Cocopah Speedway Racing Series resumes Saturday

Cocopah Speedway Racing Series resumes Saturday

Talk about your stark contrasts.

Rich Ziehl, from Las Cruces, N.M., arrives at Cocopah Speedway for Saturday night’s racing program with his sights set on winning an unprecedented eighth straight championship in the American Sprint Car Series Southwest Region.

Steven McCollough, on the other hand, will pull into the Somerton oval looking to win his first championship in the Cocopah Speedway Racing Series.

The two stories unfold at 7 p.m. with the first green flag at the track that will also feature a special Halloween night program.

Ziehl is actually the only driver to ever win an ASCS Southwest Region championship.

But as dominate as he has been, with two races remaining on the ASCS Southwest Region schedule, including Saturday night’s event, Ziehl’s taking home the 2015 title trophy is not a done deal.

“It’s not automatic,” said Roger Toops, director for the Southwest Region. “If Rick Ziehl has trouble in Yuma, and Bob Ream Jr. has a good night, that would really throw a wrench into the works.”

Entering the program Ziehl has a 34-point lead over Ream, who is from Phoenix. Each driver has won three feature events in 2015.

“The closeness of that race for the championship is pretty much the story of the season for the entire Southwest Region,” said Toops. “This is the closest it has been in the past years.”

Almost the same thing can be said for the race to the Modified Division championship in the 2015 Cocopah Speedway Racing Series.

There, McCollough, from Imperial, arrives at the track Saturday night with an 11-point lead over his Imperial neighbor, Lance Mari.

McCollough had been the second place driver until the two-night Deacon Dick Rautenberg Memorial on Oct. 16 and 17, when the series-long leader, Jeffry Sheppard Jr., from Golden Valley, rolled his car on the first night and wasn’t in the lineup the next night.

Now in the driver’s seat, McCollough said this week, “We will see how it plays out. Anything can happen but I would bet on the 15 if the casino took bets.

“Although I have won a few championships in the past (at Imperial Valley Speedway), I don’t see myself as a points racer. When the green flag waves all I think about is winning.”

The night’s racing program will feature the ASCS Southern Region, 360 winged sprint cars along with the IMCA Modifieds, Sport Modifieds, Stock Cars and Hobby Stocks.

The general admission gate will open at 3 p.m. At 6:30, the race cars will be pushed out onto the front straight for a special Trunk or Treat for the children with drivers handing out candy treats. Also, the first 100 children through the gate will also receive a special Halloween treat bag; there will be a hay maze; and there will be a costume contest during the intermission. Age groups for the costume contest are: 4-and-under; 5-8, 9-12 and 13-17.

Spare parts

Cocopah Speedway is located at U.S. 95 and County 15th Street; the general admission gate opens at 5 p.m; first race is at 7 p.m. Tickets are: adults (13 and older) – $16; adult military with ID – $14; senior (55 and over) – $14; children under 12 years old – free (main grandstand); family pass – $38; Skybox – $30; pit pass – $30 (per person). Tickets can also be purchased on-line at www.cocopahspeedway.com or at Cocopah Wild River or at the main gate on race day. Fans can get live racing lineups during the races and results afterward by going towww.cocopahlive.com. Fans can also access live in-race scoring and lap times by going to mylaps.com. For more information call 344-1563 or go to www.cocopahspeedway.com.ziehlream

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