Wright Back on Track with ASCS Speedweek Win at I-30 LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (July 12, 2008) -- Just one night after surrendering the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National points lead, Gary Wright rebounded in strong fashion by...
Wright Back on Track with ASCS Speedweek Win at I-30
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (July 12, 2008) -- Just one night after surrendering the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National points lead, Gary Wright rebounded in strong fashion by racing to victory lane in Round Two of the 16th Annual ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek at I-30 Speedway on Saturday night.
Wright snatched the lead away from Zach Chappell on the 13th round and led the rest of the way in the 30-lapper to take top honors in the 100th Speedweek event in ASCS history aboard the Wesmar-powered Richwood Construction/Whiteco Commercial Funding No. 9 Maxim.
"Last night was disastrous," Wright explained of a rare DNF and his first of the season that dropped him behind Jason Johnson in the series $50,000 championship points race. "We can still get there, we've just got to start winning some races. I think we've got the car for it now."
Wright only managed to chop four points off of Johnson's advantage on Saturday night though, as "The Ragin' Cajun" emerged from a last-lap scrum with Zach Chappell to take the runner-up slot in front of 12th-starter Travis Rilat and Wayne Johnson, with Chappell relegated to fifth.
With the two primary title contenders, Gary Wright and Jason Johnson, gridding the feature field shoulder to shoulder in row four, it was Claud Estes leading the way to the green flag with Chappell alongside.
With Estes working the low side of the 0x00bc-mile oval and Chappell on the top side, the duo battled for the lead for the opening handful of laps.JWhile Estes held a slight advantage for five laps, Chappell finally surged into the lead upon the completion of the sixth lap and dropped to the bottom of the track long enough to shut the door on Estes.
Wright and Johnson were on the move from the outset though, running in fourth and fifth behind Chappell, Estes and Kenneth Walker when a caution flew after seven laps that sent both Washington shoe J.J. Hickle and leading Rookie of the Year contender Eric Baldaccini to the work area with cut tires following a turn four tangle.
Back under way, Wright needed less than a lap to charge by Walker and Estes to take over second, setting his sights on Chappell. Wright closed in and then dove underneath Chappell entering turn one on the 13th round to take command for keeps.
Wright survived another pair of cautions over the final half of the race, including one with three laps to go, to snap a 14-race winless streak with his 121st career ASCS National Tour triumph and 28th career Speedweek win.
While Wright raced out front, the action behind him was typically intense atop the I-30 clay with Chappell and Johnson the focal point of attention. The pair swapped the runner-up slot following a lap 18 restart, with Chappell getting the best of that exchange.
But the final caution with three laps to go gave Johnson new life. The pair diced for the second slot, with turn two contact on the final circuit sending Chappell into a 360-degree spin. Chappell did manage to keep his mount under power, although still losing several positions in the scramble to the stripe.
Johnson claimed runner-up honors aboard Lanny Row's Wesmar-powered The Shop Motorsports No. 41 Eagle to escape the night with 22-point lead over Wright in the season championship chase and a two-point advantage over Wayne Johnson after two rounds of Toyota Tundra Speedweek action.
After starting 12th, Travis Rilat climbed through the field and wrestled the fourth position away from Wayne Johnson on the 27th lap. Rilat picked up another spot on the chaotic last lap, taking third aboard the F&J Construction No. 29 Triple-X.
Wayne Johnson crossed the stripe fourth in Mike and Tim Hammers' H&H Enterprises No. 94 Maxim, with a displeased Chappell rounding out the top five in the Wesmar-powered Legend's Bar-B-Que and Steak Joint No. 50z Maxim.
Reigning I-30 Speedway track champion Zach Pringle charged from 16th to snare sixth behind a handful of past ASCS National champions, with Estes next across the stripe in seventh. Walker was eighth, with 15th-starter Gary Taylor and 21st-starter Brad Bowden completing the top ten.
