ASA Report and Results from Cedar Rapids: Pontiac Excitement 300
20 September 1997Cedar Rapids, IA - In a wild three car abreast finish, Scott Hansen, in the Ken Schrader Racing Chevrolet, edged out Steve Carlson and Mike Miller for the win in the Pontiac Excitement 300 at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, IA. The finish of the race could not have been closer with Hansen the meat in a Miller-Carlson sandwich as they came to the line. Hansen kept his foot to the floorboard and took the win by .028 seconds with Carlson nabbing second and Miller falling to third after leading the pentultimate lap.
"At the end of the race something was going wrong with Mike's (Miller) car," Hansen said as he collected the $8,320 winner's check. "I knew I had to get on the gas and get underneath him. At the end someone got underneath the two of us and it mae it really close at the finish. This win ranks right up there at the top. I raced side-by-side with Mike for a long time and we just ran out of room."
After the cars crossed the stripe, Hansen and Carlson made contact with Carlson spinning into the turn one wall and Hansen spinning through the infield.
Carlson, in the Clean Burn/Phillips 66 Trop Artic/Afco Pontiac, set the fast time in ACDelco RAPIDFIRE Qualifying with a time of 18.681 seconds for an average speed of 96.355 mph around the semi-banked half-mile oval. On the start Carlson grabbed the point and led for the first 122 laps until he pitted for tires. For Carlson it was the first pole position of his ASA career.
"I had a good car all day," Carlson said. "On the second stop we put on left side tires and should have put on rights. On that final stop we put on rights and went from seventh to second. I was able to get past Rick (Beebe) on the final restart and Scott (Hansen) and Mike (Miller) were banging on each other. They both pushed up a bit on the final lap and I decided to try the bottom."
Miller, who started in 13th place after finding some last minute backing from Old Milwaukee to even make the event, took the lead on lap 267 when leader Gary St Amant spun the WYNN'S/West Michigan Chevy Dealers Chevrolet in turn four. Tell-tale puffs of smoke began appearing from the rear of Miller's car as he entered the turns shortly after he took the lead and on the restart with two laps to go the smoke was very obvious to everyone. Miller tried to hold Hansen off, but with the engine going away he was facing an uphill challenge.
"We didn't need that last caution," Miller said. We had a motor going bad at the end and the car was getting loose in the corners."
Two dramatic incidents marked the race as Brandon Sperling, leading the race on lap 191 when he attempted to lap Johnny Spaw. As Sperling went to the inside entering turn three, the two cars made contact and spun into the wall. Spaw's machine had its rear engulfed by flames from burning fuel and Sperling's car suffered terminal damage.
With just two laps left Ted Smokstad and points leader Kevin Cywinski tangled in turn three with Cywinski slamming the wall hard, ending his evening and tightening up the race for the ASA ACDelco Challenge Series Championship. With ASA rules dictating that the last five laps be run under green, the stage was set for the exciting three car finish.
Rick Beebe finished in fourth with Bobby Gill rounding out the top five. Steve Holzhausen was awarded the WYNN'S WYNNING Move award for starting the race in eleventh and then bringing the Howes Lubricators/Structural Transport Ford home in seventh.
John Kaiser -- The Auto Channel
Hawkeye Downs Speedway - Provisional results for the ASA ACDelco Challenge Series, Pontiac Excitement 300: Ps.Ql.No. Driver , Car Laps -- -- ---- ----------------------------------------------------- ----- 1 10 52 Scott Hansen AFCO Racing Products PONT 300 2 1 87 Steve Carlson(R)Baker Enterprises/Clean Burn PONT 300 3 13 18 Mike Miller South East Air Service PONT 300 4 12 23 Rick Beebe St Louis Gear/Royal Machine PONT 300 5 15 55 Bobby Gill Leo M/S/Wehr/Racing Adventures PONT 300 6 2 7 Gary St Amant Wynn's/W Michigan Chevy Dealers CHEV 300 7 11 5 Steve Holzhausen Structural Transport FORD 300 8 8 8 Mike Garvey AFCO Racing Products PONT 300 9 6 32 Ted Smokstad Corp. Auto/SMS Parts PONT 300 10 17 81 Harold Fair Car Quest/ACDelco/Victor Reinz PONT 300 11 7 88 Mike Eddy GM Goodwrench Service/HRE PONT 299 12 18 6 Dave Sensiba Engineered Polymer/W MI Auto AuctPONT 299 13 4 07 Jack Landis Adirondak/Lyndaker/Maisto/N.YoderFORD 298 14 19 1 Kevin Cywinski Tecumseh/LaFavre Racing PONT 297 15 22 72 Junior Hanley Skillman Motorsports PONT 297 16 5 21 Kevin Nuttleman Citgo/Midwest Fuels/Dutch Mill PONT 294 17 20 47 Paul Paine Paine Racing PONT 288 18 16 4 Jimmie Johnson West Michigan Chevy Dealers CHEV 274 19 30 93 Tim Sauter Build-A-Mold/Trimplas/Moldplas PONT 258 20 26 58 Billy Turner Sanifill/Central Fiber PONT 255 21 31 11 Doug Mayr(R) No Touch Car Care/Aqua Splash CHEV 238 22 9 51 Brandon Sperling Sperling Motorsports CHEV 191 23 25 03 Johnny Spaw Mid-West Plumbing/Clemnet TrailerPONT 189 24 14 48 Joe Nott Valvoline/Allan Nott Toyota/RaabeFORD 158 25 32 92 Carroll Adamy Dorothy Lynch Home Style Salad DrCHEV 119 26 23 79 Mike Cofer (R) Black & Decker Versa Pack PONT 75 27 3 33 Brad Loney Bunsaver/Hunter's Spec/Flexsteel PONT 75 28 28 19 Justin Diercks Diercks LTD/Dr A. Diercks/TC Fab FORD 49 29 29 43 Curt Martin Team 17 FORD 49 30 27 95 Chuck Hemmingston Rodeway Inn PONT 49 31 21 84 Bob Senneker Lane Auto/JR Automation/Mr GasketFORD 48 32 24 0 Tom Jones Jones Motorsports PONT 30 (R)= Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie Candidate Time of Race : 2 hrs 17 min 23 secs Average Speed : 65.61 mph Margin of Victory : .028 secs Lap Leaders : Carlson, St Amant, Sperling, Cywinski, Miller, Hansen Track Length : 0.5000 Miles