O'Reilly ASCS Tuesday's Top Ten -- June 6, 2006 TULSA, Mich. (June 6, 2006) -- Back to the Tulsa home base after an eleven night journey that covered more than 4,000 miles, it's time once again for the latest installment of Tuesday's...
O'Reilly ASCS Tuesday's Top Ten -- June 6, 2006
TULSA, Mich. (June 6, 2006) -- Back to the Tulsa home base after an eleven night journey that covered more than 4,000 miles, it's time once again for the latest installment of Tuesday's Top Ten, as always including ten random items of varying degrees of relevance from the latest American Sprint Car Series goings on.
1. Fiesta Time -- Aztec, New Mexico's annual "Fiesta Days" serves as the perfect opportunity for Aztec Speedway to bring in the ASCS Rocky Mountain Region each year for a two-night stopover on the weekend of the first Saturday of each June.
Last year, Johnny Herrera scored his first Rocky Mountain Region win, but Jason Martin denied a Fiesta Days weekend sweep for Herrera. Martin wasn't around to spoil Herrera's party this time around though, as Herrera raced to victory lane on both nights.
And amongst all the live music and dancing, no word yet on the winners of the Fiesta Days duck races.
2. It's Been a While -- Veteran shoe Ken Mackey hasn't competed in the 360 ranks until this year. So, this past Friday night's ASCS Sprints on Dirt triumph at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, MI, marked his first in 360 competition.
But it wasn't Mackey's first SOD win. In fact it was third, although the first since scoring a SOD win at Butler Motor Speedway on July 6, 1991, more than six years before the SOD series saw the light earlier than many and made the switch from 410's to 360's.
3. The North Forty -- The ASCS Northern Plains inaugural stand-alone event was a rousing success, attracting 40 entries for both nights of action at Jackson Speedway, which benefited the Bob Buckmeier "Sprint for a Cure" foundation.
The new Region featured a pair of new ASCS winners, with Chuck Swenson scoring his first career ASCS win on Friday night. Swenson tried to match Herrera's weekend sweep, but he opened the door for Bryan Dobesh when he was called for jumping a restart on Saturday night.
Averaging just short of 50 cars per event, the ASCS Northern Plains is set for three big events next week, kicking off at Hartford, South Dakota's I-90 Speedway on Tuesday night, June 13. From there, the Northern Plains takes on the ASCS Midwest Region for the North South ASCS Sprint Car Challenge at Park Jefferson Speedway on Thursday night (June 15) and then at Crawford County Speedway in Denison, IA, the following night. Jason Johnson and Brian Brown are among those expected to drop in for each event.
4. Bridging the Gap -- Cherryville, North Carolina's Johnny Bridges shrugged off a frustrating Memorial Day weekend of action with the ASCS National Tour in which he struggled with mechanical problems by wiring the ASCS Southern Tour field at Laurens County Speedway on Saturday night.
Bridges became the series first repeat winner of 2006 and climbed to within 43 points of Butch Pendergrass in the championship points chase.
5. Slippery Hill -- The Hill Raceway in Bradford, PA, was poised to host its first ever Sprint Car event this past Sunday night in the form of the Bobcat of Buffalo ASCS Patriot Sprint Group. But Mother Nature thought otherwise, washing out the card.
The Patriots will try again at The Hill this Sunday, as the rest of the forces try to dampen the streak of "The Cobra", Chuck Hebing, who has scored wins in three of four ASCS Patriot events this season. Ford power has propelled Hebing to victory lane in his most recent pair of victories.
6. Familiar Face -- While new faces to victory lane have been a common theme in recent ASCS action, that wasn't the case as Little Rock's I-30 Speedway hosted its first Regional event on Saturday night.
With the Sooner Region giving home field advantage to the ASCS Mid-South Region, it was I-30 master Tim Crawley taking his first ASCS win since topping last year's ASCS Speedweek finale at none other than I-30 Speedway.
Only Gary Wright and Garry Lee Maier have made more trips to ASCS victory lane than three-time National kingpin Crawley since the series inception in 1992.
With Crawley and Dobesh each scoring their first ASCS win of 2006, the number of ASCS feature winners this year has climbed to 30 with the initial 46 checkered flags flying thus far.
7. Close to Home -- Dustin Daggett has put in some hours on the road this year, with 1,000-plus mile hauls the norm as he pursues the ASCS National Tour.
So, Friday night's haul of less than ten miles to I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, MI, was a change of pace for the Portland, MI, hotshoe. With plenty of friends and family watching on as the two-time Sprints on Dirt champion tried for SOD win number 35, Daggett chased Mackey to the line and settled for a strong runner-up finish.
8. The Backup -- Making his first full effort at the ASCS Rocky Mountain Region title, Edwards, CO, racer Patrick Bourke led the series points chase into Aztec Speedway. But a blown engine in Friday night's program set Bourke back.
Backup engine in place, Bourke raced to a third place finish in Saturday's finale behind Herrera and Preston Peebles II. Bourke escaped the weekend just two points behind 2004 series champion Keith Rauch. In fact, less than 60 points separate the top six in Rocky Mountain Region points (Rauch, Bourke, Jake Pierson, Nick Haygood, Jeff Heffner and Eric Miller). The Rocky Mountain Region title has come down to the final night over each of the past two seasons and is already shaping up in similar fashion in 2006.
9. Stranded -- Fourteen-year-old Trey Robb and crew were en route to Little Rock's I-30 Speedway for Saturday's Sooner vs. Mid-South Shootout until tow rig problems left them stuck on the side of the road. Unfortunately, repairs weren't made in time to complete the journey and Robb slipped out of the top ten in Sooner points in the process.
10. Open Look -- Open trailers are a rarity in today's Sprint Car racing circles. So it was interesting to note that among the few open trailers spied at Friday's ASCS Sprints on Dirt event at I-96 Speedway was one sported by the Tim Norman team. So don't think that just because a team rolls down the road with an open trailer inherently means they may not be competitive, as Norman wore the Sprints on Dirt championship crown at the end of the 2005 season.
Fiesta Two: A shout out to Hooter's of Tulsa for helping ring in the birthday of ASCS official Todd Atkins. While Todd is understandably all smiles in the group shot, www.ascsracing.com/gallery/todd2.jpg, his dance moves were as lacking as his eye contact, www.ascsracing.com/gallery/todd1.jpg. Todd, just remember: it's like looking at the sun.
Enough for Volume II, No. XIV, of TTT. As always, notes, comments, questions, suggestions and photo submissions of hopeful ASCS models are always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next week, any information you may desire regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.