Droud Teams with Sparks to Contend for O'Reilly ASCoT Title
TULSA, Okla. (February 8, 2008) -- The battle for the 2008 O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National championship just got tougher, as it has been announced that Lincoln, Nebraska's Don Droud, Jr., will team with Olive Branch, MS, car owner Bobby Sparks for the full campaign.
Droud throws his hat into a ring that already includes the likes of four-time and reigning series champion Gary Wright along with other past ASCS National champions including Travis Rilat, Zach Chappell, Wayne Johnson and Garry Lee Maier in addition to two-time series runner-up Jason Johnson.
"I'm excited about it, I look forward to stepping up my program and racing on a nightly basis with guys like Gary Wright, Jason Johnson and Garry Lee Maier," Droud explained. "I've always said that the ASCS National Tour is probably tougher than the World of Outlaws just because of the format and the guys that you have to run with every night. It's going to be tough, but I'm looking forward to it."
Droud opened up the season with the O'Reilly ASCoT National series last weekend aboard Bobby Sparks' Wells-powered No. 91 Hoosier-shod Eagle, making the feature cut on all three nights and escaping the triple tied for eighth in early-season points.
But no plans had been established beyond that season-opening event atop Tampa's 1/3-mile clay oval.
"I already had a deal worked out to drive for the Ochs brothers out of Jetmore," Droud explains of the team that he paired with to rank second in 2007 NCRA Sprint Car points. "Bobby and I had talked about the rest of the season a little bit, but I wanted to make sure he still wanted to after Florida 'cause the last time I was down there I was horrible."
"Everything was good last weekend though, so I spent at least two hours on the phone Sunday with the Ochs brothers and we were able to work things out, I'll be driving the full ASCS National Tour with Bobby Sparks and then I'll run their car the rest of the time."
The end result is a full slate for Droud in 2008 with approximately 45 nights of ASCS National action supplemented by another 25 or so nights with the Ochs team.
While pursuing the series $50,000 championship, Droud is also eligible for Brodix Rookie of the Year honors along with fellow rookie contenders Eric Baldaccini, Kathryne Minter and Gary Taylor.
Displaying his versatility by enjoying success in both winged and wingless Sprint Cars as well as Midgets in recent years, Droud teams with one of the leading car owners in the business.
Sparks has fielded winning Sprint Cars for over 30 years, spending the past five and a half years with Bixby, OK, shoe Darren Stewart at the helm. "Darren was like a son to me, but he wasn't able to commit to the full Tour this year so we had to make the change," Sparks commented.
"I've had a lot of people call and ask about the ride," Sparks explains.J"Don and I get along real good and I've known him for a long time.JYou've got to be comfortable with the person you're going to spend all this time going up and down the road with, it's almost like a marriage."
This won't be the first time for Sparks and Droud to team up however, as Droud spent several races aboard the familiar No. 91 car several years ago.
"You've got to have someone that's hungry, someone that wants to win races. Don is that guy, he's at that point in his career right now and we're looking forward to a big year," Sparks concludes.
With Dennis Wells providing the powerplants for the Sparks Racing Team in 2008, the Droud-Sparks combo will next hit the track when the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour Nationals series takes to the Devil's Bowl Speedway 0x00bd-mile clay oval in Mesquite, TX, for the 35th Annual Spring Nationals on March 14-15.
Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.