ASCoT Short Track Nationals preview

O'Reilly Short Track Nationals Entry County Soars to 96! LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 18, 2007) -- With the 20th edition of I-30 Speedway's prestigious O'Reilly Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires just one week away, entries continue...

O'Reilly Short Track Nationals Entry County Soars to 96!

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 18, 2007) -- With the 20th edition of I-30 Speedway's prestigious O'Reilly Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires just one week away, entries continue to stream into the track office at record pace.

As of the close of business Wednesday, October 17, a whopping 96 entries from 21 different states had been submitted for the $20,000 to win, $2,000 to start event, which takes place on Thursday through Saturday, October 25-27, following a Test 'N Tune session on Wednesday, October 24.

That $20,000 winner's share could be bumped up as well to a staggering $45,000 if one driver can successfully accept and complete the COMP Cams Challenge, which would entail surrendering a front-row spot in Saturday night's championship feature event and then charging from the tail of the field to snare the win.

Among the latest entries are several that immediately fall into the favorites to win category, including four-time STN king Gary Wright of Hooks, TX, Knoxville 360 Nationals winner Shane Stewart of Bixby, OK, Pennsylvania Posse ace Lucas Wolfe of Harrisburg, PA, and All-Star champ Greg Wilson of Benton Ridge, OH. Wright and Stewart have both enjoyed documented success at the STN, while Wolfe and Wilson will try to etch their names into the legendary ranks of the event next weekend.

A number of other stout competitors have entered as well, including 2005 STN winner Tim Montgomery of Fredericktown, MO, O'Reilly ASCoT National contenders Travis Rilat of Forney, TX, and Darren Stewart of Bixby, OK, and midget ace Gary Taylor, now residing in Sapulpa, OK.

Escaping the Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals with a greater than 50-point advantage over Wayne Johnson, Gary Wright can put his full focus on a fifth Short Track Nationals crown. With 13 O'Reilly ASCoT National wins to his credit this year along with a sixth ASCS Speedweek title and a win in the ASCS/Wesmar Challenge, Wright picked up his first STN triumph in 1995 then added a second win in 1999 before racking up back-to-back wins in 2003 and 2004. The only driver to snare more than one STN win since 1993, Wright charged from the eighth row to claim his 2004 win.

Ever so close to victory lane on at least a pair of occasions at the Short Track Nationals, Shane Stewart posted finishes of fourth and second in 2002 and 2003, respectively, before adding a seventh place finish in 2005. After winning the All-Star Speedweek championship with Junior Holbrook this summer, Stewart has been nearly unstoppable aboard the Doyle's Harley-Davidson mount that he will bring to Little Rock, winning Knoxville's 360 Nationals, the upper Northwest's NSCS Speedweek and a World of Outlaws feature at Grays Harbor. Matching Wright, Stewart has scored 14 overall feature wins in 2007.

Making his rookie attempt at the Short Track Nationals, the 20-year-old Lucas Wolfe has racked up ten wins on the tough Central Pennsylvania circuit in just his fifth year of Sprint Car racing competition. Biggest among those wins were a pair of $5,000 to win Keystone Cup triumphs, a $5,000 to win Weldon Sterner Memorial event at Lincoln and a $4,000 victory in the Hank Gertzler Memorial at Lincoln in late September. Celebrating his 21st birthday the Monday before the STN fires off, Wolfe teams with car owner Rick Kaylor in the Kistler-powered No. 13k JEI for the STN.

Greg Wilson tried out the Short Track National in both 2002 and 2004, making the feature cut in preliminary action on both occasions before missing the Saturday championship finale cut. Following on the heels of his first All-Star championship season, which included five wins, Wilson sets his sights on a first STN crown.

Fredericktown, Missouri's Tim Montgomery, who has started six of the last seven STN championship features, takes the wheel of Tim Crawley's No. 87 entry in search of a second STN title. Crawley, also seeking a second STN crown, will pilot Mike Ward's No. 88.

Travis Rilat of Forney, TX, an STN runner-up in 2001, tries to make his first STN finale since 2003 and enters the season-ending event for the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour ranked fourth in points behind Gary Wright, Wayne Johnson and Jason Johnson.

Darren Stewart, an ASCS Speedweek winner at Creek County Speedway this year currently ranked sixth in ASCS National points, owns eight career wins at I-30 Speedway and shares the active streak of most consecutive STN championship feature starts of five in a row with Gary Wright. Stewart has finished among the top-ten in each of the past two years, with last year's STN finish of third his best yet.

