ASCoT: Mesquite Winter Nationals preview

Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals This Weekend for O'Reilly ASCoT TULSA, Okla. (October 14, 2008) -- The O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series migrates eastward across the DFW Metroplex for this weekend's tradition-rich ...

Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals This Weekend for O'Reilly ASCoT

TULSA, Okla. (October 14, 2008) -- The O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series migrates eastward across the DFW Metroplex for this weekend's tradition-rich Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals in Mesquite, TX.

The 35th Annual edition of Devil's Bowl Speedway's Winter Nationals is set for Friday and Saturday night, with full cards of ASCS National Tour action in store for both nights. The top four from Friday's action are locked into Saturday night's $5,000 to win finale, with the balance of the field starting with a clean slate on Saturday night.

Trying to put the finishing touches on his first ASCS National title is reigning Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals champion Jason Johnson of Eunice, LA. With ten National triumphs this season and 16 overall ASCS feature wins, "The Ragin' Cajun" carries a 93-point advantage over four-time and defending series champion Gary Wright into the weekend.

Last year, Johnson swept both nights of Winter Nationals action, besting a field of nearly 50 entries to add his name to the list of past Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals winners that includes the likes of Opperman, Kinser, Swindell and Wolfgang among others.

While trying to deliver car owner Lanny Row a second consecutive Winter Nationals crown, Johnson can put the virtual clamps on the series $50,000 championship with a pair of top ten finishes over the weekend.

Wright, most recently a Winter Nationals champion in both 2004 and 2005, will try to add to previous wins this season at the Devil's Bowl including a last-lap pass for the win at the Spring Nationals in March and then a Speedweek triumph in July. Wright has recorded 18 of his 122 career ASCS National Tour feature wins atop the famed Devil's Bowl 0x00bd-mile clay oval.

Oklahoma City's Wayne Johnson enters the weekend 55 points behind Wright and 58 markers ahead of fellow past ASCS National champion Zach Chappell of Talala, OK, with 1992 ASCS champ Garry Lee Maier of Cimarron, KS, rounding out the current top five.

Rookie contender Eric Baldaccini of Keller, TX, enters the weekend ranked sixth, with the balance of the top ten including Nick Smith (Broken Arrow, OK), Kenneth Walker (Sapulpa, OK), 2006 Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals champ Travis Rilat (Forney, TX) and Gary Taylor (Sapulpa, OK), with 17-year-old Kathryne Minter of Bedford, TX, just outside the top ten in eleventh.

A number of other top contenders will be in action over the course of the weekend including ASCS Midwest Region champion Jack Dover of Springfield, NE, who turned in a scintillating drive from ten rows deep to finish third in this past weekend's Cowtown Sprint Nationals behind Brian Brown and Jason Johnson. Missouri's Brown is expected for this weekend's action as well as he sets his sights on a second ASCoT National win in as many weekends.

Another pair of faces familiar to the Sprint Car world, albeit infrequent ASCS visitors, are also expected. Brady Bacon will take the wheel of a second Tel-Star Communications entry as a teammate to Gary Taylor, while Tim Shaffer will fill the seat of the Bobby Sparks No. 91 entry.

A native of Broken Arrow, OK, Bacon is best know for his exploits in the wingless Sprint Car and Midget ranks. This weekend marks his ASCS debut and first winged outing since some two-barrel action several years ago.

Pennsylvania's Shaffer will pilot the Sparks machine this weekend before taking to a Doc Sloan mount for next weekend's Short Track Nationals at I-30 Speedway, where he won a preliminary feature event last year.

The weekend gets off to an early start for some who will take part in Thursday's Second Annual Steve King Foundation Golf Tournament at the Buffalo Creek Golf Club in Rockwall, TX, with a bar-b-que dinner to follow at Smiley's Racing Products in Mesquite.

The Series:O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour (ASCoT)
When & Where:Friday, October 17 -- Devil's Bowl Speedway at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 18 -- Devil's Bowl Speedway at 8:00 p.m.

Track Information:
Devil's Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX) -- 0x00bd-mile, high-banked clay oval located six miles east of Dallas' I-635 on US 80, then three miles south on Lawson Road. Track phone: 972-222-2421.

O'Reilly ASCoT -- A Look Ahead:

October 23-25 -- I-30 Speedway Short Track Nationals (Little Rock, AR)

The O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series is currently slated for approximately 35 nights of racing action at nearly 20 different tracks throughout a dozen different states, with more than $1,000,000 in purse money and point fund to be distributed during the 2008 season.

The nation's most prominent Sprint Car sanctioning body with a dozen different Regions throughout the United States in addition to the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series, the American Sprint Car Series' (ASCS) 17th year of activity will include approximately 250 nights of racing at more than 100 different race tracks throughout 28 different states and Canada.

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

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Brian Brown , Travis Rilat , Nick Smith , Wayne Johnson , Gary Taylor , Jason Johnson