ASCS - LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (July 12, 2003) - Tim Crawley was the benefactor of Gary Wright's misfortune at I-30 Speedway Saturday night, racing into the lead when Wright's engine expired with three rounds to go en route to winning the 30-lap...
ASCS - LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (July 12, 2003) - Tim Crawley was the benefactor of Gary Wright's misfortune at I-30 Speedway Saturday night, racing into the lead when Wright's engine expired with three rounds to go en route to winning the 30-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour feature presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers. The victory was the first of the season in ASCS action for the three-time series champion.
Terry Gray and Wright led the feature field to the green flag. Gray led into the first turn, but Wright raced into the lead off turn two. Wright survived several cautions in the early rounds, including one for fourth-running Justin Sturch's flip off the turn two banking after a lap two restart.
The race's final stoppage occurred when Toby Brown, who was holding down the fifth position, flipped wildly off the turn three and four embankment following a lap seven caution for Zach Chappell's stalled mount. As was the case with Sturch, Brown escaped injury.
With action back under way, Wright threatened to repeat his June 21 show of dominance atop I-30 Speedway's quarter-mile clay oval as he stretched out a near half straightaway advantage over Crawley, while ninth-starter Aaron Berryhill slipped around Gray for third on the eighth round.
Lapped traffic came into play at the race's midway point however, and Crawley began chipping away at Wright's advantage. Crawley soon moved up to challenge for the lead, pulling alongside Wright as the pair exited turn two on the 19th round amidst heavy lapped traffic. Wright fought off the challenge and then opened up a four car length lead as traffic briefly cleared out.
As Crawley pursued the leader with more traffic looming just ahead, Wright's bid for a 70th career ASCS National Tour victory went up in smoke as his engine expired exiting the fourth turn on the 26th round. Crawley took quick advantage and raced to his 29th career ASCS National triumph over the final three laps aboard William Hope's BarnBilt-powered Comquest/Hope Engineering Avenger.
Berryhill, making his first ASCS start of the season, fought off current series point leader Darren Stewart much of the way to snare the runner-up position at the checkered flag. Stewart claimed third, with Gray crossing the stripe in fourth. I-30 Speedway regular competitor Sammy Stuart posted his best career ASCS finish by rounding out the top five.
Cody Branchcomb earned the race's Hard Charger award by advancing from 15th to finish sixth, with Pete Butler and Chappell both recovering from early problems to claim seventh and eighth, respectively. Sixteen year-old Zach Pringle recorded a career best ninth-place ASCS finish, with A.G. Rains racing from 17th to complete the top ten.
Sturch, Stewart and Crawley claimed heat race victories, with Rains topping the 12-lap B Feature. Joe Young emerged uninjured when he flipped on the frontstretch in the B Feature.
First Heat (10 Laps): 1. Justin Sturch, 2. Toby Brown, 3. Zach Chappell, 4. Rick Behr, 5. Nick Smith, 6. Richard Herring, 7. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 8. Jimmy Taylor, 9. Scott Robertson.
Second Heat (10 Laps): 1. Darren Stewart, 2. Zach Pringle, 3. Gary Wright, 4. Aaron Berryhill, 5. Travis Rilat, 6. Mark Harrison, 7. Jerry Kamer, 8. David Langford, 9. Rob Jenkins.
Third Heat (10 Laps): 1. Tim Crawley, 2. Terry Gray, 3. Sammy Stuart, 4. Pete Butler, 5. Cody Branchcomb, 6. Rick Pringle, 7. Joe Young, 8. A.G. Rains.
B Feature (12 Laps): 1. A.G. Rains, 2. Richard Herring, 3. Rob Jenkins, 4. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 5. Mark Harrison, 6. Jerry Kamer, 7. David Langford, 8. Jimmy Taylor, 9. Joe Young. DNS: Scott Robertson.
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. Tim Crawley, 2. Aaron Berryhill, 3. Darren Stewart, 4. Terry Gray, 5. Sammy Stuart, 6. Cody Branchcomb, 7. Pete Butler, 8. Zach Chappell, 9. Zach Pringle, 10. A.G. Rains, 11. Nick Smith, 12. Rick Pringle, 13. Rick Behr, 14. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 15. Gary Wright, 16. Rob Jenkins, 17. Travis Rilat, 18. Toby Brown, 19. Justin Sturch, 20. Richard Herring.
O'Reilly ASCS National Points (Top Ten): 1. Darren Stewart 3,356, 2. Travis Rilat 3,324, 3. Zach Chappell 3,308, 4. Gary Wright 3,126, 5. Cody Branchcomb 3,126, 6. Toby Brown 2,994, 7. Shane Stewart 1,948, 8. Rick Behr 1,833, 9. Matt Clevenger 1,642, 10. Nick Smith 1,402.