Manzanita SCRA Opener

Complete stats and info at: home.htm YELEY 16TH TO 1ST IN SCRA OPENER By Robert Mayson Phoenix, AZ.-February 1-The Sprint Car Racing Association...

Complete stats and info at: home.htm


Phoenix, AZ.-February 1-The Sprint Car Racing Association opened their season at Keith Hall's Manzanita Speedway Saturday night with the annual 30-lap "Salute to the Copper World Classic". While SCRA celebrated its 100th race, 20 Year-old J.J. Yeley thrilled a capacity crowd and TNN cameras with a dramatic win starting from the 16th position. Cory Kruseman intially looked like he was on his way to stealing the spotlight with a wire-to-wire win. That is, until a punctured tire on the final lap gave Yeley the opportunity to make up for a race that got away from him in similar fashion last season. "Tonight the luck came our way," said Yeley with a boyish grin. "Last year I had a tire problem with a couple laps to go and Cory Kruseman was the benefactor. Tonight, it was just the other way around. I felt sorry for Cory, but I'd rather be lucky than good, and we'll take this one." JE Piston Dash winner, Bobby Michnowicz, in his Mike Hasebe/MRT Timeless T-Shirts Stealth No.21, brought the 22-car field down for starter Steve Vodden's green flag, but it was Kruseman that jumped into the lead. Steve Ostling, Lee Brewer, Jr. and IRL Star, Tony Stewart, battled hard for third in the opening five laps as Rip Williams moved to fifth from his tenth starting spot. Yeley was on the move early as well, despite having brake problems. "We weren't real aggressive on the set-up," said Yeley, "and when we got from 16th to eighth in six laps, I knew we had a real good car." Defending SCRA Champ, Ron Shuman, darted the Skip Schuck Texaco-Havoline No.2 Ellis into the top-five on lap ten with a nice move around Steve Ostling and DURA-Light Fast Timer, Richard Griffin. Shuman's pass seemed to light a fire under Griffin because the 'Gasman' moved by Brewer, Jr. at the flagstand the following lap and then blasted underneath Shuman with a classic Manzanita slide-job in turn three. He then used the same move two laps later in turn one to push Stewart back to fourth. Kruseman had a full straightaway lead when Griffin relieved Michnowicz of second on lap 19. Troy Cline lost power along the front straight three laps later and was struck by a Rodney Argo. Amazingly, Argo did a 360-degree spin and continued on as the yellow waved for debris from Cline's car. As the field lined up for the restart, everyone was waiting to see if Griffin could get the jump on Kruseman. But when the green light flashed, it was Griffin that was surprised when Michnowicz drove by him for second. Shuman also tried a big restart move on Stewart for fourth, but instead allowed Brewer, Jr. and a charging Yeley go by. With five laps to go and Brewer, Jr. on his tail, Griffin again powered Ron Chaffin's Boot Jack Equipment No. 50 Ellis into second but not until Kruseman had built a huge lead. Kruseman accepted the white flag and was on his way to giving car owner Harlan Willis and early birthday gift when a flat right rear tire sent him over the turn one cushion and nearly into the wall. As Kruseman fought unsuccessfully to clear the racing surface, Griffin attempted to speed around him for the victory, but clipped the fence exiting turn two with his right rear tire. During Kruseman's yellow, Griffin's tire went flat and he was forced to join Brewer, Jr. in the pits for a tire change. With Michnowicz now in the lead, Yeley found himself in second place and with yet an another opportunity to win his SCRA first race at his hometrack. This time it was an opportunity not wasted, as Yeley darted Jack Yeley's Action Die Cast Distributors No. 4 Rich to the victory in their first race with their new sponsor. Michnowicz finished second ahead of Shuman. Williams was fourth in the Sharon Jory Kurb/King No.3 Stinger. John Scott had a fine drive in the Scott's Motorsports Haas CNC Machine Tools No. 83 S&S/Drake and finished fifth.


