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Rutan Flips to ASCS Sprints on Dirt Win at Winston



T.J. Buffenbarger, ROTHBURY, Mich. (August 31, 2007) – There is an old racing adage that says if you cannot win be spectacular. Ben Rutan managed to do both on Friday night winning the Engine Pro ASCS Sprints on Dirt presented by Victor Reinz feature event while flipping end over end over the finish line narrowly ahead of Steve Irwin.


Rutan slid high on the last corner of the last lap and had his right rear tire tag the wall. Irwin quickly gained on Rutan. Rather than lose the race, Rutan stood on the throttle and rode the wall entire down the front stretch and crossed the finish line upside down.


“The car didn’t feel right going into the corner,†said Rutan after the feature. “Then I ended up in the wall, and I could see (Irwin) there. So I just stood on the gas, and that’s when things got really wild.â€


Victory lane ceremonies were conducted with Rutan’s car being lifted off the race track by the roll cage with heavy damage.


Brett Mann and Irwin started on the front row for the 25-lap main event. Irwin jumped into the lead while Dustin Daggett and Mann battled for second. After a caution for a spin by Jake Stebner Daggett, who had moved into second, battled with Irwin for the lead. Daggett managed to counter Irwin moving up the track and dove to the bottom to take the top position.


Then the race for the win and the 2007 ASCS Sprints on Dirt championship was altered when the field stacked up behind Daggett and Brett Mann suffered front end damage that took him out of the race. Daggett eventually was disqualified for not heeding the black flag after failing to join the tail of the field for the conduct of the restart.


That incident put Irwin back up front and opened up a sizeable lead until enouncing lapped traffic. That’s when Ben Rutan started reeling in Irwin just as Kirk Chaney and Jim Lingar crashed down the front stretch. Bill Tyler was also involved in the incident.


During the restart with just seven laps to go Rutan and Irwin raced side by side for the lead. Rutan eventually took the top spot when Irwin slipped off turn four. Rutan was coming down with the checkered flag in sight when he pounded the front stretch wall, allowing Irwin to catch up. Rutan then stood on the throttle and tumbled across the finish line. The rest of the field did a remarkable job and nobody else was swept up in the incident. Rutan emerged from his car to a standing ovation from the ruckus capacity crowd.


With Mann’s early retirement from the feature combined with a fourth place finish, Tim Norman significantly extended his points lead with two rounds remaining in the 2007 ASCS Sprints on Dirt season.


Engine Pro ASCS Sprints on Dirt Results:


Heat Races:



Total Seal Heat Race #1 (8 Laps): 1. 6n – Dain Naida, 2. 33fz – Steve Irwin, 3. 10 – Bill Tyler, 4. 55 – Kirk Chaney, 5. 19 – Joe Bares, 6. 00 – Ryan Grubaugh, 7. 07 – Jake Stebner


Lane Automotive/Comp Cams Heat Race #2 (8 Laps): 1. 23 – Ben Rutan, 2. 49T – Gregg Dalman, 3. 31 – Andy Teunessen, 4. 3g – Tim Norman, 5. 33 – Bill Johnson, 6. 27r – Ryan Ruhl, 7. 70 – Jim Lingar


Awesome Racewear Heat Race #3 (8 Laps): 1. 79 – Brett Mann, 2. 2m – Dustin Daggett, 3. 26 – Gary Fast, 4. 13 – Davey Brown, 5. 81 – John Gall, 6. 2 – Mike Galadja


Engine Pro ASCS Sprints on Dirt presented by Victor Reinz “A†Main Event


“A†Feature (25 Laps): 1. 23 – Ben Rutan, 2. 33fz – Steve Irwin, 3. 49t – Gregg Dalman, 4. 3g – Tim Norman, 5. 6n – Dain Naida, 6. 19 – Joe Bares, 7. 26 – Gary Fast, 8. 33 – Bill Johnson, 9. 13 – Davey Brown, 10. 27r – Ryan Ruhl, 11. 31 – Andy Teunessen, 12. 00 – Ryan Grubaugh, 13. 2 – Mike Galadja, 14. 81 – John Gall, 15. 55 – Kirk Chaney, 16. 10 – Bill Tyler, 17. 70 – Jim Lingar, 18. 79 – Brett Mann, 19. 07 – Jake Stebner. DQ – Dustin Daggett




Engine Pro ASCS Sprints on Dirt presented by Victor Reinz Point Standings (Top Ten): 1. Tim Norman 2,108, 2. Ben Rutan 2,078, 3. Brett Mann 2,072, 4. Bill Johnson 1,956, 5. Gary Fast 1,935, 6. Joe Bares 1,788, 7. Ryan Ruhl 1,784, 8. Ryan Grubaugh 1,763, 9. Jake Stebner 1,737, 10. Kirk Cheney 1,675

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