Tuesday Top Ten 2006-04-18

O'Reilly ASCS Tuesday's Top Ten -- April 18, 2006 TULSA, Okla. (April 18, 2006) -- It's that wonderful day of the work week that delivers TTT, as another edition of Tuesday's Top Ten contains ten random items of varying degrees ...

O'Reilly ASCS Tuesday's Top Ten -- April 18, 2006

TULSA, Okla. (April 18, 2006) -- It's that wonderful day of the work week that delivers TTT, as another edition of Tuesday's Top Ten contains ten random items of varying degrees of relevance from the latest American Sprint Car Series Happenings.

Shall we proceed?

1. Welcome to Hog Chain, Mississippi -- The initial event for the new ASCS Mid-South Region took place Friday night at Swinging Bridge Raceway near Jackson, MS. And the entry sign offers a grand welcome to the city of Hog Chain, MS. It doesn't end there either, with the payout window designed as Hog Chain City Hall, with the other side of the building indicating the Hog Chain Mayor's Office. It was Gary Wright dropping in to take the winner's bulk from the Hog Chain offices.

The Swinging Bridge Raceway itself is now named after the only remaining swinging bridge in the state of Mississippi. The bridge itself was built in 1905 across the Pearl River, just a mile or so from the current day racetrack, and has been open only to foot traffic since the early 1990's.

2. On the Road -- Willie Stauffer, Jr., made the trip up from Florida for the weekend, capturing a tenth place finish in Saturday's Magnolia Motor Speedway main after nearly launching out of the Swinging Bridge Raceway the night before while buzzing turn three before his heat race.

Matt Linder made the haul from Georgia for Saturday's card and earned a fifth place showing aboard the same car in which Chad Kemenah finished out the 2005 season.

Stauffer is the son of famed Florida racer Red Stauffer, while Linder is the son of Ohio legend Fred Linder.

But it's doubtful that few have logged as many April miles as High Vista Video man Jeff Converse. Converse made the April 1 drive from Michigan to Little Rock's I-30 Speedway, only to be rained out. He then hit the Midwest vs. Northern Plains opener at I-80. So, it came as little surprise when he took in the ASCS Mid-South Region's opening weekend in Mississippi. Check out some Saturday heat race action at http://www.highvistavideo.com/Video%20clip%20page.htm, it's well worth the time. And DVD's of each event he's shot thus far are available at a very reasonable rate.

3. Doh! -- Dale Howard appeared to have Friday night's third heat race in the bag until losing power coming off the final corner with the checkered flag in sight. Howard coasted across the line, but not before A.G. Rains stole the win.

An extended modified main gave the Howard team ample time to make repairs and he worked his way through the field on a pair of occasions before settling for eighth after a lap 29 tangle with A.G. Rains while dicing for fourth.

4. All in the Family -- It was Howard Night at Magnolia Motor Speedway on Saturday, with Jan and Dale combining to lead all 25 feature laps. Dale took the win in front of Jan, with little brother Josh racing up to sixth. Cousin Ronny Howard made the top-ten 40% Howards by snaring ninth and explaining afterward, "Now that was some fun racing out there on that track."

5. Your Leaders -- It's early in the year, but the list of ASCS points leaders is an impressive one.

While Gary Wright holds an 11-point edge in the National chase, Darren Stewart escaped this past weekend atop the ASCS Mid-South Region heap.JOther point leaders include Travis Rilat (Gulf South), Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (Sooner) and Brian Brown (Midwest and Northern Plains). The early Heintz Performance ASCS Southern Tour point leader will be determined after this weekend's North Carolina double.

6. On the Top Shelf -- Josh Howard and Buster Dickerson both drove several more miles in Saturday night's 25-lap feature than the rest of their rivals. While the bulk of the field worked from the middle down, 20-year-old Howard and 19-year-old Dickerson rode the rim, with Dickerson even tagging the turn one concrete on one occasion.

Both advanced from 12th and 14th starting slots to claim sixth and seventh place finishes, respectively, and shared similar grins after putting on a rousing performances.

7. Lawton Invader -- The American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region seems to have a way of attracting name invaders. Carl Edwards dropped in for the recent opener at Cowtown Speedway, and as of Monday plans are for Jason Sides to drop in on the Sooner stars at Lawton Speedway on Saturday night.

8. Lights Out! -- It was lights out for Jan Howard on Friday night. But it's not supposed to happen 28 laps into a 30-lapper.

Few knew anything had happened until the top five finishers stopped on the frontstretch for presentations upon the completion of the feature.JAnd that's when the ambulance was summoned to Howard's No. 46 machine.

On the race's final restart with just two laps to go, Howard was struck on the forehead by something. And that's the last he recalls. "Something hit me, 'Wham!', going into turn one on that last restart. The next thing I remember, my pit crew guy was waking me up on the front stretch. I don't have any idea how I drove those last two laps."

Jan somehow guided his machine to fourth that night before taking second at Magnolia Motor Speedway.

9. Where the Boll Weevils Rumble -- Perhaps the boll weevil used to rumble in the Columbus, MS, area, but on Saturday night it was the rumbling of Sprint Cars in the air for the first time at Magnolia Motor Speedway in the Budweiser Boll Weevil Rumble.

Two of the three heat races were determined in the final two laps and an entertaining feature event made for a successful Sprint Car debut atop the high-banked, 3/8-mile gumbo oval, with Dale Howard taking the honors as first Sprint Car winner at Magnolia Motor Speedway.

10. Watch Out -- While most mortals are prone to mistakes on at least a semi-regular basis, Gary Wright doesn't seem to fit into that category. On the racetrack, he seemingly only makes one or two mistakes a year, if that.

Well, his competition for the rest of the year better watch out, as he made one of those rare mistakes in Saturday's feature. Going for a sweep of the weekend, Wright went for a long, sweeping spin in turns one and two on the second lap, collecting A.G. Rains in the process. Both were done for the night.

And now, it's time for three Regional weekend doubles. Enjoy.

Enough for Volume II, No. VII, of TTT. As always, notes, comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome at ascsed@aol.com.

Until next week, any information you may desire regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.


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Series Sprint
Drivers Buster Dickerson , Carl Edwards , Brian Brown , Jason Sides , Travis Rilat , Chad Kemenah