Pos Car#  Driver            Car Owner           Time
 1    50  Richard Griffin   Chaffin             19.218
 2    74  Mike Boat         Boat                19.307
 3     2  Ron Shuman        Schuck              19.373
 4    48  Lee Brewer, Jr    Cowherd Racing      19.470
 5   111  Troy Rutherford   Jordan              19.513
 6     3  Rip Williams      Jory                19.592
 7  20AZ  Tony Stewart      Martin              19.606
 8    12  Steve Ostling     Pratt               19.612
 9    11  Troy Cline        Cline               19.646
10    17  Jeremy Sherman    Ellis               19.681
11    21  Bobby Michnowicz  Hasebe/MRT          19.724
12    45  Cory Kruseman     Willis              19.739
13    83  John Scott        Scott Motorsports   19.756
14   15X  Billy Boat        Lawson              19.767
15     6  Mike Kirby        Geurin              19.829
16    33  Rickie Gaunt      Blair               19.884
17     4  J.J. Yeley        Yeley               19.900
18    98  Verne Sweeney     Sweeney             19.901
19    89  Mike English      M&M Motorsports     19.954
20    16  Tom Ball          MACH 2 Racing       20.000
21   31X  Sid Blandford     Blandford           20.045
22    70  Eric Wilkins      Moody               20.151
23   51A  Ricky Johnson     Johnson             20.180
24    19  Rodney Argo       Argo                20.208
25    95  Keith Williamson  Williamson          20.222
26    87  Jerry Coons, Jr   Owens Motorsports   20.256
27    35  Rick Ziehl        G&N Motorsports     20.309
28   11A  Dave Anderson     Anderson Racing     20.317
29    72  Jimmy May         May/Schuck          20.410
30    03  Rick Byler        Byler               20.444
31    4U  Mark Cassella     Stapp               20.445
32    97  Steve Venard      Venard              20.629
33  91SM  Steve Sussex, Jr  Carsten             20.876
34    81  Danny Ent         Ent Racing          21.123
35    46  Jim Blenkarn      Blenkarn           21.156
36    39  Cal Smith         Pratt               21.187
37    20  Jason Leffler     Franklin Spl        21.772
38    15  Marc Hart         Hart                22.715
39    30  Joe Custer        Scott Motorsports   23.532
40    22  Rick Hinrichsen   Hinrichsen          24.712
41    24  Chad Jones        Dakota Motorsports  25.913

1st Heat

1. J.J. Yeley 2. Richard Griffin 3. Troy Cline 4. Sid Blandford 5. Troy Rutherford 6. John Scott 7. Keith Williamson 8. Jimmy May

2nd Heat

1. Jerry Coons, Jr 2. Eric Wilkins 3. Verne Sweeney 4. Billy Boat 5. Rip Williams 6. Jeremy Sherman 7. Rick Byler 8. Mike Boat

3rd Heat

1. Ron Shuman 2. Rick Ziehl 3. Bobby Michnowicz 4. Tony Stewart 5. Mike Kirby 6. Ricky Johnson 7. Mark Cassella 8. Mike English

4th Heat

1. Rodney Argo 2. Cory Kruseman 3. Steve Ostling 4. Lee Brewer, Jr 5. Tom Ball 6. Dave Anderson 7. Rickie Gaunt 8. Steve Venard

JE Piston's Passing Master's Dash

1. Bobby Michnowicz 2. Cory Kruseman 3. Steve Ostling 4. Tony Stewart 5. Ron Shuman 6. Lee Brewer, Jr 7Richard Griffin 8. Troy Cline

C Main

1. Danny Ent 2. Jason Leffler 3. Jim Blenkarn 4. Cal Smith 5. Marc Hart 6. Rick Hinrichsen 7. Joe Custer 8 Chad Jones 9. Steve Sussex, Jr.

B Main

1. Mike Kirby 2. Rip Williams 3. Jeremy Sherman 4. John Scott 5. Rickie Gaunt 6. Mike Boat 7. Mike English 8. Ricky Johnson 9. Jason Leffler 10. Tom Ball 11. Dave Anderson 12. Rick Byler 13. Keith Williamson 14. Danny Ent 15. Steve Venard 16. Mark Cassella 17. Troy Rutherford

A Main

1. J.J. Yeley 2. Bobby Michnowicz 3. Ron Shuman 4. Rip Williams 5. John Scott 6. Mike Boat 7. Tony Stewart 8. Rodney Argo 9. Jeremy Sherman 10. Sid Blandford 11. Lee Brewer, Jr 12. Verne Sweeney 13. Jerry Coons, Jr 14. Steve Ostling 15. Cory Kruseman 16Richard Griffin 17. Eric Wilkins 18. Mike Kirby 19. Troy Cline 20. Billy Boat 21. Rickie Gaunt 22. Rick Ziehl

Laps Led: Kruseman  1-28
          Yeley    29-30

-- "A minor

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Tony Stewart , Jason Leffler , Billy Boat , J.J. Yeley , Cory Kruseman , Richard Griffin , Troy Cline , Mike Boat , Rick Ziehl , Jerry Coons , John Scott , Rip Williams , Ricky Johnson , Mike English , Troy Rutherford , Bobby Michnowicz
Teams Williams