Ashley Utts Ventura race notes 2004-03-07

Strong Start at Ventura For Rookie Racer Ashley Utts VENTURA, Calif. (March 7, 2004) -- Ashley Utts raced to a career-best 11th place finish in the 2004 season opener for Ventura Raceway's Pony Stock class. The 17-year-old was making the third...

Strong Start at Ventura For Rookie Racer Ashley Utts

VENTURA, Calif. (March 7, 2004) -- Ashley Utts raced to a career-best 11th place finish in the 2004 season opener for Ventura Raceway's Pony Stock class. The 17-year-old was making the third start of her career.

Utts started 18th and raced her way into the top 10 before the halfway point of the 20-lap race. A late-race battle for position cost her a top-10 finish. Her seven-position improvement represented the largest gain of the race. Her best finish before the season opener was 12th place.

"Wow, that was fun," Utts said. "I haven't raced since September and it felt good to get out there and mix it up with everyone."

Utts was one of seven rookies to compete in the first race of the season for the Pony Stocks.

"I had to start in the back and I was trying to move up," Utts said. "I got by a bunch of cars at the beginning, but it gets harder to pass cars when you go forward like that. I was working pretty hard."

The next scheduled race for the Pony Stocks at Ventura Raceway is Saturday, March 27.

Utts drives the Custom Printing-sponsored Ford Mustang. She represents the third generation in her family to drive a racecar, following her grandfather and both parents. Utts Racing has a total of 50 main event victories scored at racetracks around the Southwestern states.

-le-

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Series Stock car