ASCoT: OK State Fair preview

State Fair Speedway's Spring Nationals On Tap for O'Reilly ASCoT TULSA, Okla. (March 19, 2007) -- The fiercely competitive O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series makes its first Sooner State appearance of the season this...

State Fair Speedway's Spring Nationals On Tap for O'Reilly ASCoT

TULSA, Okla. (March 19, 2007) -- The fiercely competitive O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series makes its first Sooner State appearance of the season this weekend, with a loaded field of approximately 50 entries expected for State Fair Speedway's Spring Nationals in Oklahoma City this Friday and Saturday.

While three-time and defending series champion Gary Wright of Hooks, TX, leads the way into the weekend, it's Louisiana's Jason Johnson who will be aiming for a repeat of last year's State Fair Speedway Spring Nationals performance.

Last year, Johnson picked off his first ASCS win of the season aboard Lanny Row's potent Wesmar-powered The Shop Motorsports Eagle during Oklahoma City's March event. But Johnson didn't stop with just one win on the weekend, as he swept both nights of racing action. The weekend ignited the "Ragin' Cajun" last year, as he went on to score 17 overall ASCS feature wins, including nine National Tour triumphs.

Johnson was nearly perfect in Oklahoma City last year, topping the State Fair Speedway leg of ASCS Speedweek to top three of four National Tour events atop the 3/8-mile clay oval. Wright took the series other victory in an event on June 23.

Johnson comes off a weekend in which he earned Hard Charger honors on both nights of action at Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, TX, racing from 21st to seventh on Friday and then charging from 16th to finish a close second on Saturday night.

Falling just 30 points shy of the title last year, Johnson enters this weekend tied for fourth in points with Bixby, Oklahoma's Darren Stewart.JThe duo is just 64 markers off Wright's early pace.Wright, who has posted eight of his 108 career ASCS National Tour feature wins at State Fair Speedway, brings the Wesmar-powered Richwood Construction No. 9 Maxim into the weekend just 23 points ahead of Oklahoma City's Wayne Johnson, the series champion in 2000.

Johnson, joining forces with the Memphis-based H&H Enterprises No. 94 team for the 2007 O'Reilly ASCoT campaign, picked off his first ASCS win of the year during Friday night's preliminary action at Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, TX.

Watertown, South Dakota's Chuck Swenson, the defending ASCS Northern Plains Region champion, has climbed to third in points on the strength of three consecutive top-five feature finishes and is just 49 points behind Wright.

Others hoping to close ground in the $50,000 championship points race include 2003 series champion Travis Rilat (Forney, TX), 2006 Rookie of the Year Nick Smith (Broken Arrow, OK), 1992 champion Garry Lee Maier (Cimarron, KS), 2001 series runner-up Larry Neighbors (Oklahoma City, OK), and Brodix Rookie of the Year contenders Foster Landon (Collinsville, OK) and Chris Schmelzle (Victoria, BC, CAN).

Also expected for the weekend is South Dakota's Jake Peters, who captured this past weekend's Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals victory. Among the other top contenders expected are Danny Jennings, Andy Shouse, Kevin Ramey, J.D. Johnson, Johnny Miller, Brad Best and North Dakota's Natalie Sather.

Bixby, Oklahoma's Shane Stewart is also expected to make his first ASCS appearance since a Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals triumph in 2004.JStewart is slated to be aboard a second Lubbock Wrecker Service entry, teamed with Garry Lee Maier.

The Series:O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour (ASCoT)

When & Where:Friday night, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. -- State Fair Speedway Spring Nationals Prelim

Saturday night, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. -- State Fair Speedway Spring Nationals Finale

Track Information:

State Fair Speedway (Oklahoma City, OK) -- 3/8-mile semi-banked clay oval located on the Oklahoma State Fair Grounds near the intersection of N.W. 10th and May Avenue. Track phone: 405-948-6796.

O'Reilly ASCoT State Fair Speedway History:

State Fair Speedway has hosted 20 ASCS National Tour events since 1994, with 16 events in Oklahoma City since the track was reconfigured prior to the 2002 season. Gary Wright has won six of 16 feature events since the reconfiguration, with Kevin Ramey and Jason Johnson the only other drivers to score multiple wins since that time.

The last time Gary Wright missed an ASCS National Tour event, it was at State Fair Speedway on May 9, 2003, when an accident while en route forced Wright's absence. Since that time, Wright has racked up three series titles and has competed in 136 consecutive events. Wright has also started a series record 124 consecutive ASCS National Tour feature events.

State Fair Speedway ASCS National winners include: Gary Wright 8, Jason Johnson 3, Kevin Ramey 2, Zach Chappell 1, Tommie Estes, Jr. 1, Wayne Pennington 1, Travis Rilat 1, Darren Stewart 1, Shane Stewart 1, Danny Wood 1.

State Fair Speedway O'Reilly ASCoT Race-by-race Winners: Gary Wright (10/13/94), Tommie Estes, Jr. (5/26/96), Gary Wright (8/11/96), Zach Chappell (7/21/01), Wayne Pennington (5/17/02), Kevin Ramey (6/28/02), Gary Wright (8/23/02), Travis Rilat (5/9/03), Shane Stewart (6/1/03), Gary Wright (6/27/03), Gary Wright (8/1/03), Danny Wood (6/25/04), Gary Wright (7/30/04), Kevin Ramey (5/20/05), Darren Stewart (6/24/05), Gary Wright (7/29/05), Jason Johnson (3/24/06), Jason Johnson (3/25/06), Gary Wright (6/23/06), Jason Johnson (7/14/06).

Current O'Reilly ASCoT Points (After 5 of 46 Nights):

Top Fifteen: 1. Gary Wright (Hooks, TX) 433, 2. Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK) 410, 3. Chuck Swenson (Watertown, SD) 384, 4. (tie) Darren Stewart (Bixby, OK) and Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA) 369, 6. Travis Rilat (Forney, TX) 359, 7. Jake Peters (Sioux Falls, SD) 294, 8. Foster Landon (Collinsville, OK) 275, 9. Nick Smith (Broken Arrow, OK) 271, 10. Andy Shouse (Oklahoma City, OK) 258, 11. J.D. Johnson (Goddard, KS) 254, 12. Garry Lee Maier (Cimarron, KS) 250, 13. Toby Chapman (Lincoln, NE) 248, 14. Danny Jennings (Norman, OK) 246, 15. Johnny Miller (Burleson, TX) 244.

2007 O'Reilly ASCoT Feature Winners:

Gary Wright 2, Wayne Johnson 1, Terry McCarl 1, Jake Peters 1.

ASCoT Coming Up:

April 20 Crossville Raceway (Crossville, TN)

April 21 Magnolia Motor Speedway (Columbus, MS)

April 27 67 Speedway (Texarkana, AR)

April 28 I-30 Speedway (Little Rock, AR)

The O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series is currently slated for 46 nights of racing action at 24 different tracks throughout 16 different states, with more than $1,000,000 in purse money and point fund to be distributed during the 2007 season.

-credit: ascs

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Darren Stewart , Johnny Miller , Larry Neighbors , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Nick Smith , Danny Jennings , Wayne Johnson , Kevin Ramey , Jason Johnson , Andy Shouse