ZIEHL TAKES "FREEDOM TOUR" ROUND 2
by Lance Jennings
WICHITA, KS – AUGUST 23, 2013... After scoring eleventh the previous night in Oklahoma, “The Real Deal” Rick Ziehl of Las Cruces, New Mexico claimed victory at 81 Speedway. The $2,500 “Freedom Tour” win was Ziehl’s second USAC SouthWest Sprint Car triumph of the campaign. “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr., Josh Pelkey, Jeremy Campbell, “The Magic Man” Mike Martin rounded out the top five drivers as the series heads to Dodge City Raceway Park.
Creek County winner Danny Smith led the first two circuits until sliding through the turn three cushion and slamming into the retaining wall. Smith walked away uninjured, but his machine was done for the night. From that point, Ziehl took command, shook free from all challengers, and negotiated slower traffic to claim the checkered flags in front of a large crowd.
Racing the Gary Williams owned #41W Diamond Mechanical / Valley Industrial Painting & Powder Coating Maxim, Rick Ziehl dominated the feature by leading 28 laps. The multi-time ASCS Champion also won the program’s first 8-lap Racers Advantage Store Heat Race and finished second in the dash. In limited appearances, Rick is twenty-fifth in points with four heat race victories, four top-10 finishes, and 33 feature laps led to his credit.
“Chargin” Charles Davis Jr. of Buckeye, Arizona ran second in the Wichita feature after starting seventh. Driving the Massey Motorsports’ #50 RSS Industries / Rod End Supply RSS, the five-time Arizona Champion won the third Racers Advantage Store Heat Race and placed seventh in the dash. As this writing goes to press, “Chargin” Charles is second in points with four feature wins, seven heat race victories, three Sunoco Fuels Passing Masters Dash wins, two semi-main wins, three hard charger awards, eighteen top-10 finishes, and 84 feature laps led.
Peoria, Arizona’s Josh Pelkey had another strong finish with a third place run at 81 Speedway. Piloting the Ted Williams owned #74 Bandit Racing / Marks Bolts Ellis, the former ASCA Champion scored third in his heat race and fourth in the dash. Currently eighth in the point standings, Pelkey has one feature win, two heat race victories, one Sunoco Fuels Passing Masters Dash win, one semi-main win, thirteen top-10 finishes, and 35 feature laps led on the year.
Making a rare non-wing start, Jeremy Campbell of Wichita, Kansas scored fourth in the 30-lap main event. Racing his #10C JCM Scott’s Well Service / Dan’s Cycle entry, the 2-time 81 Speedway track champion claimed second in his heat race and took third in the dash. At press time, Campbell plans to return to the NCRA Sprint Car wars and will miss the Dodge City races.
Yuma, Arizona’s “The Magic Man” Mike Martin scored fifth at the checkered flags. Driving his #16 Ultimate Offroad / Naquin Precision Earth Moving Maxim, the Canyon “Hall of Fame Classic” winner ran second in his heat race and claimed sixth in the dash. To date, “The Magic Man” is third in the point chase with one feature win, one fast time award, five heat race victories, fifteen top-10 finishes, and 24 feature laps led in 2013.
Martin’s teammate Harli White of Lindsay, Oklahoma earned the night’s “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors with a seventh place run after starting nineteenth. Piloting Mike Martin’s #16W Ultimate Offroad / Naquin Precision Earth Moving Maxim, the OCRS feature winner scored eighth in her heat race after an early flip. White was uninjured and the team repaired her machine in time for the semi-main. Harli rebounded and scored third in the 12-lap event, earning a direct transfer to the feature.
As one of sixteen drivers that competed at Creek County Speedway, Buckner, Missouri’s Josh Stevens won the program’s second Racers Advantage Store Heat Race. Racing the family owned #09 Stephens Automotive / A-1 Excavating entry, Josh ran fifth in the dash and scored eighth in the 81 Speedway feature.
After scoring the hometown win at Creek County, Danny Smith of Sapulpa, Oklahoma looked for another “Freedom Tour” victory. Driving the Smith Motorsports’ #5$ Same Day Auto Repair / DSO Engines XXX, the OCRS feature winner claimed third in his heat race and won the 6-lap Sunoco Fuels Passing Masters Dash. Starting on the pole position, Smith led the first two laps before a crash ended his night.
With 27 cars in attendance, the format required one semi-main and Peoria, Arizona’s “The Bull” Tye Mihocko 12-lap event. Piloting the family owned #5 RSS Industries / Old World Brewery RSS, Mihocko claimed seventh in his heat race and scored nineteenth in the feature after an early flip. To date, the rookie contender is twenty-fourth in the point standings with two heat race victories and one top-10 finish.
The USAC SouthWest Sprint Car “Freedom Tour” continues tonight (August 23rd) at Dodge City Raceway Park in southwest Kansas. Promoted by former racer Tommie Estes Jr., the large 3/8-mile facility will showcase two nights of action. IMCA Stock Cars and Thunder Cars will join the Friday night card as IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Sport Modifieds will support the Saturday show. Racing will begin at 7:30pm each night and Adult Tickets are $12 on Friday and $15 on Saturday. Children 11 & under are FREE when accompanied by an adult. For more details on the Dodge City, Kansas races, check out www.dodgecityraceway.com or call (620) 225-3277.