ASCoT: Little Rock preview

O'Reilly ASCoT National Series Reaches Milestone on Saturday Night TULSA, Okla. (July 12, 2007) -- When the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series kicks off its 15th Annual ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek at Little Rock's...

O'Reilly ASCoT National Series Reaches Milestone on Saturday Night

TULSA, Okla. (July 12, 2007) -- When the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series kicks off its 15th Annual ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek at Little Rock's I-30 Speedway this Saturday night, it will mark a significant milestone in series history.

After countless miles traversed over the past fifteen-plus years, Saturday night's event will come to fruition with the 500th feature event contested in ASCS National Tour history.

And it could hardly be at a more appropriate venue than I-30 Speedway, as the series comes full circle by returning to the track that hosted the first "official" ASCS National Tour feature event on May 15, 1993, when Memphis shoe Mike Ward beat Garry Lee Maier and John Hunt to the checkered flag.

While Ward won't be able to compete for victory honors in the series 500th feature event, the familiar No. 88 car will most definitely be in the mix as three-time ASCS National champion Tim Crawley fills the seat while Ward recovers from recent back surgery.

Should Saturday's card fall victim to weather, the honor of hosting the 500th ASCS National Tour feature event would fall to an equally appropriate venue, with Creek County Speedway in Sapulpa, OK, next on the docket on Monday night, July 16.

Creek County Speedway was the original home-track of the American Sprint Car Series when Emmett Hahn founded the fledgling organization in 1992.

Things have changed drastically from those initial steps, when little more than a dozen or so cars competed in the initial events at Creek County Speedway. Signs of future growth were apparent early on though when the first ASCS Speedweek event held at Creek County Speedway on June 20, 1993, attracted a whopping 50 entries.

Since that time, the American Sprint Car Series has grown by leaps and bounds, with a dozen Regions around the country now supplementing the ASCS National Tour. Last year, more than 850 different drivers competed in at least one ASCS event, a number that will most surely be exceeded this year.

Along the way, the O'Reilly ASCS National Tour, now dubbed the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series, has competed at 106 different tracks throughout 22 different states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

With 499 ASCS National Tour features in the books, 83 drivers have posted at least one win along the way. Leading the way by a large margin is three-time and reigning series champion Gary Wright of Hooks, TX, with 114 wins in his 324 feature starts. A distant second on the list is Garry Lee Maier of Cimarron, KS, with 37 wins, followed by Tim Crawley of Benton, AR, with 36 wins.

Wright is currently embroiled in a three-way battle for the series $50,000 championship with Oklahoma City native Wayne Johnson and Eunice, Louisiana's Jason Johnson. Jason Johnson is fifth on the career ASCS National Tour win charts with 26 triumphs, with Wayne Johnson next in line with 23 wins.Saturday night's opening leg of the 15th Annual ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek, the 500th event in ASCS National Tour history, at Little Rock's I-30 Speedway gets under way at 7:30 p.m.

Ensuing rounds of ASCS Speedweek are at Creek County Speedway (Sapulpa, OK) on July 16, Devil's Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX) on July 19, Oklahoma City's State Fair Speedway on July 20 and Lawton (OK) Speedway on July 21.

O'Reilly ASCoT I-30 Speedway History:

A staple of the ASCS National Tour, I-30 Speedway hosted the first official ASCS National Tour event on May 15, 1993, with Memphis shoe Mike Ward dropping in on victory lane. Since that time, a dozen different drivers have posted at least one ASCS National Tour feature win in the 32 events contested at I-30.

Gary Wright has enjoyed the most success at I-30 with nine triumphs, his most recent one coming in July of 2005. Last year, Jason Johnson's magical season included an I-30 triumph in O'Reilly ASCoT action as well as a $15,000 score in October's Short Track Nationals at I-30 Speedway. Johnson also topped this year's previous stop at I-30 Speedway on April 28.

With I-30 Speedway hosting its ninth ASCS Speedweek event, the July 14 event will be the 500th ASCS National Tour feature event in series history.

I-30 Speedway ASCS National winners include: Gary Wright 9, Garry Lee Maier 4, Tim Crawley 3, Terry Gray 3, Mike Ward 3, Jason Johnson 2, Wayne Johnson 2, Travis Rilat 2, Pete Butler 1, Ricky Logan 1, Eric Sandage 1, Shane Stewart 1.

Past Speedweek Winners at I-30 Speedway: Tim Crawley (1993), Garry Lee Maier (1994), Gary Wright (1995), Garry Lee Maier (1996), Gary Wright (1997), Terry Gray (1998), Travis Rilat (2004), Tim Crawley (2005).

The 2007 season marks the 16th year of sanctioning Sprint Car racing for the American Sprint Car Series. With 13 different Regions in addition to the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series, ASCS will sanction approximately 240 nights of racing at more than 100 different race tracks throughout at least 30 different states and Canada. Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.

-credit: ascs

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Series Sprint
Drivers Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Wayne Johnson , Eric Sandage , Tim Crawley , Jason Johnson