the corner.JRacer-turned-promoter Lyle Howey II and track crew got busy in a hurry though, with the resulting delay minimal.
What followed was by all account one of the most entertaining features in recent memory at I-90 Speedway. Racing all over the track, a controversial pass for the lead that left half the crowd cheering and half booing (depending upon whether you were a Brian Brown fan or a Johnn Cressman fan) and then a white-flag lap pass for the lead by a driver from the sixth row that had never seen the track made for an ideal feature event.
Elk Point, SD: More than 200 years ago, in August of 1804 to be exact, Lewis and Clark set up camp for a night or two in what would later become Elk Point, SD. Now, a couple centuries later, Elk Point makes it back on the map via TTT. What are the odds that a couple hundred years from now, some other jackass will mention Elk Point's TTT appearance? Ya, I know, not gonna happen.
Volume II, No. XV, of TTT has reached a conclusion. As always, notes, comments, questions, suggestions and photo submissions of hopeful ASCS models are 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.