By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Casa Grande, AZ
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Casa Grande, AZ --
Over 70 cars battled for A Main starting slots at Central Arizona Raceway opened the two-day, $3,000 to win Budweiser Street Stock Nationals Saturday afternoon. The large field was split into 7 qualifying heats with the top 2 finishers in each advancing into Sunday's rich 50 lap A Main. Heat wins were posted by Mike Newton, Jack Buckner, Kent Nelson, Gene Freeman, Wade Mitchell, Brad Whitfield and Manzanita Speedway racer Anthony Madrid.
The first of the ten lap heat races saw double division racer Newton winning from the pole over defending race champion Art Lacy, who started 8th and last starter Jerry Bullis, who was in the Lonnie Foss car for the weekend. Las Cruces NM star Ivan Burton broke on the heat race pace lap and was done for the weekend. Nevada ace Steve Taylor and Leroy Ashcraft both had flat tires. Buckner won heat 2 from an outside front row start. Late model racer Mike Tahtinen came from the back row to finish second with Jeff DiGiulio third. Track point leader Mark Harrison blew a tire and Ron DiPomazio spun running third. K Nelson won heat 3 from third starting with Tucson's David Nekula second ahead of Dennis Lillie. The fourth heat was filled with action. Thierry Allred spun leading and was hit by second place Martin Robinson from Las Cruces. Manzanita star Don Costa had a flat passing Wayne Wampole on the last lap for second. Tim Worth ran off the top of the track running 2nd and Gene Freeman posted the win ahead of Robinson, Allred and Costa. Outside front row starter Wade Mitchell won heat 5 with Tucson's Tom Campbell coming from 8th to place second ahead of Canyon champion George Fronsman. Allen Kelley was unhurt in a hard flip and Fronsman battled back from a hard crash with ageless New Mexico star Billy Powell. Whitfield came from the 4th row to win heat 6 with a last lap pass around Lonnie Sanders. Mike Meitzner was in the Brian Barsness car and he had a flat running 2nd. Manzanita ace Geoff Hatch had a wild ride into the infield. Fourth starter Madrid won the 7th heat in the Lonnie Funk car with CAR point runnerup Mike Brigner second ahead of Steve Nelson. A spinning Fidel Gonzales was hit by Michigan's Jim Bullis.
The C and D Main events were also run on Saturday afternoon. Rob Colclasure was a wire to wire winner in the 15 lap C Main that advanced 10 cars into Sunday's B Main. D Main winner Harrison battled from 13th starting to finish second after he passed Show Low champion Charlotte Williams on lap 11. Williams finished third ahead of Worth, Joe Wiegman and Wes Meeks, who did not return on Sunday. Manzanita Speedway star Bob Taylor had a flat running fifth on lap 13 and Nevada star Bob Taylor was a dropout. Steve Trusso's car was heavily damaged, but he emerged unhurt from a last lap flip. Harrison took the lead from Kevin Brackney on lap 3 and won the 12 lap D Main. Wiegman passed DiPomazio late to finish second. DiPomazio was third ahead of Steve Trusso and Show Low dirt modified star Norman Uptain Sr. Nevada racers Errol Sharron and Mary Taylor both finished in the top ten.
Summary Heat 1-Mike Newton, Art Lacy, Jerry Bullis, Perry Mallery, Rob Colclasure. Heat 2-Jack Buckner, Mike Tahtinen, Jeff DiGiulio, Brandon Roper, Marty Hussak. Heat 3-Kent Nelson, David Nekula, Dennis Lillie, Tom Hussak, Charlotte Williams. Heat 4-Gene Freeman, Martin Robinson, Thierry Allred, Don Costa, Wayne Wampole. Heat 5-Wade Mitchell, Tom Campbell, George Fronsman, Tim Newbill, Tom Truax. Heat 6-Brad Whitfield, Lonnie Sanders, Wayne McCleskey, Dan Shepherd, Geoff Hatch. Heat 7-Anthony Madrid, Mike Brigner, Steve Nelson, Jeff Stafford, Larry Brigner. D Main-Mark Harrison, Joe Wiegman, Ron DiPomazio, Steve Trusso, Norman Uptain Sr, Chris Carter, Errol Sharron, Mary Taylor, Dominic Goodwin, Billy Powell. C Main-
Colclasure, Harrison, Williams, Tim Worth, Joe Wiegman, Wes Meeks, Tony Lentz, Ron Poe, L Brigner, Fidel Gonzales, Carter, Kevin Brackney.