(Special to ASCSracing.com)
The Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network rolls into Cocopah Speedway in Somerton, Ariz. this Thursday, November 9 through Saturday, November 11.
Co-Sanctioned with the Southwest Region of the American Sprint Car Series, drivers from across Arizona, New Mexico, and west Texas will be on hand to hold their own against some of the worlds best Winged Sprint Car drivers.
Leading the local charge is 20 year old Colton Hardy of Phoenix, Ariz.
Starting in 600cc Micros in 2011, Hardy started transitioning to Sprint Cars in 2014 with his first full season behind the wheel in 2016 ending with a pair of wins, runner-up in points with the ASCS Southwest Region, and Rookie of the Year honors in the Diamond Mechanical/Bandit Racing No. 74.
On the move to the Winged Sprint Car ranks, Colton commented, “The transition was a little difficult at first. Just the difference in the horsepower and G-Forces and the driving style is different, but the group of guys that are behind me are able to get the car close each night to where I am comfortable and can just focus on driving it.”
Teamed with the Bandit Racing team once again in 2017, Hardy has been relentless this season with three wins and eight of his nine top-five finishes on the podium, but the points are not the driving factor. It’s the win.
“I show up to race, and race to win. I don’t pay attention to the point. That’s what everyone else is for,” commented Hardy on the subject, which is a pretty big one considering that New Mexico’s Rick Ziehl has earned the champion’s check for the past nine years.
With nearly 30 years of experience and over a dozen championships in both winged and non-wing competition, Ziehl is all about the long game. Trailing by 62 markers going into the weekend, the driver of the Mesilla Valley Transportation No. 20z will be looking at every opportunity to take over the top spot.
For Hardy, that still is just all a part of it. Even with the three nights of competition on hand, Colton explained that he’ll enter the weekend just like any other, “We just got done with Trophy Cup which is three nights, and we just got up and worked like any other race. We just try to put ourselves in the best position possible.”
Events at the Cocopah Speedway on November 9, 10, and 11 will get underway each night at 7:30 P.M. Leading up to the three-race swing, a Fan Fest will take place on November 8 at the Wild River Family Entertainment Center, located directly across from the Cocopah Speedway, from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. with teams practicing at 7:30 P.M. (MT).
Cocopah Speedway is located at 3450 W County 15th St. in Somerton, Ariz. Tickets are sold the day of the race at the track with each day opening at 5:30 P.M. More information can be found at http://www.cocopahspeedway.com.