USAC SouthWest, NMMRA “Border Tour” this Saturday at Southern New Mexico Speedway

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July 8, 2015  |  by Lance Jennings

This Friday, July 10, the two-race “Border Tour” featuring the USAC SouthWest and New Mexico Motor Racing Association (NMMRA) Sprint Cars will open at El Paso Speedway Park. The following night, Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces, New Mexico will host the finale of the popular mini-series. Both main events will pay $2,000-to-win and $200-to-start, with an additional $250 going to the highest finishing 305 powered sprinter courtesy of Casey Minks and Truck Country. These will be “must see” events as drivers from Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas battle for bragging rights between the two series.

For the fourth consecutive season, El Paso Speedway Park has featured the traditional sprint cars of Arizona and New Mexico. Last year, R.J. Johnson took the lead from Shon Deskins on the last lap to earn his second victory at the 3/8-mile oval. On June 8, 2012, veteran driver Rickey Hood claimed the inaugural ASCS Canyon Region event at El Paso. Friday’s point race will also showcase X-Mods, Street Stocks, Mini-Sprints, and Hornets. The Front Gates will open at 5:30pm with Racing scheduled to begin at 7:45pm. For more information, visit www.epspeedwaypark.com or call 915.791.8749.

Like El Paso, the Southern New Mexico Speedway has showcased the Arizona and New Mexico Sprints for four years. Last September, R.J. Johnson added the fast 5/16-mile facility to his win list by leading all 30-laps. On June 9, 2012, Rickey Hood backed up his El Paso triumph and “The Real Deal” Rick Ziehl earned a popular hometown win on July 20, 2013. Saturday’s point race will also feature X-Mods, Street Stocks, Mini-Sprints, and Hornets. The Front Gates will open at 5:30pm with Racing scheduled to begin at 7:45pm. For more information, visit www.snmspeedway.com or call 575.524.7913.

Heading to Friday’s “showdown,” R.J. Johnson of Phoenix, Arizona has a 77-point lead over the competition. Racing Bill Michaels’ #77M Kodiak Products / Beal’s Auto Body Sherman, Johnson earned his seventh win of the season at Tucson’s USA Raceway on July 26th. In addition, the two-time champion has five heat race victories, one high point driver award, one hard charger award, thirteen top-10 finishes, and 120 feature laps led. R.J. will be looking to continue his championship bid with wins at El Paso and Las Cruces.

Buckeye, Arizona’s “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr. is second in the championship point standings. Piloting the Massey Motorsports’ #50 RSS Industries / Rod End Supply RSS, Davis claimed sixth in the Tucson feature. To date, the five-time Arizona Sprint Car Champion has one feature win, three heat race victories, two high point driver awards, thirteen top-10 finishes, and 36 feature laps led to his credit. “Chargin” Charles is one of the favorites to claim the $2,000 paydays in annual “Border Tour.”

Matt Rossi of South Central, Arizona ranks third in the USAC SouthWest point chase. Driving the family owned #02 Apache Scapes / IWR Spike, Rossi charged from thirteenth to score fourth at USA Raceway. Heading to El Paso, Matt has one feature win, one high point driver award, three hard charger awards, nine top-10 finishes, and 22 feature laps led on the season. The defending Western World Champion will be looking for his fourth series main event win.

Peoria, Arizona’s Josh Pelkey sits fourth in the chase for the championship. Racing Robbie and Gaye Allen’s #12 ABC Body Shop / Napa Auto Parts Maxim, Pelkey scored third at Tucson after starting tenth. To date, the 1997 ASCA Champion has one heat race victory, one high point driver award, and ten top-10 finishes on the year. Entering the “Border Tour,” Josh ranks fourth on the SouthWest win list and will have his sights on his sixth victory.

Stevie Sussex of Tempe, Arizona is fifth in the point standings. Piloting Dennis Gile’s #13S Quarterback Academy / Bobby Q Ellis, Sussex claimed sixteenth in the SouthWest debut at Tucson. Heading to El Paso, the two-time Hank Arnold Memorial winner has two feature wins, one heat race victory, one high point driver award, three hard charger awards, ten top-10 finishes, and 72 feature laps led on the season. Tied with Brady Bacon, Dave Darland, Matt Rossi, and Rick Ziehl for sixth on the win list, Stevie will be looking to score the $2,000 “Border Tour” victories.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are “The Magic Man” Mike Martin, Brian Hosford, “The Radio Flyer” Bruce St. James, Andy Reinbold, Dennis Gile, Nick Aiuto, “The Bull” Tye Mihocko, Josh Shipley, Shon Deskins, Chris Bonneau, Michael Curtis, Mike Bonneau, and more.

Tijeras, New Mexico’s Josh Hodges leads the NMMRA point standings. Jason Grady, Josh Grady, Jesse Baker, Michael Fanelli, Randy Smith, Dillon Tanner, Joshua Jackson, Stephen Spiak, and Robert Marfia round out the top-10 drivers.

