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Lucas Oil ASCS Battle Heats Up Saturday at Lake Ozark! TULSA, Okla. (June 22, 2009) -- The heat of summer has officially kicked in. And now the battle for the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters...

Lucas Oil ASCS Battle Heats Up Saturday at Lake Ozark!

TULSA, Okla. (June 22, 2009) -- The heat of summer has officially kicked in. And now the battle for the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters championship begins to heat up as well.

Saturday's Third Annual Daniel McMillin Memorial atop the 1/3-mile Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, MO, kicks off five consecutive weekends of competition for the Lucas Oil Sprint Cars.

And the battle for the top spot, worth a $60,000 slice of the hefty $250,000 points fund, couldn't be much tighter with just four points separating Shane Stewart, Gary Wright and Jason Johnson.

While Wright and Johnson have both earned past ASCS National championships, Bixby, OK, native Stewart is gunning for his first.

True, Stewart did capture the ASCS Speedweek championship in 2003 and then the winged Sprint Bandits title in 2004. He even picked off Southern Iowa Speedweek's Mister Sprint Car title on a pair of occasions. But, those accolades would pale in comparison to a championship on the 2009 Lucas Oil Sprint Car tour.

Teamed with California car owner and crew chief Paul Silva, Shane broke out of the gates quickly with a win in the Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals preliminary and then a runner-up finish the next night.

After weathering a string of rainouts along with the other 30 or so eager championship contenders, Stewart posted finishes of second and seventh at the Jetmore (KS) Motorplex over the Memorial Day weekend to escape with a two-point advantage over four-time series kingpin Gary Wright, who ranks as the only driver to finish among the top five in all four points-paying feature events.

Saturday night, Stewart returns to Lake Ozark Speedway, a site at which he swept two nights of ASCS National action in 2004.

"The Texan", Gary Wright, finally broke into Lake Ozark victory lane for the first time in eight tries by topping the Lake Ozark Nationals last August.

Reigning series champion, Jason Johnson of Eunice, LA, enters Saturday's action just four points off of Stewart's pace. The Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals champion posted his first Lake Ozark win in last year's edition of the Daniel McMillin Memorial. "The Ragin' Cajun" also topped the inaugural McMillin event held at Double X Speedway in 2007.

Veteran contender and three-time ASCS National points runner-up Danny Wood of Norman, OK, enters Saturday's action ranked fourth, with 2003 ASCS National champ Travis Rilat of Forney, TX, rounding out the current top five after earning a Lucas Oil win in preliminary Jetmore action.

Leading Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Paul McMahan and Lawton Speedweek winner Nick Smith are tied for sixth, with the balance of the top ten including Steve King Memorial winner Jack Dover, 2001 series champ Zach Chappell and 2009 ASCS Speedweek champion Tim Crawley.

A number of other top contenders will try to battle into the top ten this week as well, including the likes of Tony Bruce, Jr., Eric Baldaccini, Sean McClelland, Joe Wood, Jr., Trey Robb, Brady Bacon, Kenneth Walker, Jesse Hockett, Matt Covington, Gary Taylor, Aaron Berryhill, Seth Bergman, Gavin Punch, Ricky Logan, Darren Long, Chad Corken, Kathryne Minter, Michael Dupuy, Jerry Bell, Donnie Ray Crawford and Dustin Morgan among others.

The Lucas Oil ASCS forces will be bolstered by the Winged Outlaw Warriors, led by current point leader Josh Fisher and four-time WOW champion Randy Martin.

The Series:Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters
When & Where:Saturday night, June 27 at 7:00 p.m. -- Lake Ozark Speedway

Track Information:
Lake Ozark Speedway (Eldon, MO) -- 1/3-mile semi-banked dirt oval located south of Eldon on US 54 to SR 52, then 0.1 miles east on SR 52, then 0.5 miles north on Twiggy Lane (frontage road). For more information, contact the track at 573-392-9977 or check www.lakeozarkspeedway.com.

Lucas Oil ASCS Lake Ozark Speedway History:
The Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series returned to Lake Ozark Speedway last year after a two-year absence with Aaron Berryhill making a last-lap pass of Jason Johnson for his first career series win in May. Johnson got some Lake Ozark redemption by winning the Second Annual Daniel McMillin Memorial in July.

Lucas Oil ASCS on the Web:

Those unable to catch all the action in person can listen to every Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters live at www.racinboys.com.

Also, the Lucas Oil ASCS Show airs on www.racinboys.com each Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. ET, recapping the previous week's events while also previewing upcoming action.

Official results, championship point updates, photos and race notes will be available at www.ascsracing.com.

Lucas Oil ASCS on TV:

The Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters will be featured in ten one-hour shows broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on the VERSUS Network

The American Sprint Car Series, in its 18th year of sanctioning Sprint Car racing events, brings the best of Sprint Car racing to nearly 100 different tracks throughout 25 states and Canada in 2009. Anchored by the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters, ASCS also consists of a dozen different Regions throughout the nation.

Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.

-credit: ascs

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Series Sprint
Drivers Aaron Berryhill , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Josh Fisher , Jesse Hockett , Dustin Morgan , Nick Smith , Donnie Ray Crawford , Gary Taylor , Tim Crawley , Matt Covington , Jason Johnson , Sean McClelland