LUBBOCK, Tex. (May 16, 2003) - Gary Wright scored a much needed victory at Tech Motor Speedway Friday night, leading wire-to-wire to notch his first 30-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and...
LUBBOCK, Tex. (May 16, 2003) - Gary Wright scored a much needed victory at Tech Motor Speedway Friday night, leading wire-to-wire to notch his first 30-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers feature triumph of the year.
"We really needed this one," stated the Hooks, TX, veteran hotshoe after a traffic accident forced him to miss an event just a week ago and into a game of "catch-up" in the points race. "The track was really fast and we were trying to lap some fast cars there at the end, so it was getting pretty tough. I've just got to thank Terry Brown for loaning us a trailer and Southwest Express for the truck. Without all their help, we couldn't have made it here this week."
After topping the evening's opening heat race, Wright led the feature field to the green flag with Darren Stewart alongside. Wright's quick pace was interrupted only once when Tina Creswell's machine slid to a halt in turn three on the second round with a broken front end after contact with another car.
Wright and Stewart took off on the restart, with sixth-starting Travis Rilat quickly overtaking Cody Branchcomb for third. As the leaders entered lapped traffic on the seventh round, Stewart pulled alongside Wright exiting turn four to challenge for the lead. Wright stepped up the pace, leaving Stewart and Rilat to battle for second a half straightaway behind the Salina-powered Southwest Express/The Shop/Richwood Construction Maxim.
As Wright flawlessly sliced through lapped traffic, Stewart and Rilat battled for second, swapping the position several times before Stewart seized the position on the 25th round. Stewart made a late charge, but Wright crossed the stripe with an eight car-length advantage over Stewart, while Rilat snared the show position. Stewart and Rilat left the evening tied for the series point lead.
Branchcomb ran strong throughout, holding off Derek Drown to claim fourth, while Drown posted his best career ASCS National Tour finish by rounding out the top five. New Mexico's Bud Goodwin claimed sixth, while Shane Stewart earned the race's hard charger award by crossing the stripe seventh after starting 15th. Rickey Hood was the last car on the lead lap in eighth, with Zach Chappell and Tim Crawley completing the top ten.
Wright, D. Stewart and Drown each claimed heat race victories atop the well-prepared three-eighths mile oval.
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. Gary Wright, 2. Darren Stewart, 3. Travis Rilat, 4. Cody Branchcomb, 5. Derek Drown, 6. Bud Goodwin, 7. Shane Stewart, 8. Rickey Hood, 9. Zach Chappell, 10. Tim Crawley, 11. Rick Behr, 12. Toby Brown, 13. Garry Lee Maier, 14. Robert Gomez, 15. Gary Appel, 16. Scott Pace, 17. Leighton Crouch, 18. Tina Creswell.
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. Gary Wright, 2. Rick Behr, 3. Toby Brown, 4. Zach Chappell, 5. Garry Lee Maier, 6. Tina Creswell.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Darren Stewart, 2. Travis Rilat, 3. Scott Pace, 4. Bud Goodwin, 5. Shane Stewart, 6. Gary Appel.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. Derek Drown, 2. Cody Branchcomb, 3. Rickey Hood, 4. Tim Crawley, 5. Robert Gomez, 6. Leighton Crouch.
O'Reilly ASCS Points (Top Ten): 1. (tie)Travis Rilat and Darren Stewart 1,008, 3. Zach Chappell 966, 4. Cody Branchcomb 930, 5. Toby Brown 902, 6. Gary Wright 850 7. Rick Behr 662, 8. Matt Clevenger 612, 9. Tim Crawley 554, 10. Shane Stewart 532.