WEST PLAINS, Mo. (July 26, 2003) - Tim Crawley may want to adopt West Plains Motor Speedway as a second home, as he duplicated last year's performance atop the three-eighths mile red clay oval by charging to a convincing victory in Saturday...
WEST PLAINS, Mo. (July 26, 2003) - Tim Crawley may want to adopt West Plains Motor Speedway as a second home, as he duplicated last year's performance atop the three-eighths mile red clay oval by charging to a convincing victory in Saturday night's 25-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour feature presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers.
In the ASCS' initial visit to West Plains Motor Speedway last year, Crawley posted a dominant victory en route to a third series crown. Crawley offered up an encore performance Saturday night, leading in wire-to-wire fashion and taking the checkered flag aboard William Hope's BarnBilt-powered ComQuest/Hope Engineers Avenger with nearly a half-lap advantage over runner-up Aaron Berryhill.
The feature got off to a rough start when polesitter Darren Stewart looped his machine in turn two on the opening round, collecting the mounts of Shane Stewart, who turned over, and Gary Wright. While there were no injuries, all three drivers were done for the night.
Crawley assumed the pole position on the ensuing restart and outgunned Zach Chappell to snare the early lead, with Cody Branchcomb and Berryhill in tow. Crawley gradually separated himself from the field, amassing a straightaway advantage by the race's midway point.
Berryhill worked his way around Branchcomb for third on the seventh round, then took the runner-up slot from Chappell with six laps to go. Crawley had long since checked out though, and crossed the stripe comfortably ahead of Berryhill.
Chappell claimed the show position, with Branchcomb in fourth. Travis Rilat rebounded from a wild heat race tumble to round out the top five, with Toby Brown, Tony Higgins, Jimmy Taylor, Rodger Eckhardt and Wade Oliver completing the top ten.
Chappell battled past Branchcomb on the third round en route to winning the first heat in front of Crawley and Wright. Brown led the first six laps of the second heat until a challenging Rilat made contact in the third turn, sending Rilat's mount flipping and collecting third-running Shane Stewart in the melee. Brown and Rilat were sidelined from the heat race, while Shane Stewart came back to finish third behind Darren Stewart and Eckhardt.
David Langford was sidelined for the night after hard contact with the turn one retaining wall in hot laps resulted in heavy damage to his machine.
Darren Stewart escaped the weekend with a narrow 12 point lead over Rilat in the championship points chase. Chappell is just 28 points out of the lead, with Wright still in the hunt, just 56 points behind Stewart.
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. Zach Chappell, 2. Tim Crawley, 3. Gary Wright, 4. Cody Branchcomb, 5. Aaron Berryhill, 6. Wade Oliver, 7. Jimmy Taylor.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Darren Stewart, 2. Rodger Eckhardt, 3. Shane Stewart, 4. Tony Higgins, 5. Toby Brown, 6. Travis Rilat. DNS: David Langford.
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. Tim Crawley, 2. Aaron Berryhill, 3. Zach Chappell, 4. Cody Branchcomb, 5. Travis Rilat, 6. Toby Brown, 7. Tony Higgins, 8. Jimmy Taylor, 9. Rodger Eckhardt, 10. Wade