Series preseason news 2009-03-04

NEW ERA OPENS WITH LUCAS OIL ASCS OPENER AT DEVIL'S BOWL TULSA, Okla. (March 4, 2009) -- The door to a new era in Sprint Car racing bursts open in just a couple of weeks when the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters...

NEW ERA OPENS WITH LUCAS OIL ASCS OPENER AT DEVIL'S BOWL

TULSA, Okla. (March 4, 2009) -- The door to a new era in Sprint Car racing bursts open in just a couple of weeks when the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters kicks off the 2009 season with the 36th Annual Devil's Bowl Speedway Spring Nationals in Mesquite, TX, on March 20-21.

And the pit area at the famed Devil's Bowl Speedway will be bulging at the seams with the nation's top Sprint Cars, as approximately two dozen likely Lucas Oil ASCS championship contenders will be joined by a gaggle of other top guns all eager to shine under the lights of the VERSUS Network television cameras.

The Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals, which offers up $6,000 to the winner of the Saturday night championship feature event, launches the pursuit of the $60,000 Lucas Oil ASCS championship, with $250,000 to be doled out among the series top 15 drivers at year's end.

Heading that list of championship contenders is reigning series king Jason Johnson of Eunice, LA. "The Ragin' Cajun" racked up eleven series wins last year to capture his first championship, ending Gary Wright's run of title efforts at four.

Johnson and Wright won't be the only past series champions in the mix either, as 2003 series champion Travis Rilat will try to become just the fourth driver to claim multiple National titles along with four-time kingpins Wright and Terry Gray and three-time champion Tim Crawley.

They'll have their work cut out for them with the likes of Paul McMahan, Shane Stewart, Tony Bruce, Jr., Jesse Hockett and Danny Wood among others joining an already stout roster.

A quick look at the 2009 Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters championship contenders reveals the following:

1 Robby Wolfgang (Sioux Falls, SD) -- Finding a bigger pair of shoes to fill would be nearly impossible, but Robby is ready for the road in 2009.

2 Kenneth Walker (Sapulpa, OK) -- Ready for his second year on the National trail after claiming eighth in points during his rookie campaign last year.

3d Paul McMahan (Nashville, TN) -- The 2002 Short Track Nationals winner returns from Down Under in time to begin his pursuit of the Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series championship.

4 Eric Baldaccini (Keller, TX) -- Made 48 ASCS starts last year, tops amongst the 963 drivers that competed in at least one series event, ranking sixth in National points and earning Brodix Rookie of the Year honors.

7 Darren Long (Elida, OH) -- A winner of seven career features at Eldora, the Rookie of the Year candidate should like the Devil's Bowl.

9x Gary Wright (Hooks, TX) -- After narrowly missing out on a unprecedented fifth consecutive ASCS National title in 2008, joins forces with Scott Brown's Lubbock Wrecker Service team as he tries to add to the series' best win total of 124.10 Ricky Logan (Little Rock, AR) -- After several seasons at Knoxville, Ricky gets to occasionally race closer to his Arkansas home as he takes on the full National slate for the first time.

11 Chad Corken (Highlands Ranch, CO) - A fourth-place finisher in last year's ASCS Rocky Mountain points despite missing an event, the 19-year-old descends the Rockies for a run at Rookie of the Year honors.

12 Trey Robb (Newcastle, OK) -- Back on the trail at 16 as he joins forces with past ASCS Gulf South champ Jerry Bell.

13 Jesse Hockett (Warsaw, MO) -- Third in 2006 points, "The Rocket" served notice that he's ready to contend for the title with a $13,000 score at East Bay to open the season.

13m Kathryne Minter (Bedford, TX) -- Possessor of the bluest eyes in Texas, the 18-year-old is ready for her second full season on the National trail.

15s Nick Smith (Broken Arrow, OK) -- Among the elder statesmen on the Tour at just 25 (only Gary Wright, Travis Rilat, Jason Johnson and Danny Wood have more career feature starts among projected title contenders), the 2006 Rookie of the Year looks for a fourth consecutive top-ten ranking.

18 Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS) -- The series' 2005 Rookie of the Year, Tony rejoins the Tour in pursuit of the $60,000 championship after topping last year's Short Track Nationals.

23 Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA) -- The first Washington-based team to tackle the Lucas Oil ASCS Series, Seth has ranked among the best of the Northwest over the past three seasons.

29 Travis Rilat (Forney, TX) -- Just 14 features away from becoming the third driver in series history to reach the 300 mark, Travis wants another title to go along with the one earned in 2003.

41 Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA) -- Fifty-one feature wins in ASCS competition (National and Regional) over the past three years pretty much sums it up for the reigning champion. And that doesn't include a $56,000 Ollie's Challenge score at Williams Grove last year, the biggest take in track history.

53 Jack Dover (Springfield, NE) -- A Midwest Region championship and National Newcomer of the Year honors in 2008 serve as a solid lead-in to a Rookie of the Year chase for the 19-year-old.

86 Josh Fisher (Smithton, MO) -- The National Sprint Car Poll's Rookie of the Year in 2007 and Lake Ozark Speedway track champion in 2008 steps up to the Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series in 2009.

91 Gary Taylor (Snohomish, WA) -- The modern day nomad takes the wheel of the Sparks entry for the Devil's Bowl opener after a shakedown session in weekly action at I-30 Speedway a week earlier.

93 Dustin Morgan (Collinsville, OK) -- Primarily waging wingless wars over the past couple of years, Dustin makes the shift to ASCS action for 2009.

94 Danny Wood (Norman, OK) -- The three-time series runner-up makes a run for the title in the seat vacated by Wayne Johnson, who put the H&H entry third in points over each of the past two seasons.

95 Matt Covington (Glenpool, OK) -- The 19-year-old tries out the National scene after finishing fourth in Sooner points last year.

97 Aaron Berryhill (Broken Arrow, OK) -- A last-lap winner over Jason Johnson at Lake Ozark last year, Aaron is set to take on the Tour full-time for the first time.

99 Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, OK) -- After making last year's STN championship feature cut, Bacon flies the Tel-Star colors in his first full winged campaign.

Shane Stewart (Bixby, OK) -- A winner of 15 career ASCS National features in 64 starts, Shane and car owner Paul Silva are in a scramble to put all the winning pieces together.

That's just a quick look at the championship contenders. Toss another 30 or so into the Devil's Bowl mix, including ASCS Northern Plains champion Lee Grosz, ASCS Rocky Mountain champion Derrik Ortega, two-time ASCS Sooner champion Kevin Ramey, Knoxville Raceway champion Brian Brown and past ASCS National champion Zach Chappell, the battle to simply make the feature cut will be an intense one.

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

When & Where:Friday night, March 20 at 8:00 p.m. -- 36th Annual Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals prelim

Saturday night, March 21 at 8:00 p.m. -- 36th 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 US 80, then three miles south on Lawson Road. Track phone: 972-222-2421.

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.

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

Lucas Oil ASCS on TV:
The Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals will be the first two of ten Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters events scheduled to be broadcast on a tape delayed basis on the VERSUS Network.

Events to be aired on VERSUS include the following:

March 20 -- Devil's Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX)

March 21 -- Devil's Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX)

May 23 -- Jetmore Motorplex (Jetmore, KS) May 24 -- Jetmore Motorplex (Jetmore, KS)

July 3 -- Presleyland Motorsports Park (Chandler, IN)

July 4 -- Presleyland Motorsports Park (Chandler, IN)

August 6 -- Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)

August 7 -- Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)

August 8 -- Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)

September 26 -- Lucas Oil Speedway (Wheatland, MO)

The Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters is currently slated for approximately 32 nights of racing action at 15 different tracks throughout the nation, with the country's top Sprint Car drivers set to battle it out for their share of the $250,000 points fund.

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 Scott Brown , Aaron Berryhill , Brian Brown , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Josh Fisher , Jesse Hockett , Dustin Morgan , Nick Smith , Wayne Johnson , Kevin Ramey , Gary Taylor , Tim Crawley , Matt Covington , Jason Johnson
Teams Williams