Wright Puts Exclamation Point on Sixth ASCS Speedweek Title with Lawton Win LAWTON, Okla. (July 21, 2007) -- Gary Wright left no room for doubt about his sixth career ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek championship by wiring the field in Saturday ...
Wright Puts Exclamation Point on Sixth ASCS Speedweek Title with Lawton Win
LAWTON, Okla. (July 21, 2007) -- Gary Wright left no room for doubt about his sixth career ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek championship by wiring the field in Saturday night's 30-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National feature event before a packed house at Lawton Speedway.
The triumph marked Wright's fourth win in the five legs of the 15th Annual ASCS Speedweek, with a runner-up finish in the other event.JWright took the crown by 52 markers over Tim Crawley, with Wayne Johnson four more points back in third.
"It feels good to get another one, ASCS Speedweek is always tough, there's a lot of good cars and a lot of good drivers," Wright commented afterward.
On top of his first ASCS Speedweek title since 2002, Wright solidified his lead in the series' $50,000 championship points chase with a 56-point cushion over Wayne Johnson, who claimed runner-up honors in the Speedweek finale.
Jason Johnson slipped to third in points, 98 markers off Wright's pace after being forced to utilize a provisional for Saturday night's main event. Jason Johnson charged from 24th to seventh, earning the added dollars but not the extra points. The trio of Wright and the unrelated Johnson & Johnson entered Speedweek with just three points of separation.
Wright's biggest break of the night came during heat race action. With "The Texan" running third on the final lap, second-running Gary Owens nearly spun exiting turn four with the checkered flag in sight, allowing Wright to sneak into second.
Without that bobble, Wright would have started the feature event in twelfth. However, Wright picked up the sixth and final starting berth in the Pole Dash, where he drew the front row outside starting position and went on to win.
And despite Wayne Johnson's best efforts in what ultimately turned out to be 30 non-stop laps of action, there was no denying Wright and the Wesmar-powered Richwood Construction/Whiteco Commercial Funding/Southwest Express No. 9 Maxim at that point.
The feature event got off to a rocky start, with the initial two attempts drawing the red flag. On the first start, third-starter Danny Smith bicycled entering turn one and then flipped. As several cars bicycled through turns one and two on the second start, front row outside starter Michael Brown slid high exiting turn two. As he turned back onto the backstretch, he clipped Claud Estes' right rear, triggering a five-car melee that eliminated Brown and Estes along with J.P. Bailey and Gary Owens. Coleman Gulick was caught up in the tangle as well, but able to continue.
With time to make repairs, Danny Smith rejoined a field reduced from 24 starters to 20 for a full 30 laps that was completed in eight minutes without any cautions.
With current ASCS Gulf South Region point leader Brandon Berryman moving alongside Wright on the front row for the third start, Wright gunned into the lead with Kenneth Walker and Wayne Johnson taking the next two positions by the second lap.
Wright reached lapped traffic by the eighth round and worked through traffic the rest of the way. Behind him, Walker and Wayne Johnson diced for the runner-up position for a half-dozen laps before Johnson finally took the spot for keeps on the 13th round.
Johnson tried to close in on Wright over the final half of the race, but each time he nearly reached striking distance Wright would make another masterful move through traffic.
"I thought I could hear someone coming back there, I just wasn't sure who it was," Wright commented.
Wright collected his 12th ASCS National Tour win of the season and 118th of his career with an eight car-length advantage over Johnson, who settled for second in Mike and Tim Hammers' Wesmar-powered H&H Enterprises No. 94 Eagle.
Walker posted his top finish of the season by taking the show position in the Wesmar-powered No. 2 J&J, with Tim Crawley climbing from 12th to claim fourth in Mike Ward's CnB Mushrooms No. 88 Maxim.
Finishing among the top ten for the third consecutive time, Nick Smith posted his first top-five finish since the season opener at East Bay on January 25 by finishing fifth in the Ostrich-powered Sooner Network Solutions No. 15s J&J.
Kevin Ramey advanced a handful of positions to finish sixth, with Jason Johnson racing from 24th to seventh. Travis Rilat climbed from 14th to eighth, with Berryman and 19th-starter Danny Jennings completing the top ten.
Walker, Danny Smith, Nick Smith, Estes and Michael Brown topped heat race action for the 36-car field.
Joe Wood, Jr., passed Jennings on the 10th lap to win the First "B" Main. Darren Stewart led the opening eleven laps of the Second "B" Main, only to suffer a broken power steering unit in the final corner. Mississippi's Brad Bowden slipped by to take the win, with Stewart limping across the line in second just ahead of Michael Lang. Jason Johnson was on Lang's tail tank, just missing the final transfer.JSherman Davis flipped on the opening lap of the Second "B" Main without injury.
A total of 82 different drivers competed in at least one round of the 15th Annual ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek. Eighteen drivers competed in all five rounds, with Wright, Crawley, Wayne Johnson, Nick Smith and 13-year-old New York racer Coleman Gulick the only five drivers to start each feature event without using a provisional along the way. Other drivers taking in each event included Jason Johnson, Rilat, Walker, Stewart, Brian McClelland, Eric Baldaccini, Foster Landon, Cody Gardner, Matt Covington, Claud Estes, Rob Hartman, Joe Young and Dave Speer.
