By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Casa Grande, AZ
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Casa Grande, AZ -- Leading just the final four laps after battling from fifth starting, Art Lacy from Coolidge captured the 20 lap qualifying main event for the street stocks on Saturday as Central Arizona Raceway opened the rich two-day Stock Car Nationals sponsored by Golden Eagle Distributing. A Lacy has won this season closing street stock special twice in the past and will start on the pole for the 40 lap, $3000 to win finale on Sunday in his former Jay Rosales Las Cruces NM championship car now owned by CAR promoter Benji Lyons. The top ten finishers from the Saturday preliminary feature earned the starting spots in the front five rows for Sunday. Driving for Hank Logue, last point race winner Jerry Bullis led the first 16 laps from the pole and crossed the finish line in 2nd, but was disqualified when his wheel base was found to be too short in the post race inspection. That moved Manzanita Speedway star Anthony Madrid up to 2nd ahead of many time Canyon champion George Fronsman. Fronsman had lost a fan belt in the heat action and cooked his engine in his feature run, setting up a night long engine change for that team. Tucson champion Ted Robinson ran fourth ahead of former CAR champion Mike Brigner. Another Tucson racer Mike Meitzner won his factory stock heat race, then paced the final 6 laps after passing CAR champion Tommy Hussak III to win the 15 lap preliminary feature for the factory stocks. That win places Meitzner on the pole for Sunday’s $1000 to win 25 lap finale with Hussak III alongside. Phoenix racer Marlon Childers put his Ron Funk built car in third ahead of double division racer E J Jones. Dean Riggs continued his incredible finish to his 2005 season by leading the final 14 laps to win the 15 lap main event for the Arizona Dwarf Cars. Riggs earlier won his heat race. Brad Hickson ran off the end of the track leading in his heat, then battled from the back to finish second to Riggs. Brandon Echols was third ahead of Dan Torgerson. When only 11 dwarf cars appeared, they were cancelled off the Sunday race card.
A strong 43 car field of Arizona’s best street stocks turned out to battle in the first day action. They were divided into five qualifying heat races. The top three finishers from each heat advanced directly into the 20 lap preliminary feature. Les Knox blew up after leading the first two laps of heat 1 and Patrick Tolle then commanded the race until he slipped too high in the final corner. E J Jones drove by for the win with Tolle second ahead of Kenny Gill. Tolle ran a 20.35 best lap and Knox had a 20.55 before he blew. A Lacy had the outside front row assignment for heat 2 and was never headed, but USA Race Park champion Robinson made him work hard. A Lacy’s best lap was a 19.68 and Robinson ran second ahead of double division racer Jody Henderson. Tucson’s Billy Williams led the first lap of heat 3, but Fronsman took over on lap 2. Fronsman threw his fan belt and lost the lead to 4th starting Bullis. Bullis ran a 19.50 best lap as he won ahead of Fronsman and last starter Don Earven. Manzanita Speedway car builder Ron Funk was a wire to wire winner in heat 4 with a 19.90 best lap on the 3/8 mile clay oval. A Madrid came from last to take second from Tim Mecl on lap 8. Mecl ran third. Pole starter James Seaton led the first lap of heat 5, but ran off the top of the track on lap 2 and Tommy Reynolds was out front for the rest of that race. Brigner ran second ahead of CAR champion Perry Mallery. Matt Williams had broken in hot laps to end his weekend. A paid of ten lap B Mains were run to fill out a 26 car starting lineup for the preliminary night feature. Dave Dulceak led the first 3 laps of the first B Main and then William Lacy was out front for three laps before Rene Madrid led the rest of the way. Leaders Dulceak and W Lacy had tangled to hand the top spot to R Madrid. In his first look at CAR, Joe Sarginger ran second ahead of W Lacy and Jody Haynes. Tommy Thompson fell out to end his weekend. After two laps of the second B Main, officials decided that it was too dusty to continue racing without watering. Don Costa led those two laps and he paced the remainder of the race to win over Lonnie Foss, Brad Whitfield, Marty Hussak and Scott Keniston. Tommy Hussak III spun on the first lap and was hit hard by Shawn Bennett to end the day for both. Tucson’s Todd Simmons blew a tire and his weekend was over.
The field was now set for the 20 lap preliminary feature and the five heat winners drew for their starting order in the front. Bullis and Jones drew the front row ahead of T Reynolds, Funk and A Lacy. Bullis charged into the lead over A Lacy and Jones. Funk took over third on lap 3 with A Madrid and Fronsman working their way into the 3-4 slots on lap 6. At the midway mark, Bullis led A Lacy, A Madrid, Fronsman, Jones, Mecl and Funk. A lap 15 yellow involved both Jones and Mecl. Brigner drew a jump start penalty that was inforced on lap 14. On lap 17, A Lacy grabbed the lead from Bullis and he won the 20 lapper. Bullis was disqualified for a short wheel base and that moved A Madrid up to second ahead of Fronsman, Robinson, Brigner, Tolle, W Lacy, Foss, Funk and Costa. The next six finishers earned the front six starting spots in the Sunday 15 lap B Main. That group included D Earven, Sarginger, Jones, Gill, Haynes and Mecl.