Mixing in a spate of late-season winged Sprint Car action is 2007 SMRS Midget champion Gary Taylor, now residing in Sapulpa, OK, by way of Wheat Ridge, CO, by way of Snohomish, WA. The accomplished Midget shoe, who was also the 2005 champion with the ASCS Rocky Mountain Region, has strung together three top-tens in four late-season starts aboard Mike and Megan Eubanks' No. 25 Sprint Car.

A number of other drivers to watch have entered over the past week, including Arkansas shoes Cody Gardner, Lewis Jenkins, Jr., and Wade Human, Missouri racers Josh Fisher (WOW runner-up and Rookie of the Year), Curtis Evans and Kyle Bellm, Oklahoma's Kenneth Walker (tenth in ASCS National points), Illini Jimmy Hurley (5th in MASS points) and Brad Greer, Kansans Jon Freeman (6th in NCRA points) and Chris Morgan, Mississippi's Raymond Stull (seventh in Riverside points), Texans Kathryne Minter (16-year-old finished eighth in ASCS Gulf South points) and Larry Howery, South Dakota's Eric Lutz (third in ASCS Northern Plains points) and Ryan Bickett and Iowa's Joe Beaver (ninth in Knoxville points) and Robert Bell.

Also, Canadian Glenn Styres will be unable to make the trip due to other commitments so he will dispatch Portland, MI, ace Dustin Daggett to drive the No. 0 entry. Daggett piled up ten wins in 2007, including nine triumphs in 13 ASCS Sprints on Dirt starts.

Pertinent Short Track Nationals Information:

What: 20th Annual O'Reilly Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires.

Where: I-30 Speedway (Little Rock, AR). I-30 Speedway is located seven miles southwest of Little Rock off I-30 Exit 126 (Alexander).

When: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 25-27, 2007. $20,000 to win the STN finale on October 27, with $2,000 to start the STN championship feature. Rain date is November 1-3. Test 'N Tune session on Wednesday night, October 24.

Past Winners: Jason Johnson (2006), Tim Montgomery (2005), Gary Wright (2004, 2003, 1999 and 1995), Paul McMahan (2002), Jason Sides (2001), Mike Ward (2000), Tim Crawley (1998), Wayne Johnson (1997), Pete Butler (1996), Terry Gray (1994), John Gerloff (1993), Steve Kinser (1991, '89 and '88) and Sammy Swindell (1990). 1992 finale was rained out.

The Entries: Entries postmarked by October 14 are just $200. Entries after the October 14 deadline are $250. Entry forms are available at http://www.i-30speedway.com/driverentry.htm or by calling the track at 501-455-4567.

Current Entries:

#0 Dustin Daggett (Portland, MI)

#00 Danny Martin, Jr. (Sarasota, FL)

#1g Cody Gardner (Benton, AR)

#1m Andy McElhannon (Hernando, MS)

#1p Curtis Evans (Norburne, MO)

#1s Shane Stewart (Bixby, OK)

#1x Don Droud, Jr. (Lincoln, NE)

#01 TBA

#01x TBA

#2m Bryce Vowan (Forrest City, AR)

#2w Kenneth Walker (Sapulpa, OK)

#3 A.G. Rains (West Memphis, AR)

#3b Brad Greer (Coultierville, IL)

#4am TBA

#B4 Eric Baldaccini (Keller, TX)

#4x Jan Howard (Byhalia, MS)

#5ma Mallory Armfield (St. Joseph, MO)

#5$ Danny Smith (Sapulpa, OK)

#6 Mike Dussel (Rising Sun, OH)

#6b Dale Blaney (Fowler, OH)

#7c Chris Morgan (Topeka, KS)

#7h Lewis Jenkins, Jr. (Bryant, AR)

#7m Kevin Ramey (Fort Worth, TX)

#7s Jason Sides (Bartlett, TN)

#7w Wade Human (Marion, AR)

#8 Jeff Wingate (Centertown, MO)

#8s Steve Short (Farmington, MO)

#8x Chris Williams (Memphis, TN)

#9 Gary Wright (Hooks, TX)

#10 Terry Gray (Bartlett, TN)

#11 Raymond Stull (Hernando, MS)

#11x Garry Lee Maier (Cimarron, KS)

#12 Jerrod Hull (Sikeston, MO)

