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Manzanita SCRA Opener

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Manzanita SCRA Opener
May 8, 1997, 12:19 PM

Complete stats and info at: http://www.goodnet.com/~pashapm/scra home.htm YELEY 16TH TO 1ST IN SCRA OPENER By Robert Mayson Phoenix, AZ.-February 1-The Sprint Car Racing Association opened ...

Complete stats and info at:

http://www.goodnet.com/~pashapm/scra home.htm

YELEY 16TH TO 1ST IN SCRA OPENER By Robert Mayson

Phoenix, AZ.-February 1-The Sprint Car Racing Association opened their season at Keith Hall's Manzanita Speedway Saturday night with the annual 30-lap "Salute to the Copper World Classic". While SCRA celebrated its 100th race, 20 Year-old J.J. Yeley thrilled a capacity crowd and TNN cameras with a dramatic win starting from the 16th position. Cory Kruseman intially looked like he was on his way to stealing the spotlight with a wire-to-wire win. That is, until a punctured tire on the final lap gave Yeley the opportunity to make up for a race that got away from him in similar fashion last season. "Tonight the luck came our way," said Yeley with a boyish grin. "Last year I had a tire problem with a couple laps to go and Cory Kruseman was the benefactor. Tonight, it was just the other way around. I felt sorry for Cory, but I'd rather be lucky than good, and we'll take this one." JE Piston Dash winner, Bobby Michnowicz, in his Mike Hasebe/MRT Timeless T-Shirts Stealth No.21, brought the 22-car field down for starter Steve Vodden's green flag, but it was Kruseman that jumped into the lead. Steve Ostling, Lee Brewer, Jr. and IRL Star, Tony Stewart, battled hard for third in the opening five laps as Rip Williams moved to fifth from his tenth starting spot. Yeley was on the move early as well, despite having brake problems. "We weren't real aggressive on the set-up," said Yeley, "and when we got from 16th to eighth in six laps, I knew we had a real good car." Defending SCRA Champ, Ron Shuman, darted the Skip Schuck Texaco-Havoline No.2 Ellis into the top-five on lap ten with a nice move around Steve Ostling and DURA-Light Fast Timer, Richard Griffin. Shuman's pass seemed to light a fire under Griffin because the 'Gasman' moved by Brewer, Jr. at the flagstand the following lap and then blasted underneath Shuman with a classic Manzanita slide-job in turn three. He then used the same move two laps later in turn one to push Stewart back to fourth. Kruseman had a full straightaway lead when Griffin relieved Michnowicz of second on lap 19. Troy Cline lost power along the front straight three laps later and was struck by a Rodney Argo. Amazingly, Argo did a 360-degree spin and continued on as the yellow waved for debris from Cline's car. As the field lined up for the restart, everyone was waiting to see if Griffin could get the jump on Kruseman. But when the green light flashed, it was Griffin that was surprised when Michnowicz drove by him for second. Shuman also tried a big restart move on Stewart for fourth, but instead allowed Brewer, Jr. and a charging Yeley go by. With five laps to go and Brewer, Jr. on his tail, Griffin again powered Ron Chaffin's Boot Jack Equipment No. 50 Ellis into second but not until Kruseman had built a huge lead. Kruseman accepted the white flag and was on his way to giving car owner Harlan Willis and early birthday gift when a flat right rear tire sent him over the turn one cushion and nearly into the wall. As Kruseman fought unsuccessfully to clear the racing surface, Griffin attempted to speed around him for the victory, but clipped the fence exiting turn two with his right rear tire. During Kruseman's yellow, Griffin's tire went flat and he was forced to join Brewer, Jr. in the pits for a tire change. With Michnowicz now in the lead, Yeley found himself in second place and with yet an another opportunity to win his SCRA first race at his hometrack. This time it was an opportunity not wasted, as Yeley darted Jack Yeley's Action Die Cast Distributors No. 4 Rich to the victory in their first race with their new sponsor. Michnowicz finished second ahead of Shuman. Williams was fourth in the Sharon Jory Kurb/King No.3 Stinger. John Scott had a fine drive in the Scott's Motorsports Haas CNC Machine Tools No. 83 S&S/Drake and finished fifth.

