By Jason D Searcy
In an early race move, Ryan Mathews rocketed to the front over the independence holiday weekend to win the ASL 150 at I-94 Raceway in Sauk Centre MN.
Mathews passed Nate Thiesse on lap four and never looked back. "I was just trying to drive easy and it seemed like nobody could catch me, the car didn't wiggle the entire race" said Mathews.
After a recent string of good runs Mathews was hungry to score his first win of 2005. "It's been frustrating this year because we have had so many dominant cars and for whatever reason we've had something go wrong and lost the race. We finally got one!"
Mathews bested a strong field of drivers that included two former ASA Champions, Kevin Cywinski and Bryan Reffner to win his first career ASL race. "It's kind of neat to win in an ASL car becuase they are so different, every time we race we seem to learn a little more" said Mathews.
Trevor Stewart delighted his home state fans with an impressive late race charge through the pack to finish as the runner up. "We needed a caution, we wanted the fans to throw something on the track like they do at Indy" joked Stewart.
Fast timer in practice and time trials Paul Paine stayed near the front the entire race and finished third but was not able to challenge for the win. "I wore out my stuff racing with Cywinski" said Paine. "He passed me when I was trying to keep the tires under my car. Then I passed him and he passed me back again, then I got by him twords the end of the race. By that time my stuff was all used up."
Also finishing on the lead lap was Kevin Cywinski in fourth then Jonathan Davenport and Nate Thiesse in his ASL debut.
The next race will be Tuesday August 2nd at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna WI.
ASL 150 Results from I-94 Raceway, Sauk Centre MN
July 3 2005
15-John Vig Jr.
*reprinted from autoracingtracks.com
** The ASL only raced one year, when the ASA National tour folded and before the ASA Midwest tour began. ASL founder Gary Vercauteran suddenly died in October of 2005.
*** If you notice.. future NASCAR Cup series driver Landon Cassill finished 8th, he was only 16 yrs old. Future ASA Midwest tour champion Andrew Morrissey was 9th and Jarit Johnson (older brother of NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson) in a car prepared by Butch Miller finished 10th. Hal Collins came all the way from Fort Worth Texas to race in this event, driving an open trailer to haul his car, he finished 12th.
Here is a youtube video of the entire event courtesy of Wogggieee
If anyone has photo's of this event we could include with the article please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org