O'Reilly ASCS Tuesday's Top Ten Ã¢^a" April 25, 2006 Lonnie Wheatley, TULSA, Okla. (April 25, 2006) -- The calendar pages keep on turning. Seven more days have passed and that means it's time for another edition of Tuesday's Top...
O'Reilly ASCS Tuesday's Top Ten â^a" April 25, 2006
Lonnie Wheatley, TULSA, Okla. (April 25, 2006) -- The calendar pages keep on turning. Seven more days have passed and that means it's time for another edition of Tuesday's Top Ten, entailing ten random items from the most recent American Sprint Car Series festivities.
Let's fire off the latest edition of TTT.
1. Boomer Sooner -- The first of three H.E. Bailey Turnpike weekends for the American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region brought record car counts to Oklahoma City and Lawton.
Friday's card at Oklahoma City drew a Sooner Region stand-alone event record of 42 entries, with Saturday's 37 entries at Lawton the most ever for a Lawton Sooner event. The previous best count at Lawton was 34 on May 1, 2004, when that night's scheduled National Tour event in Louisiana was rained out early, sending several National teams scrambling to make it to Lawton on time.
2. The Gloves are Off -- There will be no more Mr. Nice Guy from either Sean McClelland or Kevin Ramey. The pair beat on each other once during the race, then again afterwards.
A stunned crowd sat in silence as race winner McClelland made the walk down the front stretch after a post-race scramble with Ramey, wondering what was about to take place.
McClelland tossed stuff aside along the way, including his Raceceiver, which disappeared in the mix.
Only when McClelland climbed to the flag stand and furiously waved the checkered flag did the crowd finally erupt. Even the flagman wasn't sure what to think, commenting later that, "I didn't know if I should punch him or shake his hand."
Perhaps one of the best, if not most colorful, victory lane interviews in quite some time followed. Before Randy Ward could finish his first question, McClelland jumped in with, "I'm pissed!" And it only got better from there. A refreshing change from the typically mundane, politically correct patter generally heard in victory lane.
With the McClelland-Ramey rivalry at full tilt, fans will definitely want to tune in at the next Sooner Region event on May 6 at Mid-America Motor Speedway in South Coffeyville, OK. And, who knows, the pair could meet again at Little Rock's I-30 Speedway. McClelland will be at Little Rock, but Ramey's Saturday plans may or may not include I-30 at this time.
3. ASCoT Winners -- While the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series has been idle since March 25, the series regulars have kept their skills sharp by winning in all variety of events in recent weeks.
Jerrod Hull has picked off five wins, while Gary Wright, Sean McClelland and Jason Johnson have each posted two wins. Also scoring wins in recent weeks have been Dustin Daggett, Jake Peters, Darren Stewart, Travis Rilat and Sam Hafertepe, Jr.
The gang all gets back together for a couple of tough nights of racing with the Memphis and Little Rock hotshoes this Friday night at Missouri's Poplar Bluff Speedway and Saturday night at Little Rock's I-30 Speedway.
4. 619 -- The number of miles, according to Mapquest, from Freehold, NJ, to Gastonia, NC. Which is how far Scott McClaren towed to take the win in the season opener for the Heintz Performance ASCS Southern Tour on Friday night at Carolina Speedway.
The New Jersey racer caught an assist from Mother Nature to lock up his first career feature win, as Johnny Bridges' pass for the lead was negated by a caution flag. Moments later, the skies opened up and the race was declared complete.
Mother Nature took Round Two for the Southern Tour by wiping out the Saturday night go at New 311 Speedway in Madison, NC.
5. That's Gotta Hurt -- Jake Martens walked gingerly from his mangled Sprint Car after taking a wild turn three ride in Friday night's second ASCS Sooner Region "B" Main at Oklahoma City's State Fair Speedway.
But a majority of the pain he may have been feeling was more likely the result of a Wednesday night brawl with a stretch of Oklahoma highway pavement after a front tire blew out on Jake's motorcycle at a pretty impressive rate of speed. Jake showed up at Oklahoma City partially "mummified", wrapped up in a slew of bandages to treat the road burns.
6. Sweepers -- Jason Johnson recovered enough from April 8 burns in the Gulf South opener at Houston Raceway Park to sweep this past weekend's Gulf South Region events at Baton Rouge Raceway and Mississippi's Pike County Speedway.
Meanwhile, on the North side of the Red River, Sean McClelland broke out the broom in ASCS Sooner Region action. McClelland took quick advantage when Danny Jennings clipped a spinning Josh Fellows to take the lead and the win at Oklahoma City, then out dueled Kevin Ramey and Jason Sides to pick up his third triumph in the last four ASCS Sooner Region events at Lawton Speedway.
7. For Openers -- With the ASCS National Tour and six Regions already under way, two more Regions fire off this weekend.
The Rocky Mountain Region kicks off Saturday night at the Jetmore (KS) Motorplex before moving on to WaKeeney on Sunday night.
Also on Sunday, the Bobcat of Buffalo ASCS Patriot Sprint Group fires off at Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, NY, with the first New York state event in ASCS history.
Next weekend, the Engine Pro ASCS Sprints on Dirt presented by Victor Reinz gets under way on May 6 at Crystal Speedway in Crystal, MI.
Opening night winners thus far in 2006 have included: Travis Rilat (National at East Bay and Gulf South at Houston Raceway Park), Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (Sooner at Cowtown), Brian Brown (Midwest vs. Northern Plains at I-80) and Gary Wright (Mid-South at Swinging Bridge).
8. Blow it Outâ^a¦ - After recording an ASCS career best finish of second in Friday night's ASCS Sooner Region event at Oklahoma City, Gary Owens blew a rear end in spectacular fashion at Lawton Speedway on Saturday night.
Owens had checked out on his "B" Feature rivals when a bright flash emanated from his machine entering the third corner. Owens coasted through the corner, depositing the rear end casing on the track at the exit of the fourth turn.
9. Young Guns -- The future of the ASCS is in good hands with an abundance of talented young drivers on the rise.
Thirteen-year-old Trey Robb became the youngest driver in ASCS history to earn a pole starting position for an "A" Main event. After the slightest of slips in the opening two corners, Robb shadowed Sean McClelland, Kevin Ramey and Jason Sides the rest of the way to score an impressive fourth place finish.
At the same time, 15-year-old Channin Tankersley battled his way into second in Gulf South action at Pike County Speedway in Magnolia, MS, keeping pace with ultimate winner Jason Johnson over the final rounds to secure a strong runner-up finish.
In Southern Tour action at Gastonia's Carolina Speedway on Friday night, 17-year-old Dale Arnold made the most of his Sprint Car debut by earning a solid seventh-place showing after climbing through the go-kart and micro ranks.
10. Look Alike -- Is it just me, or does Sam Hafertepe, Sr., look eerily similar to that guy on the "My Name is Earl" television show? Check out Sam at www.ascsracing.com/gallery/earllookalikesamsr.jpg and Earl (Jason Lee) at www.ascsracing.com/gallery/earl.jpg and judge for yourself. I think it must be the mustache.
One more weekend of April racing action and then it's on to May days.
Enough for Volume II, No. VIII, of TTT. As always, notes, comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome at email@example.com.
Until next week, any information you may desire regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.