ACS/ProTrucks round three race notes

American Stockcar Challenge vs ProTruck: Round 3 ASC vs ProTrucks Buttonwillow 4-3/4-04 For those of you who were unable to attend the Buttonwillow event, you really missed a GREAT weekend. Friday was a great test day for all NASA groups. The...

American Stockcar Challenge vs ProTruck: Round 3
ASC vs ProTrucks Buttonwillow 4-3/4-04

For those of you who were unable to attend the Buttonwillow event, you really missed a GREAT weekend. Friday was a great test day for all NASA groups. The track ran open wheel and closed wheel sessions, but it became very obvious to the officials that there were WAY too many closed wheel cars to run in one group, so the afternoon sessions were divided into two separate closed wheel groups. The closing speed of the ASC cars on some of the other closed wheel cars was staggering. Happily, most of the sessions were incident free.

Saturday and Sunday's sessions were also fantastic. The ASC/Protruck group had 15 entries, Jim Swartzbaugh, Don Swartzbaugh, Nathan Swartzbaugh, Franz Klarer, Ken Stinnett, Ed Fernandes, Tim Wright, and Donn Cross made up the Protruck entries. Mike Arnheiter, Dave Arnheiter, Scott Ivie, Alan Huston, Manuel Gil del Real, Ed Ochylski, and Steve Carvajal entered for ASC. Mike Arnheiter, (# 80), had to withdraw with mechanical difficulties. Alan Huston was also forced to retire with a broken clutch.

Donn Cross took the group/truck pole with fast time, while Dave Arnheiter took the ASC pole on Saturday. Nathan Swartzbaugh was second fastest. The top 10 ASC/PT qualifying times were within 1.5 seconds! This is getting to be really tight! At race time everyone was ready to dance. Donn Cross brought the field up to the start at a moderate pace, and the group had a good start. Jim Swartzbaugh, who qualified third behind his son, Nathan, jumped out to first place by turn one and led the field for several laps. Dave Arnheiter, Ken Stinnett, Ed Fernandes, Steve Carvajal, and Ed Ochylski made up the rest of the main pack, only a scant few seconds ahead of the second pack. The racing was very tight for several laps. By the seventh lap, the field was still separated by only a few seconds. Jim Swartzbaugh overshot turn two and Donn Cross took the lead, never to relinquish it again. Nathan, Dave, Ed F., and Ken pursued him relentlessly. Steve Carvajal and Ed Ochylski were a couple of seconds behind the lead group racing against each other. Carvajal did the same thing as Jim Swartzbaugh, overshooting turn two and Ochylski passed him for second in ASC. At lap twelve, Carvajal's car caught fire exiting the carousel, due to oil spitting out the breathers onto the headers. This distraction led to a spin over the hill on the west side of the track.

Pulling into the pit road for fire control, (the fire was already out, probably muffled by all the dust from the spin...), Carvajal saw the white flag on the starter's stand and elected to finish the race. Coming out of pit road just behind the # 47 car of Scott Ivie, Carvajal attempted to pass him on the last turn. Ivie, however, wanted to finish on the podium again, got a good run down the final straight and took third place back, bumping and grinding the whole way. Donn Cross finished first overall, Nathan Swartzbaugh was second, and Dave Arnheiter was third. Protruck placing was Donn Cross, Nathan Swartzbaugh, and Ken Stinnett. In ASC, first was Dave Arnheiter, his first win of 2004, Ed Ochylski was second, Scott Ivie was third, in ASC.

April 3rd- ASC vs PT at Buttonwillow:Top 3  Overall Race Results:

1) Donn Cross (PT): MB Automotive Chevrolet truck.
2) Nathan Swartzbaugh (PT): North South Machinery Chevrolet truck.
3) David Arnheiter (ASC): Ideco Inc Ford Thunderbird.

Protruck Results:
1) Donn Cross: MB Automotive Chevrolet truck.
2) Nathan Swartzbaugh: North South Machinery Chevrolet truck.
4) Ken Stinnett : Sundance Racing Chevrolet truck.

