American Sprint Car Series -- Tuesday's Top Ten on a Thursday... TULSA, Okla. (July 7, 2005) -- With the extended Holiday weekend, Tuesday has come and gone and Thursday has snuck up upon us. But in keeping with the true spirit of Tuesday,...
American Sprint Car Series -- Tuesday's Top Ten on a Thursday...
TULSA, Okla. (July 7, 2005) -- With the extended Holiday weekend, Tuesday has come and gone and Thursday has snuck up upon us. But in keeping with the true spirit of Tuesday, even if it is 48 or so hours after the fact, we'll roll out this week's edition of Tuesday's Top Ten, featuring ten random items of varying degrees of irrelevance from this past weekend's American Sprint Car Series racing action. And, even on a Thursday, TTT is assembled in no particular order.
On the up side, if Thursday seems like Tuesday, that means the day that will seem like Wednesday will actually, in fact, be Friday. And that means it's race time. How sweet it is.
Shall we proceed?
1. Gone Racing -- While the rest of the top contenders on the O'Reilly ASCS National Tour took advantage of an off weekend to work on tans at various aquatic locations, 19-year-old Sam Hafertepe, Jr., made his way down to Louisiana to pick on the Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores ASCS Gulf South Region regulars.
While rain interfered with Saturday's go at Thunder Valley Speedway in Union Hill, LA, where Sam's two previous career feature wins occurred, Sam scored career win number three on Sunday night at Fast Trax when Scottie McDonald popped an engine while leading.
Now with two ASCS Gulf South wins to his credit this season, Sam goes to Paris and Little Rock ranked fourth in National Tour points, just 26 points behind leading Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Tony Bruce, Jr.
2. Back on the Trail -- Look for 2003 O'Reilly ASCS National champion Travis Rilat of Forney, TX, to be back in ASCS action this weekend at Paris, TX, and Little Rock, AR, as his WoO ride, the Wright No. 35, heads back to California to "regroup". After making the opening four National events of the '05 season as well as a pair of Gulf South races and a Sooner outing, Travis has been absent from ASCS competition since late April.
3. There's Gonna be a Shootout -- For the third year in a row, the ASCS Gulf South and Sooner Regions will slug it out for bragging rights atop the famed clay of Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, TX, next Saturday night, July 16. The Gulf South Region will try to reverse the trend of Sooner domination that has taken place the first two times, with two-time Sooner Region champ Kevin Ramey ready to make a run at three-for-three Shootout status.
4. Wing Shuffler -- After scoring his fourth American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region feature victory of the season in an exciting last lap at Lawton Speedway, who could really blame Sean McClelland for jumping atop his wing in victory lane? The victory shuffle, or dance, or whatever it was, got the crowd going as well. It was the dismount however, that lacked somewhat in the skills area. The "slide" off the top wing and the ensuing metal crunch that came from landing on the nose wing, surely that's not how that move was choreographed? A few nights of practice in the shop and Sean will have the move perfected for the next win.
5. Inspiration -- When Toby Chapman drew number "49" out of a possible "50" at Monday's nights ASCS Midwest Region event at Park Jefferson Speedway, his pit crew decided it was time for some motivational tactics. Mired in the ninth starting slot of his heat race, he could read the words his crew had duct taped onto his dash: "Passing Points". Just a simple reminder, but it seemed to work fairly well as the Lincoln, NE, racer made his way past several rivals then finally battled past Brock Dump to finish fourth.
The charge from ninth to fourth was good enough to earn a third row starting position in the feature. With "Passing Points" out of the equation in the feature, a crew member tore off the back half of the tape, leaving just the "Passing" portion. After nearly challenging for the lead at one point, Toby settled for an ASCS career-best third place finish.
6. New Faces -- Several drivers made ASCS debuts over the weekend, beginning with Rance Stoll who joined the Sooner ranks at Lawton Speedway on Saturday night. It was widely believed that Stoll is the first "Rance" in ASCS history.
There were also several new faces at Monday night's Midwest Region Park Jefferson Speedway stop including Lee Grosz of Harwood, ND, Eric Lutz of Sioux Falls, SD, Mike Sandvig of Spencer, IA, and Justin Jacobsma of Hull, IA. The young Grosz fared the best of the newcomers by taking the checks in twelfth at Park Jefferson, while Jacobsma scratched from the feature after a heat race tangle.
7. Numbers -- Nearing the approximate midpoint of the 2005 racing season, 329 drivers from 28 different states have already competed in at least one American Sprint Car Series event this year. Including National, Gulf South, Midwest, Rocky Mountain, Sooner and Southern, 44 events have been completed at 29 different tracks throughout 13 state thus far in 2005, with 24 different drivers notching at least one feature win.
8. Another New Winner -- As the American Sprint Car Series made its first appearance at Park Jefferson Speedway in Jefferson, SD, on Monday night, it was only appropriate that a new face make it to victory lane. This time, is was Missouri's Brian Brown scoring his first career ASCS win and extending his ASCS Midwest Region point lead to just eight points over Lincoln's Billy Alley.
Brown became the tenth driver to score his first career ASCS win this season, with other newbies including Sooner Region point leader Sean McClelland, Gulf South Region point leader Ray Allen Kulhanek, Scottie McDonald, Jake Pierson, Roger Crockett, Jason Danley, Danny Martin, Jr., Mike Brecht and Steven Graham. Crockett is the only one to add his name to the National Tour victory register though, as the others have all come in Regional action.
9. I-80 Bonus -- The stakes have been upped for Friday night's ASCS Midwest Region event at Nebraska Raceway Park's I-80 Speedway. Local sponsors have kicked in an extra $4,500 in purse money for the 16th Annual Lawrence Ideus Memorial, with Friday night's winner to collect $2,000. Special Hard Charger and Hard Luck awards have been added as well, with the Hard Charger collecting a pair of VMAC front hubs and the Hard Luck driver receiving a pair of VMAC bird cages. All this in addition to the right rear tire that Triple R Tire offers up to each ASCS Midwest Region feature winner.
10. Three Mc's and One Dj -- Most certainly ardent American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region fans, the Beastie Boys must be beaming when they notice that the current top five in Sooner Region points includes three Mc's and one DJ. While older brother Sean has taken his share of the headlines by taking four wins and leading Sooner points, younger sibling Brian McClelland has quietly worked his way into the top five.
Along with the two McClelland's, Mustang's Kerry McAlister has climbed to third in Sooner points. The three Mc's are joined by one Danny Jennings, the 2002 Sooner Region champ who is currently a close second in points.
Cody Branchcomb is fourth in Sooner Region points, but it is unclear at this time how to work his name into a Beastie Boys bit.
To hell with it, I'm off to Paris.
The checkered flag has flow upon Volume I, Edition No. XII, of Tuesday's Top Ten. As always, scathing comments, ridicule and unrelated comments 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.