El Paso Speedway Park is at 14751 Marina Boulevard in El Paso, Texas. Located 6 miles east of FM 375 on US 62, then 0.5 miles north on Krag Street, then east on Tangerine Avenue. Adult Tickets are $15, Family Packs at $30 (2 Adults & 4 Children Under 16), Kids Tickets (10 & Under) are FREE, and Pit Passes are $35. For more event information, visit www.epspeedwaypark.com or call 915.791.8749.

Southern New Mexico Speedway is located at 12125 Robert Larson Boulevard in Las Cruces, New Mexico. To get to the track, I-10 to exit 132, then south to the frontage road, then 3.1 miles west on Robert Larson Blvd. Adult Tickets are $15, Family Packs at $30 (2 Adults & 4 Children Under 16), Kids Tickets (10 & Under) are FREE, and Pit Passes are $35. For more event information, visit www.snmspeedway.com or call 575.524.7913.

The USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Series thanks Sunoco Race Fuels, Hoosier Tire, Racers Advantage Store, and the Hose Advantage Store for their support. For more information on the group, visit www.southwestsprintcars.com, www.usacracing.com, or follow the series on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SouthwestSprintCars).

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USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONS:
2013-R.J. Johnson, 2014-R.J. Johnson.

EL PASO USAC SOUTHWEST WINNERS:
07/19/13: R.J. Johnson, 08/29/14: R.J. Johnson.

LAS CRUCES USAC SOUTHWEST WINNERS:
07/20/13: Rick Ziehl, 08/30/14: R.J. Johnson.

BORDER TOUR WINS:
4-R.J. Johnson, 2-Rickey Hood, 1-Rick Ziehl.

2015 USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR FEATURE WINS:
7-R.J. Johnson, 2-Ryan Bernal, 2-Stevie Sussex, 1-Brady Bacon, 1-Charles Davis Jr., 1-Matt Rossi.

USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. R.J. Johnson-694, 2. Charles Davis Jr.-617, 3. Matt Rossi-598, 4. Josh Pelkey-592, 4. Matt Rossi-470, 5. Stevie Sussex-565, 6. Mike Martin-493, 7. Mike Colegrove-432, 8. Brian Hosford-428, 9. Bruce St. James-413, 10. Andy Reinbold-350, 11. Dennis Gile-320, 12. Nick Aiuto-305, 13. Tye Mihocko-302, 14. Josh Shipley-301, 15. Shon Deskins-256, 16. Chris Bonneau-231, 17. Michael Curtis-220, 18. Mike Bonneau-187, 19. Tom Ogle-184, 20. Dalten Gabbard-165.

NEW MEXICO MOTOR RACING ASSOCIATION POINT STANDINGS
1. Josh Hodges-191, 2. Jason Grady-184, 3. Josh Grady-176, 4. Jesse Baker-152, 5. Michael Fanelli-148, 6. Randy Smith-139, 7. Dillon Tanner-131, 8. Joshua Jackson-126, 9. Stephen Spiak-125, 10. Robert Marfia-123, 11. Matthew Cardenas-118, 12. John Carney-100, 13. Austin Mansfield-99, 14. Dustin Cormany-97, 15. Bo Baker-94, 16. Cody Mansfield-92, ---. Bobby Marcum-92, 18. Nick Rael-85, 19. Jerill Higginbotham-84, 20. Wes Wofford-83.

2015 USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR SERIES SCHEDULE
DATE - TRACK - LOCATION
July 10: #El Paso Speedway Park - El Paso, TX (Border Tour / $2,000-to-Win)
July 11: #Southern New Mexico Speedway - Las Cruces, NM (Border Tour / $2,000-to-Win)
July 18: Arizona Speedway - Queen Creek, AZ
August 1: Canyon Speedway Park - Peoria, AZ (Allscapes Back to School Special)
August 19: Lawton Speedway - Lawton, OK (Freedom Tour / $2,500-to-Win / Non-Points)
August 20: Creek County Speedway - Sapulpa, OK (Freedom Tour / $2,500-to-Win / Non-Points)
August 21: 81 Speedway - Wichita, KS (Freedom Tour / $2,500-to-Win / Non-Points)
August 22: Dodge City Raceway Park - Dodge City, KS (Freedom Tour / $2,500-to-Win / Non-Points)
August 28: Prescott Valley Raceway - Prescott Valley, AZ (Rick Stewart Memorial)
August 29: Prescott Valley Raceway - Prescott Valley, AZ (Rick Stewart Memorial)
September 19: Arizona Speedway - Queen Creek, AZ
September 26: *Canyon Speedway Park - Peoria, AZ (Brawl For It All / $2,500-to-Win / Grudge Series)
October 3: Arizona Speedway - Queen Creek, AZ
October 17: Central Arizona Speedway - Casa Grande, AZ
November 19: *USA Raceway - Tucson, AZ (Western World Championships / Grudge Series)
November 20: *USA Raceway - Tucson, AZ (Western World Championships / Grudge Series)
November 21: *USA Raceway - Tucson, AZ (Western World Championships / Grudge Series)
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* = Co-Sanctioned Event with USAC West Coast Sprints.
# = Co-Sanctioned Event with NMMRA Sprints.
This schedule is subject to change.