From Andrew Kunas
Great Falls, MT — (June 19, 2015) – It wasn’t exactly how Phil Dietz would’ve wanted it to happen, but his nearly two year run of going winless in ASCS Frontier Region sprint car competition ended on Friday night when he was declared the winner after the post-race disqualification of Joe Ramaker at Electric City Speedway.
Ramaker had stormed from the 17th starting position to take the lead from Dietz on Lap 16 and led the remaining circuits of the 25-lap A-Feature event. However, post race inspection led ASCS officials to strip the 2014 series champion of his victory. Dietz, who crossed the finish line second, was declared the winner as a result.
For the Laurel, Montana driver it was his first win since his triumph at Electric City Speedway in August 2013. Dietz, who won the ASCS Frontier Region championship that season, was always competing for wins after that but was coming up just short. Dietz finished second in ASCS Frontier Region A-Feature events an astounding eleven times since that last win before Friday. Three of those runner-up finishes came in the first few weeks of the 2015 season.
“I’m relieved, to be honest,” said Dietz, who cut his deficit to points leader J.J. Hickle to 38 tallies. “It feels good. Last year was tough. We only had two seasons where we didn’t win a race. We re-grouped during the winter and we started pretty strong this season. Hopefully we can chip away at J.J.’s lead.”
While thrilled to end their drought, Dietz and his crew maintaining the Dietz Prevost Racing No. 72 Kistler-powered Maxim did admit that they’d rather have crossed the finish line first instead of getting a win through a disqualification.
Dietz powered to the lead from the third starting position on the initial start and led the first 15 laps before Ramaker motored by him shortly after a restart. Other than Ramaker, Dietz kept everyone else at bay, including Hickle.
“J.J.’s a very good driver. I think if we can take little chunks off his lead at a time I think we can make a run at him. But you can’t take anything away from him as a driver. He’s good.”
Fourteen scheduled events remain this season for the ASCS Frontier Region.
Hickle, whose three wins this season leads the series, finished second in the Peterson Racing No. 23n Ostrich-powered Rocket after starting fifth. Hickle, who travels from Washington state every weekend to race in Montana, has finished on the podium in all seven ASCS Frontier Region main events this year. Lethbridge, Alberta’s Kelly Miller, who sits third in the standings, was credited with a third place finish in the KDM Motorsports No. 2jr AMS-powered Schnee after coming all the way from 11th. Miller has finished in the Top 5 in all but one event this season.
Bryan Brown had a season best fourth place finish in the Brown Racing No. 38b Ostrich-powered Eagle and moved up two spots to ninth in the point standings. Medford, Oregon visitor Garen Linder finished fifth after starting eighth in his own No. 22L Rodgers-powered KPC.
Kyle Evans, Jeremy Mccune, Trever Kirkland, Mathew Dusseault and David Hoiness rounded out the Top 10. Kirkland’s finish was good enough to move him past Skylar Gee into fourth place in the point standings.
After also being disqualified following his heat race, Ramaker went on to win the 12-lap B-Feature and transferred with Kirkland, Chris Roberts and Darren Smith to the A-Feature.
Heat races earlier in the evening were won by Brown, Hickle and Linder. Hickle had the top score in the passing points system ASCS utilizes, earning a score of 120 after coming from the fifth starting position to win his heat race. It was the fourth time in seven shows that Hickle topped the heat race passing points.
The series races again Saturday evening at Electric City Speedway before taking the next three weekends off.
The Frontier Region of the American Sprint Car Series, presented in part by Speedmart Inc. is a winged 360 dirt sprint car tour racing around the state of Montana and beyond. More information on the ASCS Frontier Region can be found online at frontier.ascsracing.com or you can follow the series on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ascsfrontier. The national website of the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour presented by MAVTV American Real is http://www.ascsracing.com.
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American Sprint Car Series – Frontier Region
Electric City Speedway
Great Falls, MT
June 19, 2015
Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. 38b Bryan Brown, 2. 72 Phil Dietz, 3. 2k Kyle Evans, 4. 2jr Kelly Miller, 5. 1 Bill Boyce, 6. 99 Skylar Gee, 7. 22 Chris Roberts, 8. 4 Junior Nelson.
Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. 23n J.J. Hickle, 2. 12 Josh Ostermiller, 3. 4d Mathew Dusseault, 4. 27DD David Hoiness, 5. 00 Roger Cummings, 6. 4n Johnny Nelson, 7. 77 Bob Shiplet (DNF), 8. 81 Darren Smith (DNF).
Heat 3 (8 laps): 1. 22L Garen Linder, 2. 0J Jeremy Mccune, 3. 35m Cody Masse, 4. 35 Chip Roe, 5. 24 Leroy Brush, 6. 37 Trever Kirkland (DNF). DQ’d – 98 Joe Ramaker.
High points: 23n J.J. Hickle, 120
B-Feature (12 laps):1. 98 Joe Ramaker, 2. 37 Trever Kirkland, 3. 22 Chris Roberts, 4. 81 Darren Smith, 5. 4 Junior Nelson, 6. 4n Johnny Nelson, 7. 77 Bob Shiplet (DNF). First four finishers transfer to A-Feature.
A-Feature (25 laps): 1. 72 Phil Dietz, 2. 23n J.J. Hickle, 3. 2jr Kelly Miller, 4. 38b Bryan Brown, 5. 22L Garen Linder, 6. 2k Kyle Evans, 7. 0J Jeremy Mccune, 8. 37 Trever Kirkland, 9. 4d Mathew Dusseault, 10. 27DD David Hoiness, 11. 99 Skylar Gee, 12. 12 Josh Ostermiller, 13. 35 Chip Roe, 14. 35m Cody Masse, 15. 81 Darren Smith, 16. 22 Chris Roberts (DNF), 17. 00 Roger Cummings (DNF), 18. 24 Leroy Brush (DNF), 19. 1 Bill Boyce. DQ’d: 98 Joe Ramaker.
Lap leaders: Phil Dietz 1-15, Joe Ramaker 16-25