ASCS Tuesday Top Ten TULSA, Okla. (March 6, 2007) -- As TTT works to get its legs back, the American Sprint Car Series 2007 season is about to get going in a big way. With that in mind, ten random items of debatable degrees of significance have...
ASCS Tuesday Top Ten
TULSA, Okla. (March 6, 2007) -- As TTT works to get its legs back, the American Sprint Car Series 2007 season is about to get going in a big way. With that in mind, ten random items of debatable degrees of significance have been assembled for browsing purposes.
1. The Calm... Three off weekends for the American Sprint Car Series is a rarity. The downtime ends with this weekend's ASCS Canyon Region opener at Manzanita, kicking off a stretch of 34 consecutive weekends of ASCS action somewhere around this great land.
2. 100 -- Currently, a total of 100 different racetracks are set to host the American Sprint Car Series on at least one occasion in 2007. Those 100 tracks are scattered throughout 26 different states and the Canadian province of Ontario.
3. Million Dollar Tour -- With 46 nights of action currently scheduled for the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series, more than $1,000,000 in purse money and point fund will be distributed in 2007. A lucrative tour to be sure, then toss in some hefty contingencies and the possibility of winning a Wesmar Engine at season's end to sweeten the pot.
4. Split -- One team that won't be chasing the $50,000 champion's share on the National Tour is the black No. 1 of driver Sean McClelland and car owner Wade Wisely. After ranking sixth in National points last year as well as tying for second in Sooner Region points, the team has parted ways since the series season opener at Tampa's East Bay Raceway Park in January.
Wisely is searching for a driver to contend on the National Tour, while McClelland has teamed with Kevin Hefley and will chase a second American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region title after snaring his first ASCS title in 2005.
5. ASCS in February? -- It hasn't happened often since the inception of the American Sprint Car Series in 1992. In fact, when a pair of newborn ASCS Regions, Coastal and Rebel, squared off at Deep South Speedway in Loxley, AL, on February 10, it marked the first ASCS event contested in February in nearly ten years.
While Marshall Skinner fought off Wayne Johnson to win this year's February showdown in Alabama, exactly ten years earlier Gary Wright notched his 15th career ASCS National Tour feature win with an East Bay triumph. A couple of weeks later, Chris Ikard and Rickey Hood split New Mexico feature wins in Las Cruces and Alamogordo. Wright has won 93 National Tour feature events since that February of long ago, while Hood and Ikard have combined to win one feature event in that same time span; that being a Hood win at the now shuttered Duke City Raceway in Albuquerque on July 3, 2002.
6. Back At It -- A racer can only stay away so long. But after Michael Dupuy earned National Tour runner-up honors in 2002, he seemingly fell off the face of the earth.
The Amite, Louisiana driver's name would pop up from time to time in some obscure results not far from home, but an ASCS Gulf South win at Pike County Speedway last October was just Dupuy's third ASCS appearance in four years.
Now married and with business in order at home, Dupuy says, "It's time to go racing again." And that's just what he'll do in 2007 as he'll be among the favorites to take down the inaugural ASCS Coastal Region championship.
Dupuy showed no signs of rust, finishing a strong fourth behind Marshall Skinner, Wayne Johnson and Terry Gray in the Coastal vs. Rebel opener at Loxley.
7. Topless in the Canyon -- The American Sprint Car Series goes topless in Arizona with the new ASCS Canyon Region, the first wingless Region for the series. Eighteen cars showed up for Tech Day last Saturday and 26 drivers have already registered, so a strong outing is expected for Saturday night's opener at Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix.
While it is the first non-wing ASCS Region, Saturday's event won't be the first wingless show in series history. That happened nearly four years ago, when Travis Rilat topped an ASCS Sooner Region wingless experiment at Creek County Speedway on May 10, 2003. A second wingless try two months later on a heavy surface brought the Sooner wingless experiment to an end.
The ASCS Canyon Region contingent have been born and bred sans wings, so the action should be stellar.
8. Change of Venue -- With Brad Maxwell appointed the General Manager of Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas, the ASCS Rocky Mountain Region opener scheduled for May 5 has been relocated. Rather than taking place at the Jetmore Motorplex, the ASCS Rocky Mountain Region will now lift the lid on the 2007 season at Dodge City Raceway Park. What better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than with gunfights on the streets of Dodge City?
9. Grand Plans -- Denham Springs, Louisiana. Just a few miles east of Baton Rouge, it lies smack dab in the middle of the areas covered by the ASCS Gulf South and Coastal Regions. Which is exactly why Denham Springs racer Lane Whittington, among the top four in Gulf South points each of the past two years, will make a bid for both championships in 2007. With 41 nights of Coastal and/or Gulf South action on the docket for this year, Whittington's yellow No. 9 should become a familiar sight to Sprint Car fans in the area.
10. First Times -- During the O'Reilly ASCoT season opener at East Bay Raceway Park, 42 of the 75 drivers on hand made at least one of the three feature events. Among those, 15 drivers made their first career ASCS National Tour feature starts.
Those first-timers included Davie Franek, Jr., Doug Emery, Steve Poirier, Chad Kemenah, T.J. Winegardner, Pat Cannon, Justin Barger, John Karklin, Alain Bergeron, George Suprick, Paulie Milum, 14-year-old Coleman Gulick, Ryan Bickett, Davey Sammons and Wayne Reutimann, Jr.
On the other end of the spectrum, Gary Wright extended his career ASCS National Tour feature start total to a series best 304.
Rub It In -- At a track somewhere along the dusty trail last year, a handicapped area had been constructed with a nice platform, offering an excellent view for those in need. As a handful of wheelchair-bound patrons enjoyed the racing festivities, they were mercilessly mocked the entire time by the sign in front that read, "Handicapped Area, NO STANDING!" Can't make that stuff up.