O'Reilly ASCS Tuesday's Top Ten -- May 16, 2006 TULSA, Okla. (May 16, 2006) -- Sifting through the aftermath of seven American Sprint Car Series events over the past weekend, this week's installment of Tuesday's Top Ten sneaks...
O'Reilly ASCS Tuesday's Top Ten -- May 16, 2006
TULSA, Okla. (May 16, 2006) -- Sifting through the aftermath of seven American Sprint Car Series events over the past weekend, this week's installment of Tuesday's Top Ten sneaks in under the wire in at least some selected time zones. As always, TTT is comprised of ten random items of relevance or inherent lack thereof from the latest ASCS developments.
Move it along.
1. Yellow Brick Road -- That yellow brick road, associated with Oz and Kansas in general and the town of Liberal to be more specific, Liberal-ite Tony Bruce, Jr., has upgraded from the days of Dorothy and on Sunday night he finally captured a much-needed first career win in the ASCS Rocky Mountain Region vs. NCRA challenge at WaKeeney (KS) Speedway.JThis, just a night after the 21-year-old was the man to beat at Jetmore by all accounts, with driveline woes the only thing that could stop the familiar No. 18 car as he diced for the lead after racing forward from his tenth starting position.
There would be no celebration time for the Bruce camp after wiring the field at WaKeeney however, as the team was on the way to Pennsylvania to take in some action before hooking back up with the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour in Virginia at Wythe Raceway and Virginia Motor Speedway next weekend.
2. Vintage -- Some vintage ASCS stickers, dating back at least a handful of years, were spotted on the top wing of ASCS Gulf South racer Chris Sweeney's top wing this past weekend. Sweeney explained that, "I had those old side panels hanging in the shop and decided with a bunch of bull rings coming up, it might be a good time to put them on instead of using up new stuff." The panels survived the ASCS Mid-South vs. Gulf South weekend, with Sweeney maintaining his ranking of fourth in Gulf South points with a pair of 14th place runs.
3. The Rivalry -- The much-anticipated follow-up to the Sean McClelland-Kevin Ramey grudge match just didn't materialize at South Coffeyville's Mid-America Speedway on Saturday night.
McClelland dominated his heat race to earn a front row starting berth in the "A" Main, while Ramey had to advance to the feature by way of a "B" Feature win after struggling in his heat. Ramey did his part by charging from deep in the field to earn Hard Charger honors. But after challenging the now 14-year-old Trey Robb for third in the late stages, had to settle for fourth with a softening right rear tire as McClelland crossed the stripe second.
Attention shifts to the cozy confines of Creek County Speedway near Tulsa this Saturday night.
4. Carnage, Anybody? -- With seven of ten scheduled events successfully completed over the weekend, one would expect that more than a few major incidents would have taken place. But aside from a Larry Carter Sooner Region tumble in hot laps at South Coffeyville and a couple of minor spills at Jetmore, the weekend ran off in relatively smooth fashion.
That is, with the exception of the Heintz Performance ASCS Southern Tour outing at Mileback Speedway in Gray Court, SC, on Friday night.
In the Sprint Car debut atop the 3/8-mile oval, Bill Moore and Doug Day both left the ballpark in separate flyers with each destroying their entries. Veteran shoe Bronzie Lawson III of Southern Pines, NC, went for a wild ride as well at Mileback. The Lawson crew scrambled to piece things back together and the hard work was rewarded with a strong sixth place run the next night at New 311 Speedway.
5. 400 -- A total of 136 different drivers competed in the weekend's ASCS action, with 123 in action on Saturday night alone. And when newbie Justin Detze and defending ASCS Midwest Region champion Billy Alley checked in for Sunday's Rocky Mountain go at WaKeeney, it pushed the season total of ASCS competitor to the 400 mark.
Alley was left scratching his head after uncharacteristically struggling in his heat race. But the Mark Burch Motorsports team got the No. 1m dialed in for the rest of the night, with Alley picking up Hard Charger honors by racing from eleventh to third in the feature event.
6. Good and Bad -- After a brief Indiana stint that didn't quite pan out, Lubbock, TX, shoe Preston Peebles II was back in action for the ASCS Rocky Mountain Region vs. NCRA double in Western Kansas. Peebles turned in a strong performance by running third at Jetmore before the wheels came off at WaKeeney on Sunday. Peebles heat race was cut short when the right front tire rolled off the bead, then things took a major downward turn when a broken crankshaft ended his night early in the "C" Feature.
7. It's a Match -- The American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region established a new stand-alone car count record of 42 entries on April 21 at Oklahoma City's State Fair Speedway. The new record, established in the sixth year of Sooner Region competition, was then matched just three weeks later when a surprising 42 entries checked in at Mid-America Speedway in South Coffeyville, OK, on Saturday night. At least it was a surprise to some, although Lightning Wings man Jim Bailey knew early in the week that the turnout would be large when the lines started forming at his business.
It's expected that the 42 mark could be under the gun this Saturday night at Creek County Speedway.
8. Movin' On Up -- Recovered from recent knee surgery, 2005 Oklahoma Ford Focus Midget champion Jasiel Randolph has made the jump to the ASCS ranks for '06. In his '06 debut, the Tulsa racer survived a perilous South Coffeyville heat race that included a pair of spins and contact with the front stretch wall, then gathered his bearings and advanced several positions in his "B" Main before time expired.
9. Neck-and-Neck-and... - It just doesn't get much closer than the ASCS Southern Tour points race, with New Jersey's Scott McClaren and North Carolinians Johnny Bridges and Butch Pendergrass knotted in a three-way tie atop the point standings after this past weekend's double.
Who will come away with the series lead after this Saturday night's series debut at Lavonia Speedway in Lavonia, GA?
10. Lesson Learned -- Last October, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., was strong in his heat race and earned the pole starting position in the ASCS Sooner Region debut at Mid-America Speedway in South Coffeyville, OK. "Then I went and changed everything on the car and we were junk in the feature," Hafertepe explained of an "A" Feature backslide.
Fast forward to May 13, 2006, as the Sooner Region returned to Mid-America Speedway. Despite a disabled inboard brake, Hafertepe was fast once again in heat race action and earned another front row starting position for the feature.
But he wasn't about to make the same mistake he made last October.
"I didn't even touch the car. It was perfect in the heat race and we're not gonna outguess ourselves like last time here," Hafertepe explained prior to the main event.
And it worked, as Hafertepe led all the way, surviving a pair of close calls in lapped traffic and a bid from Sean McClelland to post his second win of the season and fifth career ASCS win.
Barbed Wire -- In the final leg of a 1,400 mile weekend, one can only imagine the spine tingling excitement of stumbling upon the Barbed Wire Capital of the World. That's right, little more than 60 miles to the southeast of WaKeeney lies the thriving metropolis of LaCrosse, Kansas, the undisputed Barbed Wire Capital of the World, housing the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum and more to boot. Good stuff, eh?
As sure as the inmates have taken over the asylum, Volume II, No. XI, of TTT has come to a close. As always, notes, comments, questions, suggestions and scathing critiques are always welcome 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.