#12x Robbie Standridge (Springfield, IL)

#d12 Tim Shaffer (Aliquippa, PA)

#13k Lucas Wolfe (Harrisburg, PA)

#13m Kathryne Minter (Bedford, TX)

#14 Coleman Gulick (Binghamton, NY)

#14E Danny Jennings (Norman, OK)

#14k Kyle Bellm (Nixa, MO)

#14T Tyler Brown (Vilonia, AR)

#15b Brad Bowden (Hernando, MS)

#15h Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (Sunnyvale, TX)

#15s Nick Smith (Broken Arrow, OK)J #17b Ryan Bickett (Ramona, SD)

#18T Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS)

#R19 Scott Winters (Butterfield, MN)

#20 Josh Howard (Byhalia, MS)

#20 Eric Lutz (Sioux Falls, SD)

#w20 Greg Wilson (Benton Ridge, OH)

#21 Brian Brown (Grain Valley, MO)

#21p Daryn Pittman (Owasso, OK)

#21T Kent Lewis, Jr. (Willis, TX)

#23 Rob Chaney (Wooster, OH)

#23b Brian Bell (Cordova, TN)

#25 Gary Taylor (Sapulpa, OK)

#26 Marshall Skinner (West Memphis, AR)

#28 Jonathan Cornell (Sedalia, MO)

#29 Travis Rilat (Forney, TX)

#35 Brad Best (Tulsa, OK)

#35 Jimmy Hurley (Springfield, IL)

#40 Ernie Ainsworth (Southaven, MS)

#41 Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA)

#47 Dale Howard (Byhalia, MS)

#50z Zach Chappell (Talala, OK)

#51 Jimmy Brooks (College Station, TX)

#51 Lee Sowell (Nesbit, MS)

#51b Mike Boston (Crete, NE)

#53 Joe Beaver (Knoxville, IA)

#53 Jack Dover (Springfield, NE)

#57x Jake Peters (Sioux Falls, SD)

#58 Wade Oliver (Milan, TN)

#64J Johnny Miller (Burleson, TX)

#66 Kenny Taylor (Clinton, AR)

#69h Larry Howery (Hearne, TX)

#71 Tim Simmons (Splendora, TX)

#71b Robert Bell (Colfax, IA)

#71J John Jacob (Aurora, CO)

#74e Claud Estes (Godley, TX)

#75 Tyler Blank (California, MO)

#76 Jay Russell (Elwood, KS)

#81 Jon Freeman (Salina, KS)

#86F Josh Fisher (Smithton, MO)

#86s Eric Schrock (Lake Ozark, MO)

#87 Brian McClelland (Tulsa, OK)

#87 Tim Montgomery (Fredericktown, MO)

#88 Tim Crawley (Benton, AR)

#91 Darren Stewart (Bixby, OK)

#93 Bob Schaeffer (New Castle, CO)

#93c Chris Sweeney (Channelview, TX)

#94 Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK)

#94s Natalie Sather (Fargo, ND)

#94T Steven Tiner (Elverta, CA)

#95 Matt Covington (Glenpool, OK)

#97 Mike Brecht (Leipsic, OH)

#98 Andrew Korte (Centertown, MO)

Prolific 2007 Feature Winners: Jason Johnson 19, Brian Brown 14, Tim Crawley 14, Shane Stewart 14, Gary Wright 14, Dale Blaney 13, Terry Gray 12, Dustin Daggett 10, Wayne Johnson 10, Lucas Wolfe 10.

Past STN Championship Feature Starts Among Entered Drivers (Since 1993): Gary Wright 13, Tim Crawley 12, Wayne Johnson 10, Terry Gray 10, Garry Lee Maier 9, Lewis Jenkins, Jr. 8, Dale Howard 7, Jan Howard 6, Tim Montgomery 6, Travis Rilat 5, Jason Sides 5, Darren Stewart 5, Shane Stewart 5, Brian Brown 3, Jason Johnson 3, A.G. Rains 3, Kevin Ramey 3, Marshall Skinner 3, Nick Smith 3, Ernie Ainsworth 2, Zach Chappell 2, Jerrod Hull 2, Wade Oliver 2, Daryn Pittman 2, Dale Blaney 1, Claud Estes 1, Cody Gardner 1, Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 1, Danny Jennings 1, Jake Peters 1, Eric Schrock 1, Robbie Standridge 1, Raymond Stull 1, Steven Tiner 1, Kenneth Walker 1

The Series: This year's edition of the Short Track Nationals will be the season-ending event for the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series. The 16th year of competition for the American Sprint Car Series will culminate with the champion, to be determined at the Short Track Nationals, receiving $50,000.

