By Andrew Kunas
LAUREL, Mont. – A familiar face will be a contender this season with the Brodix Frontier Region of the American Sprint Car Series, as five-time sprint car champion Phil Dietz will be looking to add a sixth title to his already impressive resume.
The 37-year-old Laurel, Montana driver returned to sprint car racing last year after taking some time off and scored a pair of ASCS Frontier Region victories, both at his home track Big Sky Speedway, in part-time action. He took the opening night of the Big Sky 360 Nationals on July 24th and then scored the win in the ASCS Frontier Region season finale on September 11th. The two-time ASCS Frontier Region champion now expects to run the entire season in 2022, chasing a third ASCS regional title – to go with his 2013 and 2015 trophies – and a sixth overall crown. His chase begins this Friday and Saturday, May 27th and 28th at Electric City Speedway in Great Falls, Montana.
Dietz has been racing sprint cars since 1999, when he earned Rookie of the Year honors at just 15 years of age with the old Montana Open Wheel Racing Association, which was later renamed the Montana Sprint Tour – in which he won his first championship in 2003. After the Big Sky Sprint Tour took the MST’s place as the Montana based sprint car series a few years later, Dietz won his second overall title in 2007. An ownership change in the series took place after the 2009 season and it became simply known as Big Sky Sprints, and Dietz was that tour’s last champion in 2012. The ASCS Frontier Region took over and ran its inaugural season in 2013, and Dietz won twice that year en route to that championship, his fourth title under four different banners.
In 2015 he scored another four wins on his way to his second ASCS Frontier Region championship and fifth overall, cementing his place as one of Montana’s greatest sprint car racers ever. However, Dietz scaled back in 2016 and ran only a handful of races for other car owners, picking up a win for Richie and Nubby Peterson in non-ASCS action that season before hanging it up for a few years. Dietz later caught the bug again when attending events at Big Sky Speedway. When he returned to action in 2021, he and his wife Lisa got the band back together, including brothers Lee and Sean Hoke, longtime crewmembers for Phil. It was a popular win with the hometown fans when Dietz scored that win in July, his first sprint car main event win in five years and first ASCS Frontier Region triumph since taking the 2015 season finale.
Along with support from Lisa, the Hoke brothers are back crewing this year, along with Phil’s dad Ken Dietz and friend and sponsor Mike Nezworski. Phil will also be racing in memory of his grandfather Ray Dietz, who passed away in December. Ray was present in victory lane for one of Phil’s victories last year, something he and his family will cherish.
Dietz, as always, will be have the No. 72 on his car. As he had for the last number of years, Dietz will be running Maxim chassis. In 2022 he’ll be running Panella Racing engines under the hood and have Factory Kahne shocks on the car as well. CM Tree Service, who joined him as a major sponsor last year, is back with him along with Dietz Auto & Truck, Moon Construction, Pacific Recycling, Leading Performance and CNL Service.
The Brodix Frontier Region of the American Sprint Car Series will open its 2022 season with the Montana Spring Round-Up at Electric City Speedway in Great Falls, Montana this Friday and Saturday, May 27th and 28th.
More information on the ASCS Frontier Region can be found online at www.ascsracing.com. Stagg Motor Sports, the promoting company of the ASCS Frontier Region, can be found at www.staggmotorsports.com.