ASCS -- Tuesday's Top Ten TULSA, Okla. (March 13, 2007) -- Another seven days have elapsed. And that can only mean that it's time for another edition of Tuesday's Top Ten, which chronicles ten random items of debatable degrees of significance or...
ASCS -- Tuesday's Top Ten
TULSA, Okla. (March 13, 2007) -- Another seven days have elapsed. And that can only mean that it's time for another edition of Tuesday's Top Ten, which chronicles ten random items of debatable degrees of significance or lack thereof from the past week of American Sprint Car Series activities.
TTT time, tee off...
1. ASCS 101... Last week, it was reported here that 100 different tracks will host the American Sprint Car Series in 2007. One day later, that count climbed to 101 when Mileback Speedway in Gray Court, SC, added an ASCS Southern Tour date for Friday night, August 31.
The Mileback addition makes for a blockbuster three-day holiday weekend of racing in the South, with the series moving on to the Tri-County Race Track in Brasstown, NC, on Saturday and then Georgia's Lavonia Speedway on Sunday. Currently, the ASCS Southern Tour is the only Region in action over all three Labor Day weekend nights.
2. Kings Without Wings -- There are four past Arizona state Sprint Car champions still actively racing. So, when the ASCS Canyon Region made its debut at Manzanita Speedway on Saturday night, it should have come as no huge surprise that the past champions swept the top four positions.
"The Shermanator", occasionally referred to by his given name of Jeremy Sherman, proved to be the class of the field by battling from seventh to second in the Dash, thus earning the front row outside starting position. Sherman then led past champs Charles Davis, Jr., Josh Pelkey and Bob Ream, Jr., to the checkered flag, which flew at 10:20 p.m.
3. The Rookie -- The past champs may have locked down the top four ASCS Canyon Region spots at Manzanita on Saturday, but an 18-year-old Rookie ended up stealing the show.
Building upon a 14-feature win season that netted the Arizona Mini Sprint championship in 2006, Jeremy Reagles made his Sprint Car debut Saturday night. After finishing at the tail of his heat, Reagles was on the march the rest of the night, advancing a total of 21 positions (10th to 1st in the "B" and then 17th to 5th in the "A"). Definitely a solid foundation for the Mopar-powered shoe to build upon.
4. New Shoe -- After ranking fourth in O'Reilly ASCoT points last year and earning Brodix Rookie of the Year honors, Nick Smith of Broken Arrow, OK, will take over the reins of Wade Wiseley's entry beginning with this weekend's Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals.
Smith scored his first National Tour victory at Poplar Bluff, MO, last April then backed it up with his second win a month later at Virginia Motor Speedway.
Wiseley collected his first win as a car owner with Sean McClelland at Houston Raceway Park just over a year ago (March 11). Wiseley also visited victory lane in preliminary Short Track Nationals action in Little Rock last October, also with the now Sooner Region bound McClelland.
5. The Inevitable -- No question about it, so apologies must be issued in advance. At some point this year, the following name will be spelled in a variety of incorrect ways, and quite poorly I would imagine: Seainn Hendricsen.
For those that are wondering, "Seainn" is pronounced the same as Sean, Shawn or even Shon (as in Shon Deskins, another of the ASCS Canyon Region racers).
A former SCCA road racer, Hendricsen claimed 13th in the inaugural Canyon Region feature.
6. More Rookies -- Jeremy Reagles wasn't the only rookie shoe to make an impact during the ASCS Canyon Region opener.
At least three other rookies, or relative rookies, made the cut for the feature event, including 16-year-old racers Nick Aiuto and Darrin Bolton. Daniel Williams also made the feature by virtue of snaring the eighth and final transfer to the main, edging out brothers Joshua and Derek in the process.
A grad of the micro ranks, Aiuto moved forward in his heat race before settling for 19th in the feature.
Already with a couple of years of Midget racing experience, Bolton made the 770 mile journey from El Dorado Hills for just his seventh Sprint Car start. Bolton finished 15th.
Williams made just three starts last year.
Last year's Rookie of the Year, 16-year-old Michael Colegrove, was a seventh-place finisher.
Bolton and Williams were among the recipients of $50 certificates awarded by Wesmar Racing Engines, which offered up a total of $200 worth of certificates to the fifth, 10th, 15th and 20th place finishers. Reagles (fifth) and Shon Deskins (tenth) earned the other two certificates.
7. Da' Bowl -- Trying to pick the winner of this weekend's 34th Annual Spring Nationals at Devil's Bowl Speedway? Some stats to ponder...
Only four drivers have visited victory lane more than two times in the 44 National Tour events held at Devil's Bowl since 1994 -- Gary Wright, Danny Jennings, Wayne Johnson and Kevin Ramey. Wright has 14 wins while the other three each have three triumphs.
"The Texan" posted his first ASCS Devil's Bowl win on une 19, 1998, kicking off a stretch in which he won nine of 12 features through October 6, 2001. Wright has made it to victory lane just three times in the last eleven ASCS National events at Devil's Bowl.
Recent winners you ask? Kevin Ramey, Gary Wright, Jason Johnson and Travis Rilat. Last year, Ramey pulled off the improbable sweep of the Spring and Summer Nationals (with both features held on June 24 after a Spring showers-induced postponement), Wright topped Speedweek festivities and then Johnson and Rilat claimed Winter Nationals wins.
Over the last two years, every ASCS National Tour feature has been won by a driver that owned a previous Devil's Bowl ASCS score, with the exception of the '05 Spring Nationals opener won by Danny Jennings. Jennings went on to sweep the weekend and then took Speedweek honors as well.
The last time a driver scored his first career ASCS National Tour win while in Devil's Bowl action was nearly ten years ago when Edd French scored on Halloween night of 1997.
8. Livin' Up to the Name -- Reigning ASCS Patriots champion Chuck Hebing is known in New York circles as "The Cobra". The Patriot king has truly taken the name to heart if this snakeskin entry in last weekend's Motorsports Expo is any indication.
Hebing isn't the only snake-themed Patriot entry either, as Chris Shuttleworth has a Sidewinder look going on his No. 11.
And now, the painfully obvious. When does Geoff Quackenbush unveil his duck-themed Sprint Car? Donald may be the most famous of Ducks, but I'd lean towards Daffy or perhaps even the more contemporary Duckman, vile yet admirable at the same time.
9. Midwest Addition -- The ASCS Midwest Region has added another date, as the series will join forces with the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series at Kansas City's Lakeside Speedway on July 7.
Already home of one of the nation's premier wingless Sprint Car events, a $10,000 to win Sprint Bandits TNT double held each August, Lakeside could now be the site of a major winged Sprint Car show as the ASCS National Tour and Midwest Region combine with the Winged Outlaw Warriors at the racy half-mile clay oval.
10. The Perfect Storm -- Two French-speaking Canadians. The wild west atmosphere of Texas. An Irish-themed holiday weekend noted for green beer and assorted rowdiness. Sounds like the perfect combination, right?
That's exactly what's in store for the upcoming weekend, as Quebecians (the proper term for natives of Quebec) Alain Bergeron and Daniel Lampron will be in action at Devil's Bowl Speedway over a weekend that includes St. Patrick's Day on Saturday.
Apparently, the Canadians are making a trip to the Wesmar shop in Oklahoma. Already more than 1,500 miles from home, another 300 miles to Dallas for two nights of racing is a no-brainer.
With Bergeron and Lampron on hand, the number of Canadians competing this weekend will be three, as Chris Schmelzle continues his Rookie of the Year pursuit.