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ASA Report and Results from Cedar Rapids: Pontiac Excitement 300

20 September 1997

Cedar Rapids, IA - In a wild three car abreast finish, Scott Hansen, in the Ken Schrader Racing Chevrolet, edged out Steve Carlson and Mike Miller for the win in the Pontiac Excitement 300 at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, IA. The finish of the race could not have been closer with Hansen the meat in a Miller-Carlson sandwich as they came to the line. Hansen kept his foot to the floorboard and took the win by .028 seconds with Carlson nabbing second and Miller falling to third after leading the pentultimate lap.

"At the end of the race something was going wrong with Mike's (Miller) car," Hansen said as he collected the $8,320 winner's check. "I knew I had to get on the gas and get underneath him. At the end someone got underneath the two of us and it mae it really close at the finish. This win ranks right up there at the top. I raced side-by-side with Mike for a long time and we just ran out of room."

After the cars crossed the stripe, Hansen and Carlson made contact with Carlson spinning into the turn one wall and Hansen spinning through the infield.

Carlson, in the Clean Burn/Phillips 66 Trop Artic/Afco Pontiac, set the fast time in ACDelco RAPIDFIRE Qualifying with a time of 18.681 seconds for an average speed of 96.355 mph around the semi-banked half-mile oval. On the start Carlson grabbed the point and led for the first 122 laps until he pitted for tires. For Carlson it was the first pole position of his ASA career.

"I had a good car all day," Carlson said. "On the second stop we put on left side tires and should have put on rights. On that final stop we put on rights and went from seventh to second. I was able to get past Rick (Beebe) on the final restart and Scott (Hansen) and Mike (Miller) were banging on each other. They both pushed up a bit on the final lap and I decided to try the bottom."

Miller, who started in 13th place after finding some last minute backing from Old Milwaukee to even make the event, took the lead on lap 267 when leader Gary St Amant spun the WYNN'S/West Michigan Chevy Dealers Chevrolet in turn four. Tell-tale puffs of smoke began appearing from the rear of Miller's car as he entered the turns shortly after he took the lead and on the restart with two laps to go the smoke was very obvious to everyone. Miller tried to hold Hansen off, but with the engine going away he was facing an uphill challenge.

"We didn't need that last caution," Miller said. We had a motor going bad at the end and the car was getting loose in the corners."

Two dramatic incidents marked the race as Brandon Sperling, leading the race on lap 191 when he attempted to lap Johnny Spaw. As Sperling went to the inside entering turn three, the two cars made contact and spun into the wall. Spaw's machine had its rear engulfed by flames from burning fuel and Sperling's car suffered terminal damage.

With just two laps left Ted Smokstad and points leader Kevin Cywinski tangled in turn three with Cywinski slamming the wall hard, ending his evening and tightening up the race for the ASA ACDelco Challenge Series Championship. With ASA rules dictating that the last five laps be run under green, the stage was set for the exciting three car finish.

Rick Beebe finished in fourth with Bobby Gill rounding out the top five. Steve Holzhausen was awarded the WYNN'S WYNNING Move award for starting the race in eleventh and then bringing the Howes Lubricators/Structural Transport Ford home in seventh.

John Kaiser -- The Auto Channel

Hawkeye Downs Speedway - Provisional results for the 
ASA ACDelco Challenge Series, 
Pontiac Excitement 300:
Ps.Ql.No.  Driver , Car                                          Laps 
-- -- ---- ----------------------------------------------------- ----- 
 1 10  52  Scott Hansen    AFCO Racing Products             PONT 300       
 2  1  87  Steve Carlson(R)Baker Enterprises/Clean Burn     PONT 300       
 3 13  18  Mike Miller     South East Air Service           PONT 300       
 4 12  23  Rick Beebe      St Louis Gear/Royal Machine      PONT 300       
 5 15  55  Bobby Gill      Leo M/S/Wehr/Racing Adventures   PONT 300       
 6  2   7  Gary St Amant   Wynn's/W Michigan Chevy Dealers  CHEV 300       
 7 11   5  Steve Holzhausen Structural Transport            FORD 300       
 8  8   8  Mike Garvey     AFCO Racing Products             PONT 300       
 9  6  32  Ted Smokstad    Corp. Auto/SMS Parts             PONT 300       
10 17  81  Harold Fair     Car Quest/ACDelco/Victor Reinz   PONT 300       
11  7  88  Mike Eddy       GM Goodwrench Service/HRE        PONT 299       
12 18   6  Dave Sensiba    Engineered Polymer/W MI Auto AuctPONT 299       
13  4  07  Jack Landis     Adirondak/Lyndaker/Maisto/N.YoderFORD 298       
14 19   1  Kevin Cywinski  Tecumseh/LaFavre Racing          PONT 297       
15 22  72  Junior Hanley   Skillman Motorsports             PONT 297       
16  5  21  Kevin Nuttleman Citgo/Midwest Fuels/Dutch Mill   PONT 294       
17 20  47  Paul Paine      Paine Racing                     PONT 288       
18 16   4  Jimmie Johnson  West Michigan Chevy Dealers      CHEV 274       
19 30  93  Tim Sauter        Build-A-Mold/Trimplas/Moldplas PONT 258       
20 26  58  Billy Turner    Sanifill/Central Fiber           PONT 255       
21 31  11  Doug Mayr(R)    No Touch Car Care/Aqua Splash    CHEV 238       
22  9  51  Brandon Sperling Sperling Motorsports            CHEV 191       
23 25  03  Johnny Spaw     Mid-West Plumbing/Clemnet TrailerPONT 189       
24 14  48  Joe Nott        Valvoline/Allan Nott Toyota/RaabeFORD 158       
25 32  92  Carroll Adamy   Dorothy Lynch Home Style Salad DrCHEV 119       
26 23  79  Mike Cofer (R)  Black & Decker Versa Pack        PONT  75       
27  3  33  Brad Loney      Bunsaver/Hunter's Spec/Flexsteel PONT  75       
28 28  19  Justin Diercks  Diercks LTD/Dr A. Diercks/TC Fab FORD  49       
29 29  43  Curt Martin     Team 17                          FORD  49       
30 27  95  Chuck Hemmingston Rodeway Inn                    PONT  49       
31 21  84  Bob Senneker    Lane Auto/JR Automation/Mr GasketFORD  48       
32 24   0  Tom Jones       Jones Motorsports                PONT  30       
(R)= Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie Candidate
Time of Race      : 2 hrs 17 min 23 secs
Average Speed     : 65.61 mph
Margin of Victory : .028 secs
Lap Leaders       : Carlson, St Amant, Sperling, Cywinski, Miller, Hansen
Track Length      :  0.5000 Miles