ASCoT: Red River Shootout preview

O'Reilly ASCoT Ready for Red River Shootout This Weekend TULSA, Okla. (May 7, 2007) -- "The Red River Shootout" is more typically associated with the fierce football rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas, but it's a fitting moniker as...

O'Reilly ASCoT Ready for Red River Shootout This Weekend

TULSA, Okla. (May 7, 2007) -- "The Red River Shootout" is more typically associated with the fierce football rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas, but it's a fitting moniker as well for this weekend's pair of O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National events in Oklahoma and Texas.

The series kicks off the weekend on Friday night in the Sooner State with a stop of Oklahoma City's State Fair Speedway. Then on Saturday night, the series travels south of the Red River to tackle the famed clay oval of Devil's Bowl Speedway near Dallas.

And leading the way into the weekend is Hooks, TX, ace Gary Wright, who has finished among the top five in all ten feature events this year to amass an early-season advantage of 81 points in the $50,000 championship points race. Shooting for a fourth consecutive ASCS National title, Wright is closing in on his series record of 15 consecutive top-five feature finishes.

Wright has enjoyed his share of success at the State Fair Speedway and Devil's Bowl Speedway ovals, with 23 of his 110 career ASCS National Tour wins coming at this weekend's venues.

While Wright has been virtually flawless early in the season, a ferocious four-way battle for second is under way with just 49 markers separating Oklahoma City's Wayne Johnson, Eunice, LA, shoe Jason Johnson, Bixby, Oklahoma's Darren Stewart and Forney, TX, racer Travis Rilat.

Wayne Johnson has scored two wins this year, including a preliminary triumph during the Devil's Bowl Speedway Spring Nationals and then a victory a week later in State Fair Speedway's Spring Nationals. Both of those events occurred in March.

After racking up a series-best nine National wins last year, Jason Johnson finally broke into victory lane with a weekend sweep of Arkansas events during the series most recent action on April 28-29.

Shut out of victory lane thus far, Stewart could have just as easily swept the Arkansas weekend. Stewart had the Texarkana feature well in hand when a distributor generator failed in the final laps. Then several cautions kept Johnson in open track a night later at Little Rock's I-30 Speedway, denying Stewart the opportunity to make the winning move in lapped traffic.

The only National Tour regular to take in an event this past weekend, Rilat carries some momentum into this weekend's double after posting a $2,500 ASCS Coastal Region score at Mississippi's Pike County Speedway. Rilat's winning share was bolstered by a $1,000 bonus Miller's Machine & Welding, owned by Dodie Miller in Seabrook, TX.

Right behind the top five in points, a stellar battle for Brodix Rookie of the Year honors is shaping up between the Oklahoma duo of Foster Landon and Andy Shouse along with Canadian Chris Schemlzle, with the trio ranked sixth, seventh and tenth, respectively.

Hailing from the Tulsa-area town of Collinsville, Landon is just 21 points ahead of Oklahoma City's Shouse entering this weekend.

Also in the top ten are Johnny "Baja" Miller of Burleson, TX, and past ASCS National champion Garry Lee Maier of Cimarron, TX.

With the O'Reilly ASCoT contenders, which also includes Aaron Berryhill and 2006 Rookie of the Year Nick Smith, joined by a strong contingent of locals and American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region regulars such as two-time champion Kevin Ramey and current Sooner leader Cody Branchcomb, a strong field of cars is expected for both nights of racing action.

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

When & Where:Friday night, May 11 at 7:30 p.m. -- State Fair Speedway (Oklahoma City, OK)

Saturday night, May 12 at 8:00 p.m. -- Devil's Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX)

-credit: ascs

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Series Sprint
Drivers Darren Stewart , Aaron Berryhill , Cody Branchcomb , Travis Rilat , Nick Smith , Wayne Johnson , Kevin Ramey , Jason Johnson , Andy Shouse