American Stockcar Challenge/ProTrucks THUNDER IN THE WEST: "ASC vs PT" Wars Round 4. By David Huang Rosamond, CA. Geologists have long stated that the California desert is earthquake country. But on the weekend of May 24-25th, residents of the...
American Stockcar Challenge/ProTrucks
THUNDER IN THE WEST: "ASC vs PT" Wars Round 4. By David Huang Rosamond, CA. Geologists have long stated that the California desert is earthquake country. But on the weekend of May 24-25th, residents of the high desert community of Rosamond, CA woke up to the kind of ground shaking rumble that only a pack of stock cars could produce. Hosted by the National Autosport Association (NASA), round four of the American Stockcar Challenge (ASC) and ProTruck (PT) Series brought these spectacular machines back to Willow Springs Raceway for the second time this year. With other exciting NASA series' such as FranAm West open wheel series, American Iron and Honda Challenge West sharing the weekend's billing, paddock space was limited. But in what has become a familiar sight, the stands immediately filled up as soon as the ASC/PT racers took to the track.
Saturday May 24th: Blazing desert temperatures keeps qualifying speeds slower than usual and most teams limit their qualifying strategy to two laps in order to save their tires. In the end, Ken Stinnett (#43 ASC Team Arizona) sets the pole at 1:27.380 with Jim Swartzbaugh (#57 PT North South Machinery) half a second behind. Less than a quarter second behind Swartzbaugh is Steve Carvajal (#90 ASC Team Arizona).
As the pack roars under the green flag, spectators are treated to some of the best racing of the weekend as Stinnett, Swartzbaugh and Donn Cross (#41 PT D.C Motorsports) enter Turn 1 three abreast. When they emerge, it is Swartzbaugh, Stinnett and Cross forming a train with no daylight between their bumpers. As the field charges into Turn 8 inches apart at over 150mph, William Blauvelt (#44 ASC RealRide.com Racing) spins off the track sending up a huge dust cloud and dividing the pack into two groups. "I knew the car behind me was really close but when my back end suddenly got loose, I realized that he had taken the air off my spoiler" explains the New Jersey resident after the race. Meanwhile, up in the front, Jerry Brown (#22 ASC) takes third place from Cross who now has cousin Mark Cross (#3 PT Cross Communities) tapping his back bumper. A lap later, James Lindley spins at Turn 6 dividing the pack further. By the fifth lap, Stinnett takes over the lead from Swartzbaugh and holds it for two laps until the ProTruck driver takes it back for the final time.
A lap later, Brown pulls off the track with transmission linkage problems, handing third place over to the Cross cousins who battle it out tooth and nail for the entire race. For laps on end, the cousins swap leads (and paint) every lap, each trying to outbrake the other in a test of bravery and skill. In the end it comes down to a drag race out of the final turn as Mark emerges by a fender length. A few car lengths behind, the trio of Ed Fernandes (#00 PT Fernandes Racing), Tim Wright (#7 PT Ear Guards) and ASC series leader David Arnheiter (#33 ASC Ideco Inc) finish in spectacular fashion with Arnheiter sliding through the dirt and crossing the finish line sideways.
Saturday Overall Race Results:
1) Jim Swartzbaugh: #57 PT- North South Machinery
2) Ken Stinnett: #43 ASC- Team Arizona
3) Mark Cross: #3 PT- Cross Communities
4) Donn Cross: #41 PT- D.C. Motorsports
5) Edward Fernandes: #00 PT- Fernandez Racing
6) Tim Wright: #7 PT- Ear Guards
7) David Arnheiter: #33 ASC- Ideco Inc
8) Franz Klarer: #271 PT- EDM Machine Shop
9) William Blauvelt: #44 ASC- RealRide.com Racing
10) Tom Waters: #60 ASC- H20 Racing
11) Brian Colodny: #14 ASC- Cobro Motorsports
12) Don Swartzbaugh: #36 PT- North South Machinery
13) Jerry Brown: #22 ASC
14) James Lindley: #70X PT
15) Nathan Swartzbaugh: #12 PT- North South Machinery
16) Steve Carvajal: #90 ASC- Team Arizona
17) Graeme Blackburn: #70 PT- Miller Motorsports
18) *DQ ride height. Manuel Gil Del Real: #27 ASC- Team Arizona
19) *DQ ride height. Ed Ochylski: #55 ASC- Team Arizona
20) *DQ ride height. Tom Taber: #02 ASC- GA-Racing-USA
Sunday May 25th: The Cross cousins flex some more muscle and lead from the green flag, followed in third by Fernandes. The ProTrucks have control of the race but close behind, Team Arizona controls the ASC field with Carvajal leading. By mid race, Brown is the only driver to break into the Arizona stronghold by passing Ed Ochylski (#55 ASC Team Arizona). And spectators are once again treated to some exciting racing as Jim Swartzbaugh charges through traffic and checks out on the field.
But series newcomers Brian Colodny (#14 ASC Cobro Motorsports), Don Swartzbaugh (#36 PT North South Machinery) and Tom Waters (#60 ASC H20 Racing) are the ones putting on the show today as they spend the entire race battling for position mid pack. Finally, Colodny emerges ahead, with Waters outbraking Don Swartzbaugh into the high speed Turn 1.
In the end, Jim Swartzbaugh takes the checkered flag after his incredible charge through the field, followed closely by Mark and Donn. Finishing in fifth and leading ASC is Carvajal, followed by Stinnett and Brown.
Sunday Overall Race Results:
1) Jim Swartzbaugh: #57 PT- North South Machinery
2) Mark Cross: #3 PT- Cross Communities
3) Donn Cross: #41 PT- D.C. Motorsports
4) Edward Fernandes: #00 PT- Fernandes Racing
5) Steve Carvajal: #90 ASC- Team Arizona
6) Ken Stinnett: #43 ASC- Team Arizona
7) Jerry Brown: #22 ASC
8) Ed Ochylski: #55 ASC- Team Arizona
9) David Arnheiter: #33 ASC- Ideco Inc
10) Tim Wright: #7 PT- Ear Guards
11) Franz Klarer: #271 PT- EDM Machine Shop
12) Graeme Blackburn: #70 PT- Miller Motorsports
13) Brian Colodny: #14 ASC- Cobro Motorsports
14) Tom Waters: #60 ASC- H20 Racing
15) Don Swartzbaugh: #36 PT- North South Machinery
16) Nathan Swartzbaugh: #12 PT- North South Machinery
17) Manuel Gil Del Real: #27 ASC- Team Arizona