Stewart Strikes in COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Round Two at Riverside WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (June 4, 2005) -- Olive Branch, MS, car owner Bobby Sparks has been fielding entries in the Memphis area for several decades now, but not even he could...
Stewart Strikes in COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Round Two at Riverside
WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (June 4, 2005) -- Olive Branch, MS, car owner Bobby Sparks has been fielding entries in the Memphis area for several decades now, but not even he could remember the last time he won a main event at the historic Riverside Speedway.
That all changed Saturday night however, as Darren Stewart raced to victory lane in the 30-lap feature to top the second round of the 13th Annual COMP Cams American Sprint Car Series Speedweek atop the quarter-mile gumbo clay oval.
Stewart bolted from his fourth starting slot into the lead on the opening round then took advantage of a timely caution with just four laps remaining to beat Eddie Gallagher to the line to capture his second O'Reilly ASCS National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores victory of the season and move atop the Speedweek point charts.
"I was happy to see that yellow flag," Stewart commented after snaring his ninth career ASCS National Tour victory and third career ASCS Speedweek triumph aboard the Ostrich-powered Sparks Construction/RESM Transport No. 91 Eagle. "Right before that yellow, I saw Eddie (Gallagher) on the high side and knew it was about to get pretty exciting."
While Stewart gridded fourth, Oklahoma City's Jimmy Taylor led the feature field to the green flag from the pole position for the first time in his career with Riverside master Gallagher alongside. It was Stewart that gunned into the lead as the pack raced off turn two, with Gallagher, Taylor and Tony Bruce, Jr., in tow to complete the first lap.
Following a lap three caution for Henry Gustavus' disabled mount in turn three, Stewart set sail with lapped traffic coming into play on the eighth round. Stewart diligently worked his way through traffic with Gallagher matching him move for move.
The fast-paced event reached the boiling point when Gallagher moved in to challenge Stewart for the point as the pair raced through traffic on the 23rd round, bringing the partisan crowd to its feet. With Stewart mired behind a lapped car soon after, Gallagher pulled alongside only to see the race's second and final caution fly for Toby Brown's turn two spin with 26 laps in the books.
With an open track for the four-lap dash to the checkered flag, Stewart was not to be denied and raced to the stripe unabated with Gallagher settling for runner-up honors for the second night in a row. After starting seventh, defending ASCS Speedweek champion Tim Crawley advanced to third by the tenth round and held the show position to the line.Defending O'Reilly ASCS National champion Gary Wright advanced from 11th to sixth by the midway point, overtook Tony Bruce, Jr., for fifth two laps later then moved past Roger Crockett to snare fourth on the 24th lap. Crockett rounded out the top five after starting eighth.
Jan Howard raced from 13th to finish sixth in front of Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Bruce and Ronny Howard. Taylor overcame a sputtering mount to capture his best finish of the season by crossing the stripe ninth, with Sam Hafertepe, Jr., completing the top ten. Jim Bowden turned in the feature's top passing performance by advancing from 22nd to finish eleventh.
Taylor topped the first heat race to earn the pole position for the feature, Bruce held off a late bid from Gallagher in the second heat and Stewart bested Crawley in the third heat.
Action for the 13th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek resumes at Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, OK, on Monday night.
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. Jimmy Taylor, 2. Ronny Howard, 3. Steven Tiner, 4. Jan Howard, 5. Gary Wright, 6. Jake Martens, 7. Chad Jones, 8. Jim Bowden.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Tony Bruce, Jr., 2. Eddie Gallagher, 3. Sean Walden, 4. Toby Brown, 5. Henry Gustavus, 6. Jody Roland, 7. Lee Sowell, 8. A.G. Rains.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. Darren Stewart, 2. Tim Crawley, 3. Roger Crockett, 4. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 5. Dale Howard, 6. Josh Lofton, 7. Bennie Chesteen.
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. Darren Stewart, 2. Eddie Gallagher, 3. Tim Crawley, 4. Gary Wright, 5. Roger Crockett, 6. Jan Howard, 7. Tony Bruce, Jr., 8. Ronny Howard, 9. Jimmy Taylor, 10. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 11. Jim Bowden, 12. Steven Tiner, 13. Jake Martens, 14. Dale Howard, 15. Toby Brown, 16. A.G. Rains, 17. Sean Walden, 18. Lee Sowell, 19. Jody Roland, 20. Bennie Chesteen, 21. Josh Lofton, 22. Henry Gustavus, 23. Chad Jones.
O'Reilly ASCS National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores Points (Top Ten): 1. Gary Wright 1,272, 2. Darren Stewart 1,250, 3. Jan Howard 1,175, 4. Jake Martens 1,160, 5. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,133, 6. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 1,087, 7. Toby Brown 1,065, 8. A.G. Rains 1,031, 9. Lee Sowell 856, 10. Jimmy Taylor 805.
13th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Points (Top Ten -- Through Two of Seven Events): 1. Darren Stewart 294, 2. (tie) Gary Wright and Eddie Gallagher 292, 4. Tim Crawley 284, 5. Roger Crockett 282, 6. Jan Howard 272, 7. Steven Tiner 262, 8. Tony Bruce, Jr. 258, 9. Dale Howard 254, 10. Toby Brown 248.