A late influx of cars grew the factory stock field to 20 cars and they were divided into a pair of heat races. Outside front row starter Heath McEuen led the first lap of heat 1, then it was Henderson in front for the rest of the way. Henderson ran a 21.94 best lap as he won ahead of Dennis Harrison and last starting Zack Tate. Tate got around Jason Harvil late for that third spot. Childers had the outside front row for heat 2 and he paced two laps before third starting Meitzner led the rest of the way. Meitzner’s best lap was a 21.44. Childers ran second ahead of sixth starting Hussak III and 8th starting Jones. All 20 cars were able to start their preliminary day feature and the draw for the front three rows put Hussak III and Childers in the front row ahead of Henderson, Harrison, Meitzner and Tate. Hussak III had a lot of late season success both here and in Tucson. He took a quick lead over Childers and Harrison. Harrison grabbed second on lap 3 and Ricky Cook was third on lap 4. Meitzner climbed into the top three on lap 7 and took second from Harrison on lap 8. On lap 10, Meitzner claimed the top spot from Hussak III and he raced to the win. Hussak III was second. Cook pitted on lap 12 to end his weekend. Again, the top ten finishers claimed starting spots in the front five rows for Sunday. Childers was third ahead of Jones, Harvil, Harrison, Henderson, Jack Maynard, Jack Beck and Mathew Mabbitt.
Clicking off a best lap of 21.20, third starting Kelvin Spaght won the first heat for the dwarf cars ahead of Echols and Tim Barber. Outside front row starter Hickson raced into the lead in heat 2 only to run over the top of the banking early in the race. Torgerson also ran off the end leading and Riggs clicked off a 20.48 best lap in his win over last starter Cam Muldner and Dan Yirku. Muldner was driving the second Echols car. The front of the feature grid put Spaght and Echols on the front row ahead of Muldner, Barber, Yirku and Paul Ross. Echols led just the first lap as Riggs blasted into third behind Spaght. Riggs took the lead on lap 2 with Hickson quickly into third from his back of the pack start At lap 11, Riggs led Echols, Hickson, Spaght and Muldner. Spaght was fourth at the white flag, but fell back as Riggs fought off the charge of Hickson for the win. Echols ran third ahead of Torgerson, Muldner, Yirku and Spaght. Ross was 8th ahead of Gannett.
Summary Dwarf Car Heat 1-Kelvin Spaght, Brandon Echols, Tim Barber, Paul Ross, Daniel Brackett. Heat 2-Dean Riggs, Cam Muldner, Dan Yirku, Dan Torgerson, Brad Hickson. Main-Riggs, Hickson, Echols, Torgerson, Muldner, Yirku, Spaght, Ross, Scott Gannett, Brackett, Barber. Factory Stock Heat 1-Jody Henderson, Dennis Harrison, Zack Tate, Jason Harvil, Jack Maynard. Heat 2-Mike Meitzner, Marlon Childers, Tommy Hussak III, E J Jones, Ricky Cook. Main-Meitzner, Hussak, Childers, Jones, Harvil, Harrison, Henderson, Maynard, Jack Beck, Mathew Mabbitt, Mike Sutton Jr, Dewayne Sutton, Jackie Parmeley, Jim Banks, Matt Rice, Mike Sutton Sr, Tate, Cook, John Buerger, Heath McEuen. Street Stock Heat 1-E J Jones, Patrick Tolle, Kenny Gill, Dave Dulceak, Scott Keniston. Heat 2-Art Lacy, Ted Robinson, Jody Henderson, William Lacy, Don Costa. Heat 3-Jerry Bullis, George Fronsman, Don Earven, Crystal Reynolds, Roy Poehling. Heat 4-Ron Funk, Anthony Madrid, Tim Mecl, Tommy Hussak III, Eddie Fansler Sr. Heat 5-Tommy Reynolds, Mike Brigner, Perry Mallery, Joe Sarginger, Shawn Bennett. 1st B Main-Rene Madrid, Sarginger, W Lacy, Jody Haynes, Billy Williams, C Reynolds, Fansler Sr, Dulceak, Rob Colclasure, Mike McPherson. 2nd B Main-Costa, Lonnie Foss, Brad Whitfield, Marty Hussak, Keniston, James Seaton, Poehling, Ray Earven, Eddie Fansler Jr, Rob Chevalier. A Main-A Lacy, A Madrid, Fronsman, Robinson, Brigner, Tolle, W Lacy, Foss, Funk, Costa, D Earven, Sarginger, Jones, Gill, Haynes, Mecl, Henderson, Keniston, R Madrid, Mallery, C Reynolds, T Reynolds, M Hussak, B Williams, Whitfield.
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