Series Mequite Devil's Bowl preview

Lucas Oil Sprint Cars Kick Off Season at Devil's Bowl! TULSA, Okla. (March 15, 2010) -- The real chase begins this weekend. And the history-rich Sprint Car racing venue of Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, TX, will be the ...

Lucas Oil Sprint Cars Kick Off Season at Devil's Bowl!

TULSA, Okla. (March 15, 2010) -- The real chase begins this weekend. And the history-rich Sprint Car racing venue of Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, TX, will be the place.

That's right, the Lucas Oil Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters lift off the 2010 campaign with the 37th Annual Devil's Bowl Speedway Spring Nationals this Friday and Saturday night.

It marks the beginning of the series $60,000 championship points pursuit, with $250,000 to be divvied up among the series top 15 drivers and owners at season's end. This weekend's action, which includes two full nights of heat races and feature events, culminates with Saturday night's $6,000-to-win Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals championship finale.

The weekend's action will all be taped for later broadcast on both the VERSUS Network and MavTV.

Bixby, Oklahoma, native Shane Stewart will lead a field of 60 or so competitors into the weekend as the series' reigning champion.JStewart topped last year's $60,000 title race by just 25 points, edging out 2008 champ Jason Johnson.

Stewart will be back aboard Paul Silva's Wesmar-powered No. 57 A.R.T. chassis that worked so well last year. "About the only thing that's changed is now we have Rock Star Energy Drink on the wing," Stewart explained.

Stewart's title defense will be a difficult task indeed, as a plethora of contenders are ready to take aim at that top spot.

At least five more past series champions are ready for another run at the Number one ranking, including four-time kingpin Gary Wright of Hooks, TX, three-time champion Tim Crawley of Benton, AR, and single-time winners Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA), Travis Rilat (Forney, TX) and Zach Chappell (Talala, OK).

Also set to return to the Lucas Oil Sprint Car trail after taking in the full 2009 tour are Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS), Jack Dover (Springfield, NE), Jesse Hockett (Warsaw, MO), Sean McClelland (Tulsa, OK), Kenneth Walker (Sapulpa, OK) and Darren Long (Elida, OH).

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma's Brady Bacon and Little Rock native Ricky Logan are also set to take on the full slate of events after taking in a bulk of last year's schedule, while rumors continue to swirl regarding the driver of the Dennis and Jeri Benjamin owned entry that Paul McMahan piloted last year.

A sturdy crop of Brodix Rookie of the Year contenders will be in the mix as well, including Oklahoma shoes Matt Covington and Dustin Morgan, California reps Kyle Hirst and Justyn Cox, New Mexico's Joshua Hodges, Texas teens Aaron Reutzel and Channin Tankersley and Idaho's Joe Ramaker.

Also set to return to the National trail are 2002 runner-up Michael Dupuy of Amite, LA, and 2008 Brodix Rookie of the Year Eric Baldaccini of Keller, TX.

While Stewart topped last year's Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals preliminary main event, Louisiana's Jason Johnson reigns as defending Spring Nationals champion after besting a field of 67 competitors in last year's season-opener.

Other recent Spring Nationals winners include Gary Wright (2008), Jake Peters (2007) and Fort Worth's Kevin Ramey (2006). Ramey also topped the most recent Lucas Oil Sprint Car event at Devil's Bowl Speedway, last October's Winter Nationals.

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

When & Where: Friday night, March 19 at 8:00 p.m. -- 37th Annual Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals prelim

Saturday night, March 20 at 8:00 p.m. -- 37th Annual Devil's Bowl Spring 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 I-20, then three miles north on Lawson Road. Lawson Road north of the track (and south off of US 80) has been closed for repair, so fans and racers are urged to use I-20 and then go north on Lawson. 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 60 feature events. Gary Wright has claimed 20 of his 126 career Lucas Oil National Sprint Car wins at Devil's Bowl, including a Spring Nationals triumph in 2008.

Wright and Jason Johnson have had somewhat of a stranglehold on victory lane at Devil's Bowl over the past three seasons, combining to win eleven of the last 14 features atop the storied clay oval. Only Tony Bruce, Jr. (a Spring Nationals preliminary winner in 2008), Shane Stewart (a Spring Nationals preliminary winner in 2009) and Kevin Ramey (Winter Nationals winner in 2009) have interrupted the Wright-Johnson reign of terror at Da' Bowl.

Tony Bruce, Jr., has been passed on the final lap of the last two editions of the Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals. Wright made a last corner pass of Bruce for the win in 2008, with J. Johnson getting the best of Bruce on the final round last year.

-source: ascs

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Series Sprint
Drivers Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Jesse Hockett , Dustin Morgan , Kevin Ramey , Tim Crawley , Kyle Hirst , Justyn Cox , Matt Covington , Jason Johnson , Aaron Reutzel , Sean McClelland