Wayne Johnson, Walker, Estes and Garry Lee Maier topped heat race action for Saturday night's 30-car field, with Bryce Vowan fending off Sean McClelland for the "B" Main victory.16th Annual Toyota Tundra ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek Results from I-30 Speedway:
Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points to "A" Main; Balance to "B" Main):
Brodix Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 94-Wayne Johnson, 2. 41-Jason Johnson, 3. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 4. 9x-Justin Sturch, 5. 12T-Joe Young, 6. 3-A.G. Rains, 7. 38-Rick Pringle, 8. 14T-Tyler Brown.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 2-Kenneth Walker, 2. 81au-Gavin Punch, 3. 71-Channin Tankersley, 4. 29-Travis Rilat, 5. 5*-Gary Taylor, 6. 72-Sherman Davis, 7. 01-Jeremy Newkirk, 8. 13-Kathryne Minter.
Brodix Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 74-Claud Estes, 2. 7-J.J. Hickle, 3. 4J-Jamie Passmore, 4. 8z-Zach Pringle, 5. 91-Sean McClelland, 6. 15-Brad Bowden, 7. 8x-Chris Williams.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Four (8 Laps): q. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 2. 9-Gary Wright, 3. 50z-Zach Chappell, 4. 2m-Bryce Vowan, 5. 51-Lee Sowell, 6. 15s-Nick Smith, 7. 95-Matt Covington.
"B" Main (Top 6 Advance to "A" Main):
"B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 2m-Bryce Vowan, 2. 91-Sean McClelland, 3. 12T-Joe Young, 4. 15-Brad Bowden, 5. 3-A.G. Rains, 6. 51-Lee Sowell, 7. 72-Sherman Davis, 8. 8x-Chris Williams, 9. 38-Rick Pringle, 10. 95-Matt Covington, 11. 15s-Nick Smith, 12. 01-Jeremy Newkirk, 13. 13-Kathryne Minter, 14. 14T-Tyler Brown.
O'Reilly ASCoT "A" Main Event:
"A" Feature (30 Laps): 1. 9-Gary Wright, 2. 41-Jason Johnson, 3. 29-Travis Rilat, 4. 94-Wayen Johnson, 5. 50z-Zach Chappell, 6. 8z-Zach Pringle, 7. 74-Claud Estes, 8. 2-Kenneth Walker, 9. 5*-Gary Taylor, 10. 15-Brad Bowden, 11. 9x-Justin Sturch, 12. 51-Lee Sowell, 13. 15s-Nick Smith, 14. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 15. 91-Sean McClelland, 16. 12T-Joe Young, 17. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 18. 4J-Jamie Passmore, 19. 7-J.J. Hickle, 20. 95-Matt Covington, 21. 2m-Bryce Vowan, 22. 81au-Gavin Punch, 23. 3-A.G. Rains, 24. 71-Channin Tankersley.
Lap Leaders: Claud Estes 1-5, Zach Chappell 6-12, Gary Wright 13-30.
Note: Nick Smith utilized an ASCoT provisional while Matt Covington utilized his Speedweek provisional to start the "A" Main.
O'Reilly ASCoT Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Jason Johnson 2,531, 2. Gary Wright 2,509, 3. Wayne Johnson 2,465, 4. Zach Chappell 2,381, 5. Garry Lee Maier 2,232, 6. Eric Baldaccini 2,075, 7. Nick Smith 1,930, 8. Kenneth Walker 1,855, 9. Jack Dover 1,648, 10. Travis Rilat 1,638, 11. Gary Taylor 1,545, 12. Kathryne Minter 1,534, 13. Aaron Berryhill 1,174, 14. Jason Sides 1,130, 15. Matt Covington 926.
16th Annual Toyota Tundra ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek Points (Top Ten -- Through Round Two of Six): 1. Jason Johnson 290, 2. Wayne Johnson 288, 3. Gary Taylor 282, 4. (tie) Zach Chappell and Travis Rilat 274, 6. Garry Lee Maier 264. 7. Gary Wright 260, 8. (tie) Brad Bowden and Justin Sturch 252, 10. Claud Estes 250.