ASC Results:
1) David Arnheiter : Ideco Inc Ford Thunderbird.
2) Ed Ochylski: Leo Motorsports Pontiac Grand Prix.
3) Scott Ivie: Carvajal Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

Sunday's qualifying and race were just as close. Donn Cross, again, was the fastest qualifier, followed by Jim Swartzbaugh, Nathan Swartzbaugh, and Ed Ochylski, (fast time for ASC). The next two ASC cars were Arnheiter and Carvajal. Once again, the qualifying was VERY close. The top nine cars were within one second of the leader. The race got off to a good start with Nathan getting a great start, jumping out to the early lead, only to be passed by his dad on the last turn of lap one. Jim led from then until the checkered flag. He was challenged by Donn Cross, Ken Stinnett, Ed Fernandes, Ed Ochylski, Steve Carvajal, Don Swartzbaugh, andDave Arnheiter for seven laps. Nathan Swartzbaugh withdrew with transmission problems. On lap seven, the group caught lapped traffic on the main straight. Stinnett made a move to pass Cross, using the lapped traffic, but some how the two got together and the rest of the pack was able to pass them. They both caught onto the tail of the first group. On the next lap, however, once again lapped traffic would play a part in the outcome. The lead cars caught up with a lapped car exiting the Star Mazda turn and the whole group tried to squeeze by the lapped BMW. By the time

Stinnett tried to get by, the lapped car caught a curb in the essess, which catapulted him into Stinnett, who was throw sideways by the opposite curb. The two cars collided, causing an accident that separated the rest of the cars. Jim and Donn were a bit off the front by this time, followed by Fernandes, Ochylski and Carvajal. On lap 10, for the third time, passing a lapped car resulted in an off-track excursion or Carvajal, exiting the carousel. He regained the track, but not before Dave Arnheiter and Don Swartzbaugh had gotten past. On the last lap, Don Swartzbaugh and Dave got together in the Star Mazda turn, resulting in Swartzbaugh losing two positions. At the end, it was Jim Swartzbaugh winning the overall, Ed Fernandes taking second and Ed Ochylski, third. Ed Ochylski won for ASC, followed by Arnheiter and Carvajal for the top three in ASC. Jim Swartzbaugh was first for Protruck, Ed Fernandes second, and Donn Cross was third. Donn Cross had two poles, one win, a third, and the fastest lap by any car in any class all weekend. Great Job, Donn!

April 4th- ASC vs PT at Buttonwillow:Top 3 Overall Race Results:
1) Jim Swartzbaugh (PT): North South Machinery Chevrolet truck.
2) Ed Fernandes (PT): Fernandes Protruck Racing Dodge truck.
3) Ed Ochylski (ASC): Leo Motorsports Pontiac Grand Prix.

ASC Results:
1) Ed Ochylski: Leo Motorsports Pontiac Grand Prix.
2) David Arnheiter : Ideco Inc Ford Thunderbird.
3) Scott Ivie: Carvajal Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

Protruck Results:
1) Jim Swartzbaugh: North South Machinery Chevrolet truck.
2) Ed Fernandes : Fernandes Protruck Racing Dodge truck
3) Donn Cross: MB Automotive Chevrolet truck.

The Protrucks once again kept the series trophy, winning the overall on both days. ASC won in Phoenix, but the Protruck drivers took the overall trophy back with them from Fontana, then, kept it again at Buttonwillow. The next ASC/Protruck series event will be back at Buttonwillow, June 4th and 5th. The ASC race for May will be a Thunderhill, attempting to draw more of the NORCAL NASA group into the series. Protrucks will be racing at Willow Springs that weekend.

The ASC Protruck series is proving to be one of the most competitive in all the west coast. The cars and trucks are very competitive with each other and the drivers are all getting used to racing in a tight group for the entire race. Any mistake is sure to cost the competitor a position or two. Every ASC/PT car that started each race has finished on the lead lap. In fact, there has not been a truck or car that finished any of the races be lapped at any race this year. All the drivers and crews are stepping up to put their car on the podium. In five races so far this season, there have been four different overall winners. Mark Cross won both of the California Speedway races and is the only repeat winner this season. If you want to have great, close, challenging racing, you cannot beat the ASC/Protruck series!

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Nathan Swartzbaugh , Scott Ivie