I-30 Saturday report

Wright Rolls at Little Rock to Complete O'Reilly ASCS Weekend Sweep LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (June 5, 2004) -- Gary Wright continued his winning ways at I-30 Speedway, completing a sweep of the weekend's O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National...

Wright Rolls at Little Rock to Complete O'Reilly ASCS Weekend Sweep

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (June 5, 2004) -- Gary Wright continued his winning ways at I-30 Speedway, completing a sweep of the weekend's O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and Classic Trailers racing action by scoring a wire-to-wire victory in Saturday night's 30-lap feature.

"Man, I really like this track," Wright exclaimed to track owner Joe Clay as he climbed out of his winning mount in victory lane. No wonder, as Wright checked out in lapped traffic midway through the feature to notch his seventh career ASCS triumph at I-30 Speedway (and 83rd ASCS victory overall) to go along with three Short Track Nationals crowns and a recent O'Reilly Sprint Bandits 410-ci victory atop the high-banked quarter-mile clay oval.

Wright earned the pole position for the main event by charging from fifth to win the evening's fourth heat race, with Jerry Bell alongside after advancing from seventh to second in his heat. Wright jumped into the lead at the drop of the green, with third-starter Travis Rilat moving into second on the opening round and fourth-starter Zach Chappell taking over third by the third lap.

Wright opened up an eight car-length advantage in the early rounds aboard the Salina-powered Southwest Express/The Shop/Richwood Construction No. 9 Maxim, with Rilat and Chappell chasing.

As lapped traffic came into play on the ninth round, Rilat began to close on the leader. Rilat had closed to Wright's rear bumper by the time the leaders encountered heavy lapped traffic on the twelfth round. Wright was up to the task however, slicing through traffic masterfully and soon opening up nearly a straightaway advantage.

With Wright setting a torrid pace, Rilat held off Chappell for second while Shane Stewart and Pete Butler diced for the fourth position. The fast-paced action was briefly interrupted after 26 rounds when Sam Hafertepe, Jr., came to a halt in turn one, bringing out the feature's only caution.

Under the caution, Rilat was forced to surrender the runner-up slot when his right rear tire deflated. Rilat rejoined the field at the tail after quick work from his pit crew.

Set for a four-lap dash to the checkered flag, Wright used a pair of lapped cars positioned between himself and second-runner Chappell to race to the stripe unchallenged for his third series triumph of the year.

Chappell took the checkered flag in second, with Stewart snaring the show position. After starting 16th, Darren Stewart secured Hard Charger honors by slicing through the field and taking over fourth when Butler grazed the wall on the 28th lap. Butler held on to round out the top five.

Cody Branchcomb completed a strong drive from 14th by crossing the stripe in sixth, with Dale Howard, Garry Lee Maier, Bell and Rilat completing the top ten.

Chappell, A.G. Rains, Maier and Wright topped heat race action for the 31-car field, with Mark Harrison fending off Justin Sturch to top the 12-lap B Main.

Results:

First Heat (10 Laps): 1. Zach Chappell, 2. Travis Rilat, 3. Shane Stewart, 4. Rob Jenkins, 5. Kevin Battles, 6. Sammy Stuart, 7. Travis Senter, Jr., 8. Jimmy Taylor.

Second Heat (10 Laps): 1. A.G. Rains, 2. Jerry Bell, 3. William Hope, 4. Darren Stewart, 5. Chuck Swenson, 6. Lewis Jenkins, Jr., 7. Joe Young, 8. Zach Pringle.

Third Heat (10 Laps): 1. Garry Lee Maier, 2. Pete Butler, 3. Dale Howard, 4. Mark Harrison, 5. Cody Branchcomb, 6. Justin Sturch, 7. Greg Rilat, 8. Richard Herring.

Fourth Heat (10 Laps): 1. Gary Wright, 2. Rick Pringle, 3. Mike Pack, 4. Toby Brown, 5. Jerry Kamer, 6. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 7. Tim Crawley.

B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Mark Harrison, 2. Justin Sturch, 3. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 4. Sammy Stuart, 5. Lewis Jenkins, Jr., 6. Toby Brown, 7. Zach Pringle, 8. Travis Senter, Jr., 9. Richard Herring, 10. Jerry Kamer, 11. Joe Young, 12. Greg Rilat, 13. Jimmy Taylor, 14. Chuck Swenson. DNS: Tim Crawley.

A Feature (30 Laps): 1. Gary Wright, 2. Zach Chappell, 3. Shane Stewart, 4. Darren Stewart, 5. Pete Butler, 6. Cody Branchcomb, 7. Dale Howard, 8. Garry Lee Maier, 9. Jerry Bell, 10. Travis Rilat, 11. William Hope, 12. A.G. Rains, 13. Mike Pack, 14. Rick Pringle, 15. Rob Jenkins, 16. Mark Harrison, 17. Kevin Battles, 18. Justin Sturch, 19. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 20. Toby Brown, 21. Sammy Stuart, 22. Chuck Swenson.

O'Reilly ASCS National Tour Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Gary Wright 884, 2. Travis Rilat 870, 3. Zach Chappell 842, 4. Darren Stewart 832, 5. Garry Lee Maier 818, 6. A.G. Rains 776, 7. Toby Brown 736, 8. Chuck Swenson 706, 9. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 677, 10. Jimmy Taylor 653, 11. Shane Stewart 574, 12. Cody Branchcomb 530, 13. Jerry Bell 496, 14. Natalie Sather 457, 15. Derek Drown 386.

-lw-

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Darren Stewart , Cody Branchcomb , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Tim Crawley