By Andrew Kunas
BILLINGS, Mont. – Joe Ramaker’s hot start to the 2014 season continued Saturday night as he picked up the checkered flag in the ASCS Frontier Region sprint car main event at Billings Motorsports Park.
Starting third after the re-draw, the Boise, Idaho driver wasted no time moving into second place in the early laps, setting his sights on race leader Trever Kirkland of Helena, Mont. A long green flag run to start the race on a fast surface saw the leaders in heavy traffic. Kirkland, who was having brake issues, fought to hold off Ramaker while dealing with slower cars. However, Ramaker’s No. 98 Ostrich-powered J&J was just too strong. After passing Kirkland for the lead, Ramaker was not challenged the rest of the 25-lap race.
It was Ramaker’s second win of the season and tenth in the ASCS Frontier Region since the start of last season. By his count, it was his 65th career sprint car main event win. Already the points leader entering the event, Ramaker further added to his lead.
“When I wasn’t leading, I was licking my chops,” Ramaker said about the early portion of the race, as he was able to search around the race track while in traffic. “I was able to try the bottom and I knew what to expect if I was able to get to Trever. But there were a lot of fast cars in traffic, so I had to push.”
Twenty laps were completed before the first caution came out for an accident in Turn 2. Another caution came a couple of laps later. Each time, Ramaker motored away from the field on the restart. With the long green flag run to start, only six cars finished on the lead lap.
Kirkland ran second until hitting a rut exiting Turn 2, getting his car out of shape and allowing a hard charging Phil Dietz of Laurel, Mont. to make the pass for second. Dietz, the defending ASCS Frontier Region champion, would finish second in the Prevost Racing No. 72 RFast-powered GF1.
“The car was awesome. I can’t complain,” said Dietz, who started seventh after the re-draw. “I can’t thank Phil and Mary Prevost enough for this great equipment and (crew) for their hard work. We just need to learn to draw (for starting positions) better. I was expecting a few more cautions (because of the heavy traffic). A lot going on out there. I could have used one in the last couple of laps.”
Despite the brake problems, Kirkland finished third in the Kirkland Racing No. 37 Ryder-powered XXX. Coming all the way from the 15th starting position, Lethbridge, Alberta visitor Kelly Miller got Billings driver David Hoiness at the finish line to finish fourth in the KDM Motorsports No. 44k AMS-powered Schnee. Hoiness was credited with fifth place in the Hoiness Racing No. 27dd Wesmar-powered J&J.
Former Big Sky Sprint Tour champion Joe Perry of Billings was the last driver to finish on the lead lap, taking sixth place. Rick Fauver, T.J. Hartman, Jerry Brey and Shad Peterson rounded out the Top 10.
Damon McCune passed Shad Peterson on the final lap to win the 12-lap B-Main, taking Peterson, Paxton Lambrect and Steve Reeves with him to the A-Main. The heat races were won by Jeremy McCune, Hoiness, Fauver and Ramaker.
The Frontier Region of the American Sprint Car Series will be in action again on Friday and Saturday, June 20th and 21st with a two-night stand at Electric City Speedway in Great Falls, Mont. More information on the series can be found online at frontier.ascsracing.com.
ASCS Frontier Region
Billings Motorsports Park – Billings, Mont.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Car Count: 26
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 0J-Jeremy McCune; 2. X-Steve Nelson; 3. 28-Joe Perry; 4. 34-Duane Gabel; 5. 77-Mark Sweet; 6. 99-Skylar Gee; 7. 5R-Steve Reeves
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 27DD-David Hoiness; 2. 32-Tyler Gabel; 3. 38B-Bryan Brown; 4. 19-T.J. Hartman; 5. 7X-Paxton Lambrecht; 6. 35-Charles (Chip) Roe
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 23N-Rick Fauver; 2. 12-Jerry Brey; 3. 72-Phil Dietz; 4. 44K-Kelly Miller; 5. 2-Shad Peterson; 6. 00-Roger Cummings
Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 98-Joe Ramaker; 2. 37-Trever Kirkland; 3. 90-Randi Miller; 4. 21-Ryder Olson; 5. 44M-Damon McCune; 6. 38C-Cody Brown Jr.
B Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 44M-Damon McCune; 2. 2-Shad Peterson; 3. 7X-Paxton Lambrecht; 4. 5R-Steve Reeves; 5. 35-Charles (Chip) Roe; 6. 77-Mark Sweet; 7. 00-Roger Cummings; 8. 38C-Cody Brown Jr.
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 98-Joe Ramaker; 2. 72-Phil Dietz; 3. 37-Trever Kirkland; 4. 44K-Kelly Miller; 5. 27DD-David Hoiness; 6. 28-Joe Perry; 7. 23N-Rick Fauver; 8. 19-T.J. Hartman; 9. 12-Jerry Brey; 10. 2-Shad Peterson; 11. 5R-Steve Reeves; 12. 21-Ryder Olson; 13. X-Steve Nelson; 14. 44M-Damon McCune; 15. 34-Duane Gabel; 16. (DNF) 0J-Jeremy McCune; 17. (DNF) 7X-Paxton Lambrecht; 18. (DNF) 32-Tyler Gabel; 19. (DNF) 38B-Bryan Brown; 20. (DNF) 90-Randi Miller