LUBBOCK, Tex. (July 1, 2004) - Gary Wright made a textbook perfect move through lapped traffic on the 23rd round to advance from third to first en route to winning Thursday night's 30-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour...
LUBBOCK, Tex. (July 1, 2004) - Gary Wright made a textbook perfect move through lapped traffic on the 23rd round to advance from third to first en route to winning Thursday night's 30-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and Classic Trailers feature at Tech Motor Speedway.
Wright charged past Darren Stewart and race-long leader Jason Martin when the lead pair hesitated momentarily behind a lapped car, then raced to his 85th career ASCS National Tour victory with a 0.692-second advantage over current series point leader Travis Rilat.
"Wow, that was a tough race," Wright stated in victory lane. "It was a lot of fun too. They got hung up behind that lapped car for just a little bit and I found an opening. My hands are sore, I was hanging on to the steering wheel so tight fighting that cushion, it was a good fast track tonight for sure."
While Wright gridded the Salina-powered Southwest Express/The Shop/Richwood Construction No. 9 Maxim in sixth, Stewart and Martin led the feature field to the green flag. Martin jumped into the early lead from the front row outside, only to have action interrupted after one round for a five-car melee in turn one that eliminated Joe McCarthy and Kolt Walker from further competition. Quick repairs were made to allow Zach Chappell, Garry Lee Maier and Tony Bruce, Jr., to rejoin the chase at the tail.
Martin led Stewart on the restart, with Wright battling past Rilat for third on the ninth round. Martin worked through lapped traffic with Stewart and Wright nipping at his heels, with Rilat not far behind.
Martin successfully navigated traffic until he approached Toby Brown in the final ten rounds. Martin hesitated briefly, with Wright taking advantage to race by both Stewart and Martin to take command. Rilat took advantage as well, racing into second by the 25th round as Martin fell to fourth behind Stewart.
Rilat tried to mount a charge for the lead but fell several car-lengths short as the checkered flag flew on Wright, who closed to within two points of Rilat in the championship points chase. Stewart snared the show position, with Martin settling for fourth.
Brodix Rookie of the Year candidate Sam Hafertepe, Jr., posted his second top-five finish of the year by rounding out the top five, with Maier recovering from the early incident to claim sixth. Natalie Sather crossed the stripe seventh, with Chappell, Brown and Tony Bruce, Jr., completing the top ten.
Heat race victories were claimed by Rilat, Martin and Hafertepe.
Leading Rookie of the Year contender A.G. Rains was sidelined from action after suffering engine woes in hot laps.
The O'Reilly ASCS National Tour resumes action as the feature class in Friday and Saturday night's Open Wheel Extravaganza at Hollywood Hills Speedway near Albuquerque.
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. Travis Rilat, 2. Gary Wright, 3. Toby Brown, 4. Gary Appel, 5. Kolt Walker. DNS: Jimmy Taylor.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Jason Martin, 2. Darren Stewart, 3. Joe McCarthy, 4. Garry Lee Maier, 5. Tony Bruce, Jr., 6. Leighton Crouch.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 2. Natalie Sather, 3. Derek Drown, 4. Zach Chappell, 5. Scott Pace. DNS: A.G. Rains.
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. Gary Wright, 2. Travis Rilat, 3. Darren Stewart, 4. Jason Martin, 5. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 6. Garry Lee Maier, 7. Natalie Sather, 8. Zach Chappell, 9. Toby Brown, 10. Tony Bruce, Jr., 11. Leighton Crouch, 12. Derek Drown, 13. Scott Pace, 14. Gary Appel, 15. Joe McCarthy, 16. Kolt Walker, 17. Jimmy Taylor. DNS: A.G. Rains.
O'Reilly ASCS National Tour Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Travis Rilat 1,698, 2. Gary Wright 1,696, 3. Zach Chappell 1,642, 4. Darren Stewart 1,626, 5. Garry Lee Maier 1,598, 6. A.G. Rains 1,474, 7. Toby Brown 1,409, 8. Jimmy Taylor 1,278, 9. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 1,155, 10. Natalie Sather 1,105, 11. Cody Branchcomb 1,032, 12. Chuck Swenson 944, 13. Shane Stewart 820, 14. Tony Bruce, Jr. 775, 15. Derek Drown 622.