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|Posted: Sunday May 18th, 2014 05:20 PM||
|Hartman wins wild ASCS Frontier main at Great Falls
By Andrew Kunas
GREAT FALLS, Mont. – There was passing everywhere around the track the entire race, so it was fitting that this race saw a last lap, last corner pass for the win, as T.J. Hartman snuck around Joe Ramaker in traffic in the last set of turns to win Saturday’s ASCS Frontier Region main event at Electric City Speedway.
The 23-year-old Hartman, from Puyallup, Wash. but living in Edmonton, Alberta, was slated to start the 25-lap event in the 11th position, though he got to move up a row to start when pole-sitter Sean MacDonell couldn’t make the call because of ignition issues. That did not play much of a factor, however, because he and everyone else in the field were able to all pass each other almost at will on a very racy track early on.
After losing the lead to Shephard, Mont. driver Jeremy McCune, Boise, Idaho’s Ramaker got back inside of McCune exiting Turn 2 to reclaim the top spot with just a couple of laps remaining, taking Hartman with him. Entering Turn 3 on the final circuit Ramaker came up on a group of slower cars. Hartman pounced on the opportunity, diving to the inside of Ramaker and managing to make it stick coming out of Turn 4 for the checkered flag.
It was the only lap Hartman led the entire night, but it was the one that counted for the driver in the EBR Motorsports No. 19 Custom Automotive Specialty-powered Maxim. The track began taking rubber in places in the late portion of the race, resulting in drivers searching for better traction around the 3/10-mile clay oval. Some drivers picked up speed and started picking off cars fast, while others still searching started fading fast.
“I got lucky. I was one of the very first to find rubber (on the bottom of the track), and that allowed me to pick cars off (late),” Hartman said. “More guys were finding the bottom so I had to move when I could.”
Hartman’s last lap pass was the fifth lead change in the race, and also kept Joe Ramaker from sweeping the weekend at Electric City Speedway, as he also won Friday’s race at the track where the Montana native has seen much success.
“When you come to Montana, you hear of Joe Ramaker,” Hartman said. “To beat that caliber driver here, it makes me really proud. It shows how we’ve worked so hard to put this package together. To come from 11th or 9th or wherever to win, it shows how well Scotty (Evans) and Doug (Anderson) and I work together. It’s a good fit for us.”
Ramaker settled for second aboard his No. 98 Ostrich-powered J&J to back up his win on Friday. Quilcene, Wash.’s J.J. Hickle, who led the first handful of laps, finished third aboard the Hickle Racing No. 3h Don Ott-powered Triple X. Helena, Mont.’s Trever Kirkland later passed Hickle for the lead before losing it to Ramaker, eventually finishing fourth in his No. 37 Ryder-powered JEI. Fifteenth-starting Randi Miller of Rapid City, S.D. came up to finish fifth in the Hopkins & Wurl No. 90 Liebig-powered GF1.
Eighteenth-starting Skyler Gee, McCune, Kelly Miller, reigning ASCS Frontier Region champion Phil Dietz and Paxton Lambrect rounded out the Top 10.
Shane Ainscough won the 12-lap B-Main, transferring to the feature race and taking Gee, Cody Masse and Ryder Olson with him. Heat races were won Bill Boyce, Rick Fauver, Hickle and Kirkland.
The next races for the ASCS Frontier Region are on June 13th and 14th. The tour makes its first stop of the season at Gallatin Speedway in Belgrade on a Friday, followed by a first visit of the season to Billings Motorsports Park the next night. More information on the Frontier Region of the American Sprint Car Series can be found online at frontier.ascsracing.com.
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American Sprint Car Series – Frontier Region
Electric City Speedway
Great Falls, MT
May 17, 2014
Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. 1 Bill Boyce, 2. 72 Phil Dietz, 3. 1x Vernon Hill, 4. 12 Jerry Brey, 5. 44 Damon McCune, 6. 00 Roger Cummings, 7. 4 Junior Nelson.
Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. 23n Rick Fauver, 2. 44k Kelly Miller, 3. 9 Sean MacDonell, 4. 1xx Stuart Selby, 5. 11 Cliff Nelson, 6. 2 Shad Peterson, DNS – 24 Leroy Brush.
Heat 3 (8 laps): 1. 3h J.J. Hickle, 2. 98 Joe Ramaker, 3. 7x Paxton Lambrect, 4. 3 Shane Ainscough, 5. 99 Skyler Gee, 6. 21 Ryder Olson, 7. 77 Mark Sweet.
Heat 4 (8 laps): 1. 37 Trever Kirkland, 2. 0J Jeremy McCune, 3. 19 T.J. Hartman, 4. 90 Randi Miller, 5. 35 Cody Masse, 6. 4n Johnny Nelson.
B-Main (12 laps): 1. 3 Shane Ainscough, 2. 99 Skyler Gee, 3. 35 Cody Masse, 4. 21 Ryder Olson, 5. 2 Shad Peterson, 6. 00 Roger Cummings, 7. 11 Clint Nelson, 8. 4 Junior Nelson, 9. 77 Mark Sweet, 10. 4n Johnny Nelson, DNS – 24 Leroy Brush. First four finishers transfer to A-Main.
A-Main (25 laps): 1. 19 T.J. Hartman, 2. 98 Joe Ramaker, 3. 3h J.J. Hickle, 4. 37 Trever Kirkland, 5. 90 Randi Miller, 6. 99 Skyler Gee, 7. 0J Jeremy McCune, 8. 44k Kelly Miller, 9. 72 Phil Dietz, 10. 7x Paxton Lambrect, 11. 1 Bill Boyce, 12. 21 Ryder Olson, 13. 3 Shane Ainscough, 14. 35 Cody Masse, 15. 44 Damon McCune, 16. 1xx Stuart Selby, 17. 1x Vernon Hill, 18. 12 Jerry Brey, 19. 23n Rick Fauver, DNS – 9 Sean MacDonell.