Gulick was the lucky recipient of a free set of Brodix series heads with his name drawn from those that competed in each Speedweek event.
O'Reilly ASCoT 15th Annual ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek Round Five Results from Lawton Speedway:
Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points to "A" Main; Balance to Twin "B" Mains):
Brodix Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 2-Kenneth Walker, 2. 31-Brandon Berryman, 3. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 4. 88-Tim Crawley, 5. 41s-Brent Swift, 6. 87-Brian McClelland, 7. 95-Matt Covington, 8. L23-Landon Brown.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 5$-Danny Smith, 2. 9-Gary Wright, 3. 33-Gary Owens, 4. 14L-Michael Lang, 5. 25-Derek Cottrell, 6. 72-Sherman Davis, 7. 12T-Joe Young.
Brodix Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 15s-Nick Smith, 2. 94-Wayne Johnson, 3. 29-Travis Rilat, 4. 14-Coleman Gulick, 5. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 6. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 7. 11c-Dave Speer.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 74e-Claud Estes, 2. 1-Sean McClelland, 3. 64J-Johnny Miller, 4. 65-Skip Wilson, 5. 15-Brad Bowden, 6. 11F-Foster Landon, 7. 22-Koby Barksdale.
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 15b-Michael Brown, 2. 45-J.P. Bailey, 3. 91-Darren Stewart, 4. 61J-Danny Jennings, 5. 1g-Cody Gardner, 6. 41-Jason Johnson, 7. 7h-Rob Hartman.
Pole Dash (Finishing Order Determines Front Three Rows of "A" Main):
Pole Dash (5 Laps): 1. 9-Gary Wright, 2. 15b-Michael Brown, 3. 5$-Danny Smith, 4. 31-Brandon Berryman, 5. 2-Kenneth Walker, 6. 74e-Claud Estes.
"B" Mains (Top 3 From Each Transfer to "A" Main):
First "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 2. 61J-Danny Jennings, 3. 65-Skip Wilson, 4. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 5. 95-Matt Covington, 6. 11F-Foster Landon, 7. 7h-Rob Hartman, 8. 11c-Dave Speer, 9. 1g-Cody Gardner. DNS: 25-Derek Cottrell.
Second "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 15-Brad Bowden, 2. 91-Darren Stewart, 3. 14L-Michael Lang, 4. 41-Jason Johnson, 5. 12T-Joe Young, 6. 22-Koby Barksdale, 7. L23-Landon Brown, 8. 87-Brian McClelland, 9. 41s-Brent Swift, 10. 72-Sherman Davis.
O'Reilly ASCoT 15th Annual ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek Round Five "A" Main Results from Lawton Speedway:
"A" Feature (30 Laps): 1. 9-Gary Wright, 2. 94-Wayne Johnson, 3. 2-Kenneth Walker, 4. 88-Tim Crawley, 5. 15s-Nick Smith, 6. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 7. 41-Jason Johnson, 8. 29-Travis Rilat, 9. 31-Brandon Berryman, 10. 61J-Danny Jennings, 11. 1-Sean McClelland, 12. 65-Skip Wilson, 13. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 14. 14-Coleman Gulick, 15. 64J-Johnny Miller, 16. 14L-Michael Lang, 17. 11F-Foster Landon, 18. 5$-Danny Smith, 19. 15-Brad Bowden, 20. 91-Darren Stewart, 21. 15b-Michael Brown, 22. 74e-Claud Estes, 23. 45-J.P. Bailey, 24. 33-Gary Owens.
Lap Leaders: Gary Wright 1-30.
Note: Jason Johnson and Foster Landon both utilized O'Reilly ASCoT provisionals for the main event.
O'Reilly ASCoT Points (Top Twenty): 1. Gary Wright 3,690, 2. Wayne Johnson 3,634, 3. Jason Johnson 3,592, 4. Travis Rilat 3,434, 5. Foster Landon 3,046, 6. Darren Stewart 2,362, 7. Nick Smith 1,752, 8. Eric Baldaccini 1,571, 9. Andy Shouse 1,559, 10. Johnny Miller 1,427, 11. Kenneth Walker 1,369, 12. Chris Schmelzle 1,318, 13. Kevin Ramey 1,263, 14. Chuck Swenson 1,152, 15. Danny Jennings 1,114, 16. Aaron Berryhill 1,079, 17. Coleman Gulick 1,042, 18. Joe Wood, Jr. 1,020, 19. Tim Crawley 982, 20. Natalie Sather 933.
15th Annual ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek Points (Final Top Twenty): 1. Gary Wright 746, 2. Tim Crawley 694, 3. Wayne Johnson 690, 4. Jason Johnson 651, 5. Nick Smith 638, 6. Travis Rilat 623, 7. Coleman Gulick 620, 8. Kenneth Walker 611, 9. Darren Stewart 581, 10. Brian McClelland 552, 11. Kevin Ramey 550, 12. Eric Baldaccini 539, 13. Foster Landon 520, 14. Cody Gardner 502, 15. Matt Covington 479, 16. Claud Estes 451, 17. Joe Wood, Jr. 445, 18. Koby Barksdale 392, 19. Johnny Miller 380, 20. (tie) Rob Hartman, Joe Young and Dave Speer 375.