Qualifying

 Pos Car# Driver Car Owner Time 1 50 Richard Griffin Chaffin 19.218 2 74 Mike Boat Boat 19.307 3 2 Ron Shuman Schuck 19.373 4 48 Lee Brewer, Jr Cowherd Racing 19.470 5 111 Troy Rutherford Jordan 19.513 6 3 Rip Williams Jory 19.592 7 20AZ Tony Stewart Martin 19.606 8 12 Steve Ostling Pratt 19.612 9 11 Troy Cline Cline 19.646 10 17 Jeremy Sherman Ellis 19.681 11 21 Bobby Michnowicz Hasebe/MRT 19.724 12 45 Cory Kruseman Willis 19.739 13 83 John Scott Scott Motorsports 19.756 14 15X Billy Boat Lawson 19.767 15 6 Mike Kirby Geurin 19.829 16 33 Rickie Gaunt Blair 19.884 17 4 J.J. Yeley Yeley 19.900 18 98 Verne Sweeney Sweeney 19.901 19 89 Mike English M&M Motorsports 19.954 20 16 Tom Ball MACH 2 Racing 20.000 21 31X Sid Blandford Blandford 20.045 22 70 Eric Wilkins Moody 20.151 23 51A Ricky Johnson Johnson 20.180 24 19 Rodney Argo Argo 20.208 25 95 Keith Williamson Williamson 20.222 26 87 Jerry Coons, Jr Owens Motorsports 20.256 27 35 Rick Ziehl G&N Motorsports 20.309 28 11A Dave Anderson Anderson Racing 20.317 29 72 Jimmy May May/Schuck 20.410 30 03 Rick Byler Byler 20.444 31 4U Mark Cassella  Stapp 20.445 32 97 Steve Venard Venard 20.629 33 91SM Steve Sussex, Jr Carsten 20.876 34 81 Danny Ent Ent Racing 21.123 35 46 Jim Blenkarn Blenkarn 21.156 36 39 Cal Smith Pratt 21.187 37 20 Jason Leffler Franklin Spl 21.772 38 15 Marc Hart Hart 22.715 39 30 Joe Custer Scott Motorsports 23.532 40 22 Rick Hinrichsen Hinrichsen 24.712 41 24 Chad Jones Dakota Motorsports 25.913 

1st Heat

1. J.J. Yeley 2. Richard Griffin 3. Troy Cline 4. Sid Blandford 5. Troy Rutherford 6. John Scott 7. Keith Williamson 8. Jimmy May

2nd Heat

1. Jerry Coons, Jr 2. Eric Wilkins 3. Verne Sweeney 4. Billy Boat 5. Rip Williams 6. Jeremy Sherman 7. Rick Byler 8. Mike Boat

3rd Heat

1. Ron Shuman 2. Rick Ziehl 3. Bobby Michnowicz 4. Tony Stewart 5. Mike Kirby 6. Ricky Johnson 7. Mark Cassella 8. Mike English

4th Heat

1. Rodney Argo 2. Cory Kruseman 3. Steve Ostling 4. Lee Brewer, Jr 5. Tom Ball 6. Dave Anderson 7. Rickie Gaunt 8. Steve Venard

JE Piston's Passing Master's Dash

1. Bobby Michnowicz 2. Cory Kruseman 3. Steve Ostling 4. Tony Stewart 5. Ron Shuman 6. Lee Brewer, Jr 7Richard Griffin 8. Troy Cline

C Main

1. Danny Ent 2. Jason Leffler 3. Jim Blenkarn 4. Cal Smith 5. Marc Hart 6. Rick Hinrichsen 7. Joe Custer 8 Chad Jones 9. Steve Sussex, Jr.

B Main

1. Mike Kirby 2. Rip Williams 3. Jeremy Sherman 4. John Scott 5. Rickie Gaunt 6. Mike Boat 7. Mike English 8. Ricky Johnson 9. Jason Leffler 10. Tom Ball 11. Dave Anderson 12. Rick Byler 13. Keith Williamson 14. Danny Ent 15. Steve Venard 16. Mark Cassella 17. Troy Rutherford

A Main

1. J.J. Yeley 2. Bobby Michnowicz 3. Ron Shuman 4. Rip Williams 5. John Scott 6. Mike Boat 7. Tony Stewart 8. Rodney Argo 9. Jeremy Sherman 10. Sid Blandford 11. Lee Brewer, Jr 12. Verne Sweeney 13. Jerry Coons, Jr 14. Steve Ostling 15. Cory Kruseman 16Richard Griffin 17. Eric Wilkins 18. Mike Kirby 19. Troy Cline 20. Billy Boat 21. Rickie Gaunt 22. Rick Ziehl

 Laps Led: Kruseman 1-28 Yeley 29-30 

-- "A minor

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