Sprints on Dirt Press Merritt preview

ASCS Sprints on Dirt to Merritt on Saturday TULSA, Okla. (August 6, 2007) -- Gearing up for the season championship stretch drive, the Engine Pro ASCS Sprints on Dirt presented by Victor Reinz take to Merritt Speedway in...

ASCS Sprints on Dirt to Merritt on Saturday

TULSA, Okla. (August 6, 2007) -- Gearing up for the season championship stretch drive, the Engine Pro ASCS Sprints on Dirt presented by Victor Reinz take to Merritt Speedway in Merritt, MI, this Saturday night.

It marks the third and final stop of the season atop the semi-banked 3/8-mile Merritt Speedway clay oval for the ASCS Sprints on Dirt in 2007.

With just seven nights of points racing remaining, Tim Norman of Warsaw, IN, holds the narrowest of leads as he pursues his third series title after claiming the ASCS Sprint on Dirt crown in 1985 and then again in 2005.

Norman, a June 1 winner at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, MI, holds but a four-point lead over Goshen, Indiana's Brett Mann. Gunning for his first ASCS Sprints on Dirt championship, Mann is the only driver to finish among the top-ten in all twelve ASCS Sprints on Dirt feature events completed this year.

Norman is next on the list with eleven top-tens. His only time outside the top ten was when he suffered a "DNF" at Merritt on June 9.

Behind the lead duo and just 44 points off the pace in third is Ben Rutan of Jerome, MI. Rutan is 50 markers ahead of fourth-ranked Gary Fast of Kalkaska, MI, with Bill Johnson of Linden, MI, entering Saturday's event ranked fifth.

The balance of the top ten includes 20-year-old Rookie contender Ryan Ruhl (Angola, IN), Joe Bares (Traverse City, MI), 17-year-old Rookie shoe Jake Stebner (Elmira, MI), two-time 2006 Merritt winner Ryan Grubaugh (St. Johns, MI), and Portland, Michigan's Dustin Daggett, who has a series best seven feature wins in 2007.

Daggett topped the June 9 ASCS Sprints on Dirt event at Merritt Speedway, with 15th-ranked Steve Irwin victorious at Merrittt on July 28.

Saturday's action at Merritt Speedway fires off at 7:30 p.m.

Merritt Speedway is located in Merritt, MI, ten miles west of US 27 on SR 55. For more information, contact the track at 231-328-4351.

The 28th year of action for the ASCS Sprints on Dirt consists of 20 championship events at ten different tracks throughout Michigan as well as Ontario.

The 2007 season marks the 16th year of sanctioning Sprint Car racing for the American Sprint Car Series. With a dozen different Regions in addition to the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series, ASCS will sanction approximately 240 nights of racing at more than 100 different race tracks throughout at least 30 different states and Canada.

Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.

-credit: ascs

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Series Sprint
Drivers Bill Johnson