SANTEE, California — For a driver to make his series debut in his first race might be considered a ‘long shot’ in Vegas or not having the greatest odds. Last Saturday night, those betting should have put their money on Charles Price from Redlands, California as he pursued Jeremiah Wagner of Las Vegas, Nevada in his #77 Ford and was able to win in his first ever ASA Truck Series race on September 11th. Charles was in top-notch equipment with the #12 Chevy Colorado owned by Jim Putman and serviced by Scott Franchimone and Upfront Motorsports. Putman was busy with work and asked Charles to pilot his previously fast truck for the Vegas race. Charles was grinning in victory lane and said ‘thanks to Jim for the opportunity to race and to Scotty for giving me a great truck”. He also thanked Bradley Delprino aka “One Rad Brad” and Robert Franchimone for crewing the #12 truck and helping him get that exciting first win. Charles has been racing for about nine years in cars ranging from go-karts and legends to Super Late Models and dirt cars. He has helped ‘test’ a few ASA Trucks in the past, but never run a main event. Price finished off his win by celebrating in Vegas that night. Scott Franchimone, owner and lead man at Upfront Motorsports, was also excited his truck gave him his first win as crew chief. He offers fabrication, maintenance, set-up and rental programs for ASA Trucks, Super Late Models and Legends at his shop in Chino, California and has raced in the series for many years.
The weather in Las Vegas was beautiful for racing and the Cuzick crew for Taylor Cuzick in the #51 Freightliner of Arizona Chevy Colorado agreed as they captured fast time at 16.069 (apparently a track record) and the trophy dash win as well. The trophy dash was clean and quick with Cuzick out-pacing #71 Joey Licata, #77 Jeremiah Wagner, 4th was #12 Charlie Price, #18 Mike Herda and Henderson local, #28 Branden Underwood in a 6 lap shoot-out. Cuzick’s luck with the dice gave him a six which placed him back a few rows to start the feature event. In a post-race interview, Taylor Cuzick said he “really likes the banking and g-forces at the Bullring and especially the side-by-side racing”. He felt running so many green flag laps took more “mental toughness than physical stamina” and most of the other racers agreed.
The 75-lap feature event went almost green wire-to-wire with many battles among the entire field. The ASA Truck drivers felt the need to be three-wide various times throughout the race and made it look easier than it is. By lap 5, the #77 of Jeremiah Wagner had made it to the front and never looked back. As the field settled in, mini-battles heated up between groups like #18 Mike Herda, #51 Taylor Cuzick and #5 Donny St. Ours as well as #1 Paul Bonaccorsi, #9 Jason Black and #28 Branden Underwood. The points leader, Joey Licata demonstrated patience in his #71 United Nissan sponsored Chevy and looked like he was going to slowly catch and pass Wagner. As this drama unfolded, #12 Price and #18 Herda were also looking for that opportunity for one of the leaders to slip and give up a position. Wagner stayed strong in the lead until Charles Price decided with 16 laps to go, it was time to make his move. He made a clean pass showing his talented driving skills while taking his #12 Power Grade Inc, Upfront Motorsports, Piggly Wiggly Colorado to the lead.
Many other drivers showed strength late in the race with positions changing until the end between the entire field. With only 3 laps to go, #20 Taylor Miinch of Alpine, California had the misfortune of a tire coming off the bead and collecting #10 Eric Sloan in the only caution of the race. Those two drivers are battling for Rookie-of-the-Year and Vegas wasn’t very good to them, but they are ready to recover and head to Havasu. New driver #75 Mark Allison of Las Vegas, Nevada did a great job as he only had a few practice laps and raced all 75 laps for his first time out. He comes from a dirt track and GA modified background, but wheeled his new ride well and we look forward to him joining the ASA Truck Series full-time.
The #5 Chevy Colorado, owned and operated normally by Kevin Smith, was raced by series regular Donny St. Ours (who did double duty all night in his Legend car and the ASA Trucks). He had a great truck as well but discovered a cracked wheel and flat tire by the end of the race. #71 Joey Licata, from Lake Balboa, California continued his strong point lead for the championship over teammate and third place finisher #18 Mike Herda going into the next race in Lake Havasu City, Arizona on Oct. 9th. Mike Herda’s family all came to support him at his local track which even included relatives all the way from North Carolina. Mike’s mom, Jodi, had shirts made for everyone to show Herda their support in his chase for the championship and Rookie-of-the-Year efforts. The race at Havasu 95 Speedway is sure to be fast and full of tight battles as the season comes to a close at the end of October. Licata can see victory on the horizon, but knows he must keep a level head and race his teammate, Mike Herda, clean for that ASA Truck Series championship title.
Remember to support our series sponsors by using products and services from the following vendors: Jim Van Gordon Racing Engines, Mike Naake Suspension Specialist, VP Racing Fuels, Hoosier Tires, DJ Safety, Frank's Radios, Starter Guard, Advertising Edge, Mechanix Wear, Mallory/ACCEL/Mr. Gasket, TOYOTA, POLYDyn TX7, Top Notch Flooring, Kollasol Ink, STR, and Luke’s Transmission.
The ASA Trucks are 2,450 pounds, full tube chassis, 108 inch wheelbase, 375 horsepower Van Gordon Racing V-8’s, fired by Mr. Gasket’s - Mallory / ACCEL ignition systems and VP Race Fuel, with 2-speed direct drive transmissions and Speedway Engineering aluminum quick change rear ends on 8-inch Hoosier Racing Tires and Allied Racing Wheels and can reach speeds of 105 MPH at the ½ mile TOYOTA Speedway at Irwindale oval and 150 MPH on the 2.1-mile road course at Firebird International Raceway. The ASA Trucks sport exact replica Norris Racing fiberglass bodies in Chevy S-10, Chevy Colorado, Ford Ranger, Dodge Dakota and Toyota Tacoma.
If you would like to find out more about the ASA Truck Series and how your company could be part of the growing excitement across the nation about this dynamic series, contact Todd McLauchlan at 619-596-6816 / firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.asatruckseries.com. Attractive marketing partnership packages are available for your involvement regionally or nationally, contact Jay Rutherford at Motorsports Marketing LLC, at 760-249-1149 or JR@motorsportsmarketing.net. The ASA Racing program is comprised of more than 35 short tracks around the United States, as well as road racing divisions and regional/national touring race series. For more information, call ASA Racing at 386-258-2221 or send an email to info@ASA-Racing.com. For news and information from all the race tracks, road racing divisions and tours involved in the ASA, visit www.asa-racing.com. ASA™, ASA Racing™ and American Speed Association® are trademarks of Racing Speed Associates, LLC. Racing Speed Associates, LLC is not related to nor affiliated with ASA LATE MODEL SERIES, LLC.