SWS: Thunder Raceway preview

Arizona drivers dominating Southwest Sprints Series set for back-to-back Thunder, Canyon events. Arizona drivers own eight of the top-10 spots in the latest USAC Southwest Sprint Car Series point standings, preparing for back-to-back races at ...

Arizona drivers dominating Southwest Sprints Series set for back-to-back Thunder, Canyon events.

Arizona drivers own eight of the top-10 spots in the latest USAC Southwest Sprint Car Series point standings, preparing for back-to-back races at Show Low and Peoria May 24-25.

The Saturday night, May 24 race at Thunder Raceway in Show Low marks a return to the track where Kaylene Verville of Phoenix became USAC's first-ever female Sprint Car feature winner last year. The Sunday night, May 25 race at Canyon Raceway in Peoria marks USAC's initial venture to that 3/8-mile dirt oval.

Yuma's Mike Martin, third in last year's inaugural season, leads the current standings by two points over Las Cruces, N.M. driver Rick Ziehl, while Verville is third, only six points behind the leader. Ziehl won an April 26 race at Hollywood Hills Speedway in New Mexico and Verville was second last Saturday night at Aztec, N.M.

Beau Binder of El Paso, Tex. won at Aztec and ranks fourth in the standings, while Phoenix driver Shon Deskins is fifth.

Rounding out the "top-10" in points going into the May 24-25 races are Tucson's Ron Kratz, Mesa's Brandon Lane, Tucson's Ron Clark, Show Low's Robert Hall, Jr. and Phoenix' Mike Boat, the defending series champion who suffered a blown engine in last Saturday's Aztec event.

The May 24-25 races are the first of six in the USAC Southwest Series slated for the Grand Canyon State. Dates at Thunder Raceway in Show Low and also scheduled July 5, August 30 and September 27, while the series returns to Canyon Raceway August 31.

A total of 216 USAC events have been conducted in Arizona since 1956, Johnnie Tolan winning the first, a Midget race at South Mountain Speedway in Phoenix on March 31, 1956. The first USAC Sprint races in Arizona were won by Don Branson and A.J. Foyt at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix on January 26, 1964.

USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR SERIES STANDINGS

1. Mike Martin 157
2. Rick Ziehl 155
3. Kaylene Verville 151
4. Beau Binder 145
5. Shon Deskins 145
6. Ron Kratz 129
7. Brandon Lane 125
8. Ron Clark 115
9. Robert Hall, Jr. 110
10. Mike Boat 101

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Series USAC
Drivers Mike Boat , Shon Deskins , Rick Ziehl , Mike Martin , Beau Binder , Brandon Lane , A.J. Foyt