ASCoT: Wheatland preview

Wright Leads O'Reilly ASCoT to Lucas Oil Speedway on Saturday TULSA, Okla. (September 25, 2006) -- With a third consecutive O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National championship within reach, Gary Wright leads the series into ...

Wright Leads O'Reilly ASCoT to Lucas Oil Speedway on Saturday

TULSA, Okla. (September 25, 2006) -- With a third consecutive O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National championship within reach, Gary Wright leads the series into Saturday night's Winged Sprint Challenge versus the O'Reilly Winged Outlaw Warriors at "The Diamond of Dirt Tracks", Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO.

But holding a narrow 34-point lead over Louisiana's Jason Johnson, Wright has little margin for error as one last perilous adventure into the "Show Me State" stands between "The Texan" and the series October 13-14 season finale at Devil's Bowl Speedway.

Wright's last two trips to Missouri have been disastrous at best, each resulting in a mangled race car in a pair of incidents, including being caught up in a multi-car opening lap melee at Sedalia on July 3 and then getting collected in another wild scramble in the opening leg of ASCS Speedweek at Bolivar just four nights later.

With an O'Reilly ASCS National Tour career best 106 feature wins, including two this year, Wright will try to reverse the recent trend of Missouri misfortune by drawing upon past Missouri success. Nine of Wright's 106 career wins have come atop Missouri soil, including a pair in 2005.

Poised to take full advantage of any opportunity in the $50,000 championship points race is Johnson, who has been playing a game of catch-up since missing the season opener at East Bay. Enjoying a career year with 16 overall ASCS feature wins, Johnson has climbed to within championship striking distance with eight triumphs in National competition.

Just 85 points off the lead pace, leading Rookie of the Year contenders Jesse Hockett of Warsaw, MO, and Nick Smith of Broken Arrow, OK, are tied for third in points entering Saturday's event. Smith has scored ASCS National wins at Poplar Bluff and Virginia Motor Speedway this season, while Hockett scored a win at Baton Rouge.

Forney, TX, shoe Travis Rilat, the 2003 series champion, enters the event ranked fifth, with other top ASCS National Tour contenders expected to be on hand including Houston Raceway Park winner Sean McClelland (Collinsville, OK), 2005 National Tour runner-up and current ASCS Mid-South Region point leader Darren Stewart (Bixby, OK), 14-year-old Rookie contender Trey Robb (Newcastle, OK), current ASCS Sooner Region point leader Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (Sunnyvale, TX), Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS), Jan Howard (Byhalia, MS) and Abe Sherwood (Tulsa, OK).

Closing in on a second consecutive Winged Outlaw Warriors title, Randy Martin of California, MO, leads the WOW forces into the event. Also among the top five in current WOW points are Toby Brown (Carthage, MO), Curtis Boyer (New Haven, MO), Tracy Nichols (Columbia, MO) and Rusty Potter (Boonville, MO).

Admission and pit gates open at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, with hot laps at 6:30 p.m.

Lucas Oil Speedway is located in Wheatland, MO, 0.2 miles south of US 54 on State Road 83, then east. For more information, contact the track at 417-282-5984.

The 2006 O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour features a record $150,000 point fund, with $50,000 earmarked for the champion. The series will contest approximately 30 events throughout Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Virginia, Michigan and Iowa.

In its 15th year of sanctioning Sprint Car racing in the United States, the American Sprint Car Series will present approximately 180 nights of racing at nearly 100 tracks throughout 27 different states and Canada in 2006 including the National Tour and its Regional Tours (Gulf South, Mid-South, Midwest, Northern Plains, Patriot Sprint Group, Rocky Mountain, Sooner, Southern and Sprints on Dirt).

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

-credit: ascs

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Darren Stewart , Travis Rilat , Jesse Hockett , Nick Smith , Jason Johnson , Sean McClelland