ASCoT: Knoxville Nationals preview

ASCS Knoxville Nationals This Weekend! TULSA, Okla. (July 29, 2008) -- A stellar field of well over 100 entries is set to converge upon Iowa's Knoxville Raceway for this weekend's running of the 18th Annual ASCS Knoxville ...

ASCS Knoxville Nationals This Weekend!

TULSA, Okla. (July 29, 2008) -- A stellar field of well over 100 entries is set to converge upon Iowa's Knoxville Raceway for this weekend's running of the 18th Annual ASCS Knoxville Nationals, with a $10,000 payday awaiting the winner of Saturday night's championship main event.

The three-night O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National event, including full preliminary cards on Thursday and Friday followed by Saturday night's championship feature events, has already attracted 123 entries from 25 different states as well as Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Among those entries is just one from the state of Louisiana. But that lone Louisiana representative will be among the odds-on favorites for Saturday night's championship honors, as current O'Reilly ASCoT National points leader Jason Johnson enters the event riding a wave of momentum.

"The Ragin' Cajun" picked off a pair of wins during the recent Toyota Tundra ASCS Speedweek to secure his second Speedweek title. In the process, he took over the ASCS National points lead by extending his win total to nine in National action on the year and is in the driver's seat for the series $50,000 championship.

Johnson also won the second leg of the Ollie's Challenge at Eldora recently, setting himself up for a potential $50,000 bonus if he can win the final leg of the Challenge in Pennsylvania in August.

The Eunice, LA, driver opened the 2008 campaign with a $10,000 victory in the opening leg of 360 Sprint Car racing's Triple Crown at East Bay Raceway Park's Winter Nationals. Johnson will have his hands full with this weekend's second leg, with the final leg of the Triple in October with I-30 Speedway's $15,000 to win Short Track Nationals in Little Rock, AR.

Johnson is joined by the balance of the current top ten In O'Reilly ASCoT National points, including four-time and defending series champion Gary Wright (Hooks, TX), 2000 series champion Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK), 2001 champion Zach Chappell (Talala, OK), 1992 champion Garry Lee Maier (Cimarron, KS), leading Rookie of the Year contender Eric Baldaccini (Keller, TX), Nick Smith (Broken Arrow, OK), Kenneth Walker (Sapulpa, OK), Travis Rilat (Forney, TX) and Gary Taylor (Sapulpa, OK).

A multitude of ASCS Regional contenders will be in action as well, including current point leaders Don Young (Coastal), Jack Dover (Midwest), Lee Grosz (Northern Plains), Jared Ridge (Northwest), Bryan Howland (Patriots), Kenny Adams (Rebel) and Ben Gregg (Southwest).

A half dozen past ASCS Knoxville National champions are among the current 123 entries, including Gary Wright, Garry Lee Maier, Terry McCarl, Billy Alley, Wayne Johnson and Jesse Giannetto.

Oklahoma's Shane Stewart topped last year's edition of the ASCS Knoxville Nationals, besting a field of 112 entries.

Approximately half the field will compete in Thursday night's preliminary feature, with the other half in action on Friday night. Points earned in qualifying night action will determine Saturday night's championship feature lineups.

The Series:O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour (ASCoT)
When & Where:18th Annual ASCS Knoxville Nationals:

Thursday, July 31 at 7:15 p.m. -- Qualifying Night #1
Friday, August 1 at 7:15 p.m. -- Qualifying Night #2
Saturday, August 2 at 7:15 p.m. -- ASCS Knoxville Nationals Championship Features

Track Information:
Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA) -- 0x00bd-mile, semi-banked dirt oval located at the north edge of Knoxville, IA on SR 14 at the Marion County Fairgrounds. Track phone: 641-842-5431.

Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.

-credit: ascs

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Kenny Adams , Nick Smith , Wayne Johnson , Gary Taylor , Ben Gregg , Jason Johnson