MEMPHIS, Tenn. (July 18, 2003) - Gary Wright fought off Tim Crawley's challenges all the way to win Friday night's 30-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour feature presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United...
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (July 18, 2003) - Gary Wright fought off Tim Crawley's challenges all the way to win Friday night's 30-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour feature presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers at Memphis Motorsports Park. The victory marked the ninth of the season in ASCS National competition for the driver of the familiar Southwest Express No. 9 Maxim.
After charging from fifth to win the evening's opening heat race, Wright led the feature field to the green flag with Travis Rilat alongside. Wright got the jump on Rilat at the drop of the green, with fifth-starter Crawley disposing of second row starters Ernie Ainsworth and fifteen year-old Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., on the opening round to move into third. Crawley slipped past Rilat for second on the third round and set his sights on Wright.
Crawley closed in on Wright's rear bumper on the sixth circuit, and made several bids for the lead as lapped traffic came into play after ten rounds. Crawley pulled alongside Wright twice as the leaders navigated through heavy lapped traffic, with Wright fending off each challenge to secure the point.
The frantic battle for the lead through traffic was finally interrupted at the race's midway point when Raymond Stull spun his machine in turn four, bringing out the race's first caution.
On the restart, Wright gradually built a six car-length lead over the ensuing laps, with Crawley beginning to close the gap in the final rounds when the red flag flew for Bryce Vowan's turn two flip with four laps remaining. Vowan was uninjured.
With a lapped car between himself and Crawley on the restart, Wright took off and drove the Salina-powered Southwest Express/Richwood Construction/The Shop Maxim to his 70th career ASCS National Tour triumph.
Making a bid for his second straight win, Crawley settled for second at the stripe. After starting tenth, Eddie Gallagher needed only five laps to crack the top five, then ultimately slipped around Rilat for third on the 23rd round, holding the show position to the line. Rilat was fourth, with current series point leader Darren Stewart rounding out the top five.
Zach Chappell raced from 13th to take the checkered flag sixth, with Dewayne Prince in seventh. Cody Branchcomb earned the race's Hard Charger award by coming from 18th to snare eighth, with Marshall Skinner and Mike Ward completing the top ten.
Wright, Rilat, Stenhouse and Crawley topped heat race action for the 29-car field, with Vowan winning the 12-lap B Feature. Josh Howard escaped injury when he flipped viciously down the frontstretch while battling for second position midway through the B Feature.
First Heat (10 Laps): 1. Gary Wright, 2. Dewayne Prince, 3. Marshall Skinner, 4. Dale Howard, 5. Josh Howard, 6. D.J. Masner, 7. Scott Bolden. DNS: Skip Andrews.
Second Heat (10 Laps): 1. Travis Rilat, 2. Jimmy Taylor, 3. Darren Stewart, 4. A.G. Rains, 5. Bryce Vowan, 6. Wade Oliver, 7. Raymond Stull.
Third Heat (10 Laps): 1. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 2. Ernie Ainsworth, 3. Henry Gustavus, 4. Paul Sides, 5. Cody Branchcomb, 6. Shorty Chambliss, 7. Josh Baker.
Fourth Heat (10 Laps): 1. Tim Crawley, 2. Mike Ward, 3. Eddie Gallagher, 4. Zach Chappell, 5. Jody Roland, 6. Toby Brown, 7. Sonny Sayre.
B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Bryce Vowan, 2. Cody Branchcomb, 3. Jody Roland, 4. Raymond Stull, 5. Toby Brown, 6. D.J. Masner, 7. Shorty Chambliss, 8. Josh Baker, 9. Skip Andrews, 10. Sonny Sayre, 11. Wade Oliver, 12. Scott Bolden, 13. Josh Howard.
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. Gary Wright, 2. Tim Crawley, 3. Eddie Gallagher, 4. Travis Rilat, 5. Darren Stewart, 6. Zach Chappell, 7. Dewayne Prince, 8. Cody Branchcomb, 9. Marshall Skinner, 10. Mike Ward, 11. Ernie Ainsworth, 12. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 13. Paul Sides, 14. Jimmy Taylor, 15. Jody Roland, 16. Raymond Stull, 17. A.G. Rains, 18. Bryce Vowan, 19. Henry Gustavus, 20. Dale Howard.
O'Reilly ASCS National Points (Top Ten): 1. Darren Stewart 3,496, 2. Travis Rilat 3,466, 3. Zach Chappell 3,446, 4. Gary Wright 3,436, 5. Cody Branchcomb 3,260, 6. Toby Brown 3,069, 7. Shane Stewart 1,948, 8. Rick Behr 1,833, 9. Matt Clevenger 1,642, 10. Tim Crawley 1,410.