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ASCS Southwest Set for USA on Saturday

[i Lonnie Wheatley, TULSA, Okla. (October 20, 2009)]

Story lines abound as the ASCS Southwest Region takes to Tucson’s USA Raceway this Saturday night with Ben Gregg clinging to a narrow series points lead, Rick Ziehl trying to put the finishing touches on mini-series points chase and Johnny Herrera trying to keep a Regional win streak alive.

Saturday’s card also serves as one final tune up for the ASCS Southwest forces before taking on the Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters at the 42nd Annual Kronik Energy Western World Championships presented by Old Tucson Studios on November 19-21.

After a couple of weeks of Texas competition, Peoria’s Gregg carries a slim 10-point lead into Saturday’s action as he tries to close in on the ASCS Southwest title. Gregg, who topped the series most recent feature event on September 19, is just ten points ahead of Ziehl, with John Gaston, Mike Martin and Joshua Hodges all within striking distance as well.

Ziehl, the defending ASCS Southwest champion, carries an 18 point edge in the Discount Tire Co. ASCS Regional Challenge into the event. Saturday’s card, the eighth and final leg of the DTC Challenge, will crown the champion of the series that included both winged Southwest Region events and wingless Canyon Region events.

Dropping in on the Southwest contingent on Saturday night will be Albuquerque’s Johnny Herrera, who has topped 16 consecutive ASCS Regional winged events throughout Arizona and New Mexico dating back to 2005.

Herrera won’t be the only weekend visitor, as Phoenix native Calvin Landis returns to Arizona for some racing action after another year of Knoxville competition.

Also, wingless shoe R.J. Johnson of Phoenix, AZ, is prepared to take on the winged forces for the first time, with modified ace R.C. Whitwell also trying out the winged open-wheelers on Saturday night.

Saturday’s ASCS Southwest Region event at USA Raceway goes green at 7:00 p.m.

The 3/8-mile USA Raceway clay oval is located east of Tucson off I-10 Exit 268, then 1.6 mile south on Craycroft Road, which turns into Los Reales. For more information, contact the track at 520-574-8515.

Current ASCS Southwest points (Top Ten): 1. Ben Gregg (Peoria, AZ) 984, 2. Rick Ziehl (Las Cruces, NM) 974, 3. John Gaston (Peoria, AZ) 958, 4. Mike Martin (Yuma, AZ) 948, 5. Joshua Hodges (Tijeras, NM) 946, 6. Ronnie Clark (Tucson, AZ) 920, 7. Charles Davis, Jr. (Buckeye, AZ) 910, 8. John Van Horn (Tucson, AZ) 821, 9. Jessica Van Dyke (Tucson, AZ) 813, 10. Ron Kratz (Tucson, AZ) 746.

Current Discount Tire Co. ASCS Regional Challenge Points (Top Five through Seven of Eight Rounds): 1. Rick Ziehl 704, 2. Charles Davis, Jr. 686, 3. Ronnie Clark 664, 4. Mike Martin 650, 5. Joshua Hodges 638.

The American Sprint Car Series, in its 18th year of sanctioning Sprint Car racing events, brings the best of Sprint Car racing to nearly 100 different tracks throughout 25 states and Canada in 2009. Anchored by the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters, ASCS also consists of a dozen different Regions throughout the nation.

Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at