SWS: Boat clinches NM/AZ Sprint title

Boat virtually clinches NM/AZ Sprint title. Davis (2), Ziehl & Larkin score in "Labor Day Swing" Mike Boat of Phoenix, Ariz. has virtually clinched the 2002 New Mexico/Arizona Sprint Car Championship after thre "top-five" finishes in four...

Boat virtually clinches NM/AZ Sprint title.
Davis (2), Ziehl & Larkin score in "Labor Day Swing"

Mike Boat of Phoenix, Ariz. has virtually clinched the 2002 New Mexico/Arizona Sprint Car Championship after thre "top-five" finishes in four feature events comprising the "Labor Day Swing."

Boat finished fourth at San Felipe Pueblo, N.M. Friday night, then added a pair of seconds at Phoenix, Ariz. Sunday night and leads series runner-up Mike Martin by 132 points with an October 12 race at Las Cruces, N.M. currently the only remaining race on the calendar.

The "Labor Day Swing" opened at the brand-new Hollywood Hills Speedway in San Felipe Pueblo, N.M. Friday night and Joe Larkin, Jr. of Albuquerque, N.M. captured the 30-lap feature. He led all but two laps to beat Steve Nix, Rick Ziehl, Boat and fast qualifier Tom Ball to the checkered flag. Ziehl led laps 9-10 but Larkin regained the lead on lap 11.

Saturday night's race at Thunder Raceway in Show Low, Ariz. was won by Charles Davis, Jr., who passed Rick Ziehl on the 24th lap and led the final seven laps for the victory. Nix, Ted Lee, Mike Ziehl and Ron Clark trailed at the finish. Davis led the first two laps and Rick Ziehl led laps 3-23 before relinquishing the lead back to Davis. Boat encountered mechanical problems and failed to finish.

Sunday night's Manzanita Speedway program in Phoenix included two feature events. The first was the "Hal Burns Trucking Equipment "Shootout" which went to Rick Ziehl, who led all 20 laps to beat Boat, Davis, Martin and Ball. In the 30-lap feature which closed the program on the 1/2-mile dirt track, Davis caught Boat on the 24th lap and led the last seven laps to win over Boat, Rick Ziehl, Ron Clark and Marty Wilcox. Rick Ziehl was the night's fastest qualifier.

Lady driver Kaylene Verville flipped during Sunday night's semi but escaped injury.

USAC NEW MEXICO/ARIZONA REGIONAL SPRINT CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1. Mike Boat 557
2. Mike Martin 425
3. Rick Ziehl 417
4. Rick Sipes 396
5. Steve Nix 376
6. Mike Ziehl 351
7. Dave Burns 327
8. Steve Stone 289
9. Tom Ball 287
10. Charles Davis, Jr. 246

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Series USAC
Drivers Mike Boat , Rick Ziehl , Mike Martin