By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Aztec, NM
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Aztec, NM -- Jason Martin, a youngster from Liberal KS who frequently races with the SCOA winged 410 sprint car group, raced to a $1,000 win with the ASCS Rocky Mountain Region winged 360 sprint cars Friday night as they opened two nights of action during the annual Fiesta Days special at Aztec Speedway. Martin chased down Colorado’s Nick Haygood for the win which also earned him the pole position for Saturday night’s finale. Haygood was a $800 second ahead of former NASCAR truck racer Lonnie Cox, who won the Saturday night feature at this race in 2001. The Barnett’s Harley Davidson dirt modifieds drew nearly 40 cars for their two big race nights. Track point leader Aaron Spangler came from 5th starting to collect the $750 Friday night win. Albuquerque star Richard Johnson started on the pole and finished a $600 second ahead of former track and regional champion Craig Nelson, who pocketed $500. B Main winner Derek Neil battled his way forward from 16th starting to place a $400 fourth. It was A Spangler’s fourth local win of 2003 and the other three time winner Danny Bradford paced the first two laps from an outside front row start before breaking his engine.
The traveling sprint car group brought in 17 cars for the event. They were divided into three heat races. Mike Dreiling won the first heat ahead of Jesse Baker and John Stroud. Haygood took heat 2 ahead of Eric Miller and Jamie Fields. Martin showed his strength with a win in heat 3 ahead of Rapid City, South Dakota’s Randi Miller. Miller brought a three race winning streak into the New Mexico action. In the feature race, Martin lined up third and chased down pole starter Haygood for the win. Haygood ran second ahead of 9th starter Cox, 4th starter R Miller and 7th starter E Miller. Dreiling, John Stroud, Robert Gomez, Geoff Dodge and Zeke Ziska rounded out the top ten finishers. Baker escaped unhurt from a violent flip on lap 13 of the feature race. With their top four finishes, Martin, Haygood, Cox and R Miller earned starting spots in the front two rows on Saturday night. R Miller carried a season point lead of 28 points over Dreiling into the second night of the Aztec action. E Miller was just 40 points out of first and Haygood 42 points behind the leader.
The large field of dirt modifieds were split into five qualifying heat races with just the top 3 finishers in each advancing into the A Main. Kevin Brown beat Mark Brown in heat 1 and Albuquerque regular Taylor Yazzie beat Danny Bradford in heat 2. The Yazzie family races in Albuquerque despite living in Farmington becasue they want their family there to be able to watch them race. The Ford powered JetMod of C Nelson won heat 3 in front of A Spangler while 2002 champion Jeff Davis beat Johnson in heat 4. Eddie Farley won heat 5 ahead of James Tabet. Two B Mains transferred five cars each into the A Main to complete the 25 car A Main grid. Neil won the first B Main ahead of Dennis Rieb, Ricky Baldwin and Lee Moss. Rieb has limited his racing at Aztec in 2003 as he continues to chase IMCA points at his home town Cortez, Colorado track and other facilities. Frank Powell Sr won the second B Main with Jesse Baldwin second ahead of Chad Burson and Danny Nelson Jr. Current IMCA Stock Car racer Garrett Higgins returned to the dirt modifieds for this weekend and ran 21st in the A Main after a 5th in the first B Main. Mini Stock racer Nick Nelson also made his dirt modified debut with a 10th place B Main finish. The top ten from the heat action drew for their starting order at the front of the 25 car A Main. Johnson and Danny Bradford drew the front row ahead of Taylor Yazzie and Tabet. A Spangler started 5th, C Nelson 7th and Farley 9th. The dirt modified A Main ran 20 laps before their first yellow flag. Danny Bradford broke a motor after leading the first two laps and A Spangler won ahead of Johnson, C Nelson, Neil, Farley, J Baldwin, R Baldwin, Taylor Yazzie, young Porter Smith and Powell Sr.