National series Mesquite news 2009-10-13

Lucas Oil Sprint Cars Set for Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals! TULSA, Okla. (October 13, 2009) -- The Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters is poised to close out the 2009 season with three tradition-rich events beginning...

Lucas Oil Sprint Cars Set for Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals!

TULSA, Okla. (October 13, 2009) -- The Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters is poised to close out the 2009 season with three tradition-rich events beginning with this weekend's 36th Annual Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals at the Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, TX.

The final ASCS event of the year within the Lone Star state on Friday and Saturday sets the stage for a pair of $15,000-to-win events to close out the season including I-30 Speedway's 22nd Annual Short Track Nationals in Little Rock, AR, on October 29-31 and then the 42nd Annual Western World Championships at Tucson's USA Raceway on November 19-21.

While Louisiana's Jason Johnson holds a tenuous 22-point advantage over Oklahoma's Shane Stewart in the $60,000 Lucas Oil Sprint Car title chase, it may very well be Hooks, TX, ace Gary Wright carrying the hottest Devil's Bowl hand into the weekend.

"The Texan", who picked off his third Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals crown in the past six years last October, has reached victory lane at Devil's Bowl in each of his latest two attempts.

After Shane Stewart and Jason Johnson split victory lane honors in the season-opening Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals in March, it has been Gary Wright topping a pair of Regional Challenge events atop the storied 0x00bd-mile clay oval since that time.

The four-time series champion that currently sits third in points, 68 markers off of Johnson's lead pace, bested a 44-car Sooner vs. Lone Star field in May and then toppled a 42-car Lone Star vs. Gulf South contingent on Labor Day weekend. Current series point leader Johnson was among the vanquished in both of those events.

While Wright's series record of 200 consecutive feature starts was snapped at Knoxville in August, his 213th consecutive event competed in on September 26 moved him to the top spot in that category by overtaking Toby Brown's previous mark of 212 consecutive events competed-in.

With Wright's feature start string interrupted, Tony Bruce, Jr., now holds the longest stretch of feature starts at 17 in a row.

Jason Johnson is trying to mount a challenge on his record run of 44 consecutive top-tens, a stretch that finally fell at Knoxville last year. "The Ragin' Cajun" has reeled off 15 consecutive top-tens this year, a key element in his 22-point advantage over Stewart, who has finished outside the top ten just once.

While Johnson, Stewart and Wright lead a field that will rival the 67 competitors on hand for the Spring Nationals, 2003 series champion Travis Rilat enters the weekend ranked fourth after becoming just the third driver in series history to make 300 feature starts. Rilat, the Fred Brownfield Memorial winner in Washington earlier this year, started his 300th career National feature on September 26 at Lucas Oil Speedway.

Right behind Rilat is three-time series champion Tim Crawley, who will likely become the fourth driver in series history (along with Wright, Garry Lee Maier and Rilat) to reach the 300 feature start level. Crawley, who topped the series' Rock 'N Roll 50 at Riverside Speedway earlier this season, enters the weekend with 289 career feature starts.

Another dozen drivers are jockeying for position among the top fifteen in points including leading Rookie contender Paul McMahan, Bruce, Jr., Danny Wood, Jack Dover, Jesse Hockett, Sean McClelland, Kenneth Walker, Gary Taylor, Darren Long, Chad Corken, Seth Bergman and Gavin Punch.

Also vying to stay among the top 15 in owner points will be the Sparks No. 91 entry, which will be piloted this weekend by California's Jonathan Allard. The No. 91 has been driven most of the season by Gary Taylor, who now is at the wheel of a second Brian Parker entry.

A total of $250,000 in point fund money will be distributed to the final top 15 in driver and owner points at the series season-ending banquet at Old Tucson Studios in Tucson, AZ, on Sunday, November 22.

The 36th Annual Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals weekend of activities kicks off with the Third Annual Steve King Foundation Golf Tournament at the Buffalo Creek Golf Club in Rockwall, TX, on Thursday, October 15. More information regarding the Golf Tournament is available at http://www.smileysracing.com/steve-king-golf.php.

The Series: Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters

When & Where: Thursday, October 15 at 12:00 p.m. -- 3rd Annual Steve King Foundation Golf Tournament

Friday night, October 16 at 8:00 p.m. -- 36th Annual Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals prelim

Saturday night, October 17 at 8:00 p.m. -- 36th Annual Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals finale

Track Information:

Devil's Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX) -- 0x00bd-mile, high-banked clay oval located six miles east of Dallas' I-635 on US 80, then three miles south on Lawson Road. Track phone: 972-222-2421.

Lucas Oil ASCS Devil's Bowl History:

Devil's Bowl Speedway has been hosting the Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series since 1994, with 20 different drivers scoring at least one victory in 58 feature events. Gary Wright has claimed 19 of his 125 career ASCS National wins at Devil's Bowl, including Winter Nationals triumphs in 2003, 2005 and 2008.

Wright and Jason Johnson have had somewhat of a stranglehold on victory lane at Devil's Bowl over the past couple of seasons, combining to win ten of the last twelve features atop the storied clay oval. Only Tony Bruce, Jr. (a Spring Nationals preliminary winner in 2008) and Shane Stewart (a Spring Nationals preliminary winner this year), have interrupted the Wright-Johnson reign of terror at Da' Bowl.

While Wright topped last year's Winter Nationals to go along with previous victories in 2005 and 2003, Jason Johnson gave car owner Lanny Row his first Winter Nationals triumph in 2007, Travis Rilat topped the event in 2006 and Shane Stewart won the event in 2004.

Devil's Bowl Lucas Oil ASCS winners include: Gary Wright 19, Jason Johnson 7, Wayne Johnson 4, Danny Jennings 3, Kevin Ramey 3, Shane Carson 2, Terry Gray 2, Garry Lee Maier 2, Mike Peters 2, Travis Rilat 2, Shane Stewart 2, Sammy Swindell 2, Tony Bruce, Jr. 1, Tim Crawley 1, Edd French 1, Johnny Herrera 1, Larry Neighbors 1, Alan Payne 1, Jake Peters 1, Mike Ward 1.

-credit: ascs

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Sammy Swindell , Larry Neighbors , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Jesse Hockett , Danny Jennings , Wayne Johnson , Johnny Herrera , Kevin Ramey , Gary Taylor , Tim Crawley , Jason Johnson , Sean McClelland