ASC: Buttonwillow race notes 2004-04-10

Impressive Performance by M + R Racing Team dominates Buttonwillow weekend for ASC. Sixteen ASC teams entered the NASA Socal event held last weekend at Buttonwillow Raceway Park. The ASC race group was joined by 8 Protrucks, and 7 of the Mazda...

Impressive Performance by M + R Racing Team dominates Buttonwillow weekend for ASC.

Sixteen ASC teams entered the NASA Socal event held last weekend at Buttonwillow Raceway Park. The ASC race group was joined by 8 Protrucks, and 7 of the Mazda Super 7's. The groups wisely elected to do separate starts both days with the ASC competitors running average times as fast as the Protrucks fastest times, and several seconds faster than most of the Super 7's.

Friday was a practice day for all competitors who took advantage of the extra time to dial the cars in for the track conditions. Carvajal Motorsport's team driving coach, professional racecar hot shoe, Ross Thompson, managed to run practice laps in all of the team's cars, assisting in getting the cars dialed in to perfection. At one point, Ross turned a time of 1:50.122 in the Carvajal Motorsports, Inc. # 90 Chevy Monte Carlo, as well as a 1:51.2 in Scott Ivie's # 47 Dodge, built by Evans Metal Fabrication.

However, the # 90 car suffered a rear differential failure, as did the # 59 Monte Carlo of Kevin O'Connell, the # 71 Monte Carlo of Al Balding, Jr., the # 5 Ford Taurus of Alan Huston, and the most catastrophic failure most have ever seen of a rear end housing on the # 47 Dodge Intrepid of Scott Ivie. This was certainly a coincidence, having 5 different cars suffer major rear differential failure from various causes, but it put five of the potential podium sitters on the sidelines for the weekend.

The two-man team of Robert Davis and Mike Arnheiter, registered as M + R Racing, sent notice to everyone that Buttonwillow Raceway Park is theirs to defend. Davis piloted the # 80 Pontiac Grand Prix both days for the team and put on an outstanding display, setting the pole and leading from the pole, and winning the race both days, in the M + R Racing Victory Circle Grand Prix. He destroyed the previous lap record for ASC on configuration # 1, clockwise, (1:53.6, set by Ken Stinnett in 2003), with a blistering race lap time in Saturday's race of 1:51.866. Newcomer to the series, and to stockcar road racing, James Hansen was also wicked fast all weekend, renting the # 96 Chevy Monte Carlo owned and crewed by the Evans Metal Fabrication team. Hansen broke the old track record on Sunday with a 1:53.3 and always-fast Ken Stinnett also broke his own record with a 1:52.8 on Saturday.

Saturday's qualifying efforts were shortened by the detonation of Scott Ivie's # 47 Dodge rear differential, which blew up short of the esseses, throwing the left half of the housing, axle, diff parts, suspension, shocks, springs, metal, around the track and coating the surface with gear lube. It is still undetermined what happened, possible a flawed casting, but take it from those that saw it, it was UGLY! Davis picked up his first pole of the season with a quick time of 1:51.777, followed by Hansen with a 1:52.222, and Stinnett with a 1:52.575.

The race got started with Davis leading everyone up to the green flag cleanly, but turn one saw Hansen under brake and plow into the # 80's rear bumper cover, bending up the hood and air box of the # 96 car. The backlash of this event forced others to react...

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Series Stock car
Drivers Kevin O'Connell , Robert Davis , Scott Ivie