Creek County race notes

Ramey bags ASCS Sooner loot with last lap pass at Creek County. SAPULPA, Okla. (March 22, 2003) - Kevin Ramey survived a wild checkered flag lap scramble to take Saturday night's 25-lap season opening American Sprint Car Series Sooner Region...

Ramey bags ASCS Sooner loot with last lap pass at Creek County.

SAPULPA, Okla. (March 22, 2003) - Kevin Ramey survived a wild checkered flag lap scramble to take Saturday night's 25-lap season opening American Sprint Car Series Sooner Region main event victory loot back to the Lone Star State, topping a strong 38-car field at Sapulpa's Creek County Speedway.

Ramey ducked underneath Robert Sellers, who had led since the seventh round, in turns one and two on the final circuit. The pair made contact, with Sellers brushing the wall then flipping as his damaged mount clipped another machine entering turn three. The Ft. Worth, TX, driver then led the way on the green-white-checkered run to snare the victory aboard the Harvill Industries No. 7m Eagle.

Defending ASCS Sooner Region champion Danny Jennings assumed the pole position when slated polesitter Travis Rilat rolled to a stop as the field began to form, requiring a second push and a subsequent trip to the tail of the field, setting up a spectacular drive by the Texas City, TX, hotshoe.

The main event's initial start was waved off when outside front row starter Marvin Lough flipped wildly in turn two. The second attempt was negated as well when Wayne Pennington did a quick turn two endo. While both Lough and Pennington were uninjured, neither was able to continue.

Jennings and Sellers led the field to the green flag on the next start, with Jennings bolting into the lead, leaving Sellers to fend off Sean McClelland, Eric Vanderploeg and Nick Smith in the opening rounds. Jennings had amassed nearly a half straightaway advantage when he suddenly pulled to the infield with rear end problems on the seventh round, handing the lead to Sellers.

A lap after Sellers gained command, the caution flew when fifth and sixth runners Smith and Derek Drown tangled in turn two. Three rounds later, third-running Vanderploeg brought out the race's next caution when he was also a turn two spin victim.

Sellers resumed his rapid pace on the restart in Jim Bailey's Lightning Wings/Pro Lube Center Carbone-powered Maxim, with McClelland, seventh-starter Ramey and 15th-starter Billy Alley in pursuit. Ramey slipped around McClelland for second at the midway point and began pressuring Sellers, with McClelland and Alley in close pursuit.

Sellers maintained the point, holding off Ramey's advances as the laps wound down. Ramey saved his best for the final round though, as he dove underneath Sellers entering the first turn on the checkered flag lap. The duo battled wheel-to-wheel off the second corner, with Sellers' machine pinched between Ramey's mount and the outside wall. As Ramey slipped away, Sellers limped down the backstretch with front end damage then flipped after clipping Alley's sprinter as the young Nebraska hotshoe attempted to avoid Sellers' suddenly disabled machine.

Following the red flag cleanup, Ramey charged to the checkered flag to snare the victory, with McClelland finishing a strong second. Alley made his Oklahoma debut a successful one by snaring the show position, with 12th-starter Joe Wood in fourth. Rilat charged from the tail of the field after his early misfortune, then survived a lap 22 turn two 360-degree spin to round out the top five.

In an event that featured a number of notable passing performances, Foster Landon's was among the best as he came from 20th to claim sixth. Zach Chappell crossed the stripe seventh after starting 16th in his debut aboard the Penn Racing machine, with Iowa's Johnny Anderson, Roy Larkin and Toby Brown completing the top ten.

Ramey, Lough, Jennings, Sellers and Rilat topped the 10-lap heat races, with Alley and Chappell notching the 15-lap B Feature triumphs.

After an opening lap tangle with Jesse Hockett in the second B Main, Landon raced from the rear to claim the third and final transfer spot to the main event. 2002 ASCS Brodix Rookie of the Year Cody Branchcomb flipped on the opening lap of the evening's fifth heat race, bringing an early end to his night.

-ascs/lw-

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Cody Branchcomb , Travis Rilat , Jesse Hockett , Nick Smith , Danny Jennings , Kevin Ramey , Sean McClelland