GARY WRIGHT -- SELLING OUT BUT NOT DONE YET
TULSA, Okla. (December 17, 2007) -- Following on the heels of his fourth consecutive O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National championship, once again worth a cool $50 grand, there has been much speculation regarding the racing future of Hooks, TX, hotshoe Gary Wright.
And while reports that "The Texan" will sell all of his equipment are accurate, fellow competitors on the rugged National series can't rest easy yet, as Wright will still keep his helmet, gloves and related driving gear. And he'll put it to plenty of good use as well.
It's just that Wright will no longer fall under the title of car owner after auctioning off all the equipment he owns, including truck, trailer, chassis, engines and more on the final day of the 22nd Annual Dodge Chili Bowl Nationals, January 12, 2008, in Tulsa, OK.
Wright has reached an agreement with Missouri car owner Donnie Cooper to pilot his potent equipment for the 2008 season. Cooper utilizes the same Maxim chassis, Wesmar engine combination that Wright has used so successfully in recent years. The exact extent to which the team will race is not exactly clear yet, but indications are that Wright won't surrender his post as ASCS king without a fight.
"I've got a deal with Donnie (Cooper) and basically we'll run as much as I want to," Wright commented. "There's a real good chance we could run the full ASCS National Tour, we're just gonna wait and see exactly what the schedule looks like when it comes out."
Wright went on to say, "If Jason (Johnson) or Wayne (Johnson) or one of those other guys wants the title, I want to make 'em work for it, I don't want to just hand it over to them."
All the equipment that Wright currently owns and utilized to rack up another 13 ASCS National Tour wins in 2007 will be auctioned off at noon on Saturday, January 12, at the Tulsa Racer's Auction on the Tulsa State Fairgrounds. Equipment up for auction includes his truck, trailer, three 360-ci engines, three 410-ci engines and all other parts and equipment.
"It's all good stuff, anybody that buys it could go out and contend for the ASCS National championship," Wright explained. "The 410-ci engines would be perfect for wingless Sprint Cars and with about all the wingless guys in the country in Tulsa for the Chili Bowl, it's the perfect place to do this."
Wright ran his career ASCS National Tour win total to 119 in 2007 with thirteen triumphs, posting 33 top-fives in 35 feature events to claim the championship by 102 points over Louisiana's Jason Johnson, with Oklahoma's Wayne Johnson another six points back in third. Wright was recently awarded National Driver of the Year honors for the fourth time by the National Hall of Fame's North American 360 Sprint Car Poll voting panel of media members, promoters, sanctioning officials and manufacturers.
"And it probably should have been five championships in a row," Wright quipped. "We missed that one race because of a highway wreck in 2003 and lost by something like twelve points, if we would have made that one race we probably would have won that year too with room to spare."
The O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series kicks off the 17th year of competition for the American Sprint Car Series with East Bay Raceway Park's $10,000-to-win "King of the 360's" Nationals in Tampa, FL, on January 31, February 1 and February 2. Wright is the defending champion of the opening leg of 360-ci Sprint Car racing's triple crown, with ensuing legs including Knoxville's 360 Nationals and I-30 Speedway's Short Track Nationals.
Including the National Tour and its twelve Regions, the American Sprint Car Series sanctioned 189 nights of racing at 90 different tracks throughout 25 different states and Canada in 2007, with 866 different drivers competing in at least one event.
Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.