Current top ten in ASCS National points: 1. Gary Wright (Hooks, TX) 4,280, 2. Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK) 4,212, 3. Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA) 4,176, 4. Travis Rilat (Forney, TX) 3,976, 5. Foster Landon (Collinsville, OK) 3,477, 6. Darren Stewart (Bixby, OK) 2,697, 7. Nick Smith (Broken Arrow, OK) 2,290, 8. Eric Baldaccini (Keller, TX) 1,851, 9. Andy Shouse (Oklahoma City, OK) 1,740, 10. Kenneth Walker (Sapulpa, OK) 1,723.

ASCS National points will be awarded in the following manner for the Short Track Nationals: 50 points will be awarded to each driver taking a green flag during either Thursday or Friday's preliminary action. Another 50 points will be awarded to each driver taking the green flag during Saturday's action. Another 50 points will be awarded to the STN championship feature winner, with 46 points for second, 44 points for third, 42 points for fourth and so on with a two-point drop per position to the last finisher in the main event. J

The Format: A version of the popular Sprint Bandits format of heats and qualifying races will be in place for all three nights of competition.Each night, Heat Races will be aligned according to the pre-race draw, with the passing points system in effect.

Approximately half of the STN entrants will battle through Thursday's qualifying program, with the other half racing through Friday night's qualifying program. Those not locked in after the first two nights (top three from each night) will race through a full card of Heats, Last Chance Races and Qualifying Races on Saturday night to fill out the October 27 STN championship finale.

Each qualifying night, the top 32 in passing points from Heat Race competition will be inverted in four Qualifying Races with the balance of each Qualifying Race lined straight up with 33rd in points on back filling out rows five and beyond. The top twenty in combined finishing/passing points from the Heats and Qualifying Races will set each preliminary night's feature lineup. The top three feature finishers from each qualifying feature are locked into Saturday's main event.

With six cars locked into Saturday's $20,000-to-win, $2,000-to-start main event, the top twelve drivers in combined passing points from Saturday's Heats, Qualifiers and Last Chance Races will fill positions seven through eighteen. The final two slots of the STN finale will be awarded to the two remaining drivers that have accumulated the most points through Heat, Qualifying, Last Chance and Feature racing action over their qualifying night and Saturday night.

Drivers must compete in either Thursday's prelim or Friday's prelim to be eligible for passing points on Saturday.J

The Dash will be aligned by a pill draw conducted in "Cheater's Day" fashion. Thursday's winning driver will draw the first pill then give that pill to the driver of his choice. Friday's winner will draw the second pill and give that pill to one of the remaining drivers, and so on until the lineup is determined.

The COMP Cams Challenge: The drivers finishing first and second in the Dash will have the option to take the COMP Cams Challenge, with the first-place finisher getting first option. Any driver accepting the challenge will start at the tail of the field and has the opportunity to pocket an extra $25,000 by racing from the tail to win the race.

The Huggins Bonus: The race winner can also collect an additional $1,000 from Huggins Cams if a Huggins Cams decal is displayed on the car.

The Trade Show: This year's rendition of the Short Track Nationals will also include the Third Annual Short Track Nationals Trade Show & Midway. Fans, drivers & crews will have the opportunity to visit vendor displays, which will be open each day. The deadline for guaranteed vendor space is Monday, October 22.

The Tickets: Advance tickets are on sale through Wednesday, October 24, no advance sales after that. Those ordering in advance by credit card receive a discount, with all three nights just $45. Two-day advance tickets are available as well at the same price as day of show. Day of show cash prices are $15 on Thursday and Friday and $27 on Saturday. To order tickets in advance or for more information, call the track at 501-455-4567.

-credit: ascs

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Series Sprint
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Darren Stewart , Johnny Miller , Andy McElhannon , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Brian Brown , Daryn Pittman , Jason Sides , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Lucas Wolf , Josh Fisher , Chris Williams , Greg Wil , Nick Smith , Danny Jennings , Wayne Johnson , Kevin Ramey , Gary Taylor , Tim Crawley , Chris Morgan , Larry Howery , Matt Covington , Jason Johnson , Andy Shouse
Teams Williams