Knoxville 360 Nationals preview

Top stars ready for Knoxville's ASCS 360 Nationals TULSA, Okla. (June 10, 2003) - A number of the stars of the O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers are among the pre-race ...

Top stars ready for Knoxville's ASCS 360 Nationals

TULSA, Okla. (June 10, 2003) - A number of the stars of the O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers are among the pre-race favorites for the Advance Auto Parts Knoxville ASCS 360 Nationals, which take place this Friday and Saturday, June 13 and 14.

Leading the contingent of drivers representing the nation's premier 360 Sprint Car travelling series will be heavy hitters such as current ASCS National point leader Darren Stewart, leading race winners Gary Wright and Shane Stewart, Travis Rilat and former ASCS National champions Zach Chappell and Garry Lee Maier.

Darren Stewart, aboard the Ostrich Racing Engines-Sparks Construction Avenger, enters Knoxville's 360 Nationals with a 46 point advantage over Rilat in the series points chase. With two triumphs to his credit, Stewart has notched 14 top-ten finishes in 16 events, including eleven top-fives.

Rilat, who was recently voted the nation's top-ranked 360 Sprint Car driver in the poll released by the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum, is nipping at Stewart's heels in the points chase. Rilat has driven the F&J Construction/Archer Motorsports Eagle to victory lane three times in ASCS National competition, along with recording 13 top-tens.

2001 ASCS National champion Zach Chappell of Talala, OK, kicked off the ASCS season by winning the opener in the Carbone-powered Champco Concrete Construction Maxim and has stayed in the mix since, currently just 62 points out of the lead.

Wright, hailing from Hooks, TX, was beset by misfortune when a traffic accident forced him to miss the May 9 event at Oklahoma City. The missed event put Wright 164 markers off the pace. In the ten events since, Wright has racked up four triumphs and shaved 84 points off the deficit, now sitting just 80 points out of the lead. Overall, Wright has 14 top-ten finishes in 15 events aboard the Salina-powered Southwest Express Maxim, including 13 top-five showings.

Tulsa's Shane Stewart, matching Wright's four ASCS National triumphs, enters the weekend with perhaps the hottest hand, having just topped the competitive ASCS Speedweek aboard the JR Motorsports-powered MCI.

Other top ASCS contenders expected to vie for the prestigious, $6,000-to-win Knoxville ASCS 360 Nationals crown include Cody Branchcomb and Toby Brown, currently ranked fifth and sixth in ASCS National points, along with top Regional contenders including Randi Miller (current ASCS Rocky Mountain Region point leader), Danny Jennings (defending ASCS Sooner Region champion), Sean McClelland (currently second in ASCS Sooner Region points) and Derek Drown (current top five in ASCS Sooner Region points).

Wright and Maier are each past winners of the Knoxville ASCS 360 Nationals, with Maier accomplishing the feat twice, while the other top stars of the ASCS will be shooting for their first triumph in the prestigious event.

Overall, more than 70 drivers from throughout the nation are expected to compete in this weekend's Knoxville ASCS 360 Nationals.

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Darren Stewart , Cody Branchcomb , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Danny Jennings
Teams JR Motorsports