Sprint Bandits I-30 Speedway results

Wright on the Mark in I-30 Speedway O'Reilly Sprint Bandits Action LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 15, 2004) - Gary Wright outdueled Shane Stewart midway through Saturday night's 40-lap O'Reilly Sprint Bandits feature at I-30 Speedway en route...

Wright on the Mark in I-30 Speedway O'Reilly Sprint Bandits Action

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 15, 2004) - Gary Wright outdueled Shane Stewart midway through Saturday night's 40-lap O'Reilly Sprint Bandits feature at I-30 Speedway en route to topping his first series feature of the season over a stout field of 40 entries.

Wright stalked Stewart in the early stages before mounting a challenge for the lead at the midway point. The pair swapped the lead several times over the next several rounds before Wright took command for good, with Stewart spinning from contention on a lap 27 restart.

"We had a good car tonight," Wright commented from victory lane. "Shane's a good racer, over the last few years he's become a really good racer. There's a lot of good racers here. We get around Little Rock really well though and we did good tonight."

"We made a lot of changes to the car after that first red flag," Wright continued. "We changed shocks, raised the front end, swapped spacers in the right rear. The track was a little drier in turns one and two than I expected. We made our changes and got through there a lot better and did the best we could to get through three and four. We had a good car."

After winning his heat race, Stewart rebounded quickly from an opening lap flip in his qualifying race to win that as well, earning the pole position, with Wright alongside as the green flag waved on the 24-car field. The initial start was quickly red-flagged when Sammy Swindell, who entered the event atop the series point charts, took a hard flip down the backstretch. Swindell was uninjured.

Stewart and Wright battled wheel-to-wheel as the green flag flew again, with Stewart edging into the lead on the opening round. Stewart and Wright gradually slipped away from the field in the early going, with Travis Rilat, Foster Landon and Aaron Berryhill in pursuit.

The leaders narrowly avoided disaster on the eighth round when Zach Chappell tumbled directly in front of them in turn two after contact with Steven Tiner. After quick repairs, Chappell would rejoin the chase.

With Stewart and Wright setting the pace, tenth-starter Tim Crawley had advanced to fourth by the fifth round, then overtook Rilat for third on the 13th lap.

As heavy lapped traffic came into play on the 18th round, Wright moved in to challenge Stewart for the lead. Wright took command on the 22nd round, only to have Stewart return the favor a lap later. In a scintillating battle, Wright fought back into the lead for good the next time around.

Stewart's victory hopes would diminish when he spun on a lap 27 restart, following a caution for Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.'s disable mount off the backstretch.

With Stewart relegated to the tail, Wright was unstoppable in his charge to the checkered flag, crossing the stripe aboard the Salina-powered No. 9 Southwest Express/Richwood Construction/The Shop Maxim with a healthy advantage, scoring a $4,000 payday along with a provisional starting berth in this October's 17th Annual Short Track Nationals.

Crawley assumed second after Stewart's spin, then held off Rilat at the line for the runner-up slot. Darren Stewart turned in the feature's top passing performance by racing from 14th to claim fourth, with Shane Stewart battling back through the field to round out the top five.

Foster Landon battled among the top five most of the way before settling for sixth, with 12th-starter Jan Howard in seventh. Jerrod Hull claimed eighth, with Nick Smith and Chappell completing the top ten.

Wright, Shane Stewart, Darren Stewart and Berryhill claimed heat race victories, with Rilat, Jan Howard, Pete Butler and Shane Stewart topping qualifying race action. Danny Jennings and Marshall Skinner claimed victories in the twin 12-lap B Mains.

Four 360-ci powered machines qualified for the main event, with Crawley the top finisher. Other 360's in the main included Butler, Stephen Chevallier and Steven Tiner.

Berryhill ran among the top eight until clipping an infield tire and suffering a flat left front in the late stages. After repairs, Berryhill rejoined the chase two laps off the pace and settled for a 13th place finish.

Ernie Ainsworth flipped in the evening's opening heat race. Ainsworth returned to action, but fell two spots short of the main event.

O'Reilly Sprint Bandits Results:

First Heat (10 Laps): 1. #9 Gary Wright, 2. #40r Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 3. #29 Travis Rilat, 4. #15 Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 5. #45 Josh Howard, 6. #40x Steven Tiner, 7. #23h James High, 8. #4t Justin Sturch, 9. #77 William Hope, 10. #8x Ernie Ainsworth.

Second Heat (10 Laps): 1. #4m Shane Stewart, 2. #87 Tim Crawley, 3. #15s Nick Smith, 4. #12x Sammy Swindell, 5. #12 Jerrod Hull, 6. #38 Rick Pringle, 7. #61a Toby Brown, 8. #29h Pete Butler, 9. #96 Mark Harrison, 10. #X Rob Jenkins.

Third Heat (10 Laps): 1. #91 Darren Stewart, 2. #11f Foster Landon, 3. #61J Danny Jennings, 4. #50z Zach Chappell, 5. #88 Mike Ward, 6. #36 Jason Martin, 7. #46 Jan Howard, 8. #17 Mike Pack, 9. #181 Scott Bolden, 10. #94c Stephen Chevallier.

Fourth Heat (10 Laps): 1. #97 Aaron Berryhill, 2. #47 Dale Howard, 3. #18 Tony Bruce, Jr., 4. #26 Marshall Skinner, 5. #1v Sean Walden, 6. #10 Richard Herring, 7. #8 Zach Pringle, 8. #5k Jerry Kamer, 9. #44 Ronny Howard, 10. #12t Joe Young.

First Qualifying Race (10 Laps): 1. #29 Travis Rilat, 2. #8x Ernie Ainsworth, 3. #9 Gary Wright, 4. #77 William Hope, 5. #36 Jason Martin, 6. #50z Zach Chappell, 7. #91 Darren Stewart, 8. #4t Justin Sturch, 9. #26 Marshall Skinner, 10. #38 Rick Pringle.

Second Qualifying Race (10 Laps): 1. #46 Jan Howard, 2. #12x Sammy Swindell, 3. #88 Mike Ward, 4. #17 Mike Pack, 5. #87 Tim Crawley, 6. #40r Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 7. #1v Sean Walden, 8. #X Rob Jenkins, 9. #15 Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 10. #96 Mark Harrison.

Third Qualifying Race (10 Laps): 1. #29h Pete Butler, 2. #61a Toby Brown, 3. #12 Jerrod Hull, 4. #15s Nick Smith, 5. #97 Aaron Berryhill, 6. #181 Scott Bolden, 7. #61J Danny Jennings, 8. #94c Stephen Chevallier, 9. #40x Steven Tiner, 10. #10 Richard Herring.

Fourth Qualifying Race (10 Laps): 1. #4m Shane Stewart, 2. #47 Dale Howard, 3. #11f Foster Landon, 4. #44 Ronny Howard, 5. #23h James High, 6. #12t Joe Young, 7. #45 Josh Howard, 8. #5k Jerry Kamer, 9. #8 Zach Pringle, 10. #18 Tony Bruce, Jr.

First B Feature (12 Laps): 1. #61J Danny Jennings, 2. #36 Jason Martin, 3. #23h James High, 4. #94c Stephen Chevallier, 5. #18 Tony Bruce, Jr., 6. #8x Ernie Ainsworth, 7. #8 Zach Pringle, 8. #38 Rick Pringle, 9. #44 Ronny Howard, 10. #5k Jerry Kamer, 11. #181 Scott Bolden, 12. #17 Mike Pack.

Second B Feature (12 Laps): 1. #26 Marshall Skinner, 2. #50z Zach Chappell, 3. #40x Steven Tiner, 4. #15 Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 5. #4t Justin Sturch, 6. #77 William Hope, 7. #12t Joe Young, 8. #10 Richard Herring, 9. #96 Mark Harrison, 10. #X Rob Jenkins, 11. #1v Sean Walden. DNS: #45 Josh Howard.

A Feature (40 Laps - Starting Position in parenthesis): 1. #9 Gary Wright (2), 2. #87 Tim Crawley (10), 3. #29 Travis Rilat (3), 4. #91 Darren Stewart (14), 5. #4m Shane Stewart (1), 6. #11f Foster Landon (5), 7. #46 Jan Howard (12), 8. #12 Jerrod Hull (9), 9. #15s Nick Smith (8), 10. #50z Zach Chappell (20), 11. #61J Danny Jennings (17), 12. #23h James High (21), 13. #97 Aaron Berryhill (7), 14. #29h Pete Butler (15), 15. #94c Stephen Chevallier (23), 16. #26 Marshall Skinner (18), 17. #36 Jason Martin (17), 18. #61a Toby Brown (16), 19. #15 Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (24), 20. #47 Dale Howard (4), 21. #40r Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (11), 22. #88 Mike Ward (13), 23. #40x Steven Tiner (22), 24. #12x Sammy Swindell (6).

Lap Leaders: Shane Stewart 1-21, Gary Wright 22, Shane Stewart 23, Gary Wright 24-40.

O'Reilly Sprint Bandits Points (Top Ten): 1. Shane Stewart 426, 2. Zach Chappell 416, 3. Sammy Swindell 402, 4. Danny Jennings 400, 5. Jerrod Hull 392, 6. Travis Rilat 386, 7. Foster Landon 378, 8. Aaron Berryhill 370, 9. Nick Smith 368, 10. Gary Wright 360.

-lw-

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Darren Stewart , Sammy Swindell , Aaron Berryhill , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Nick Smith , Danny Jennings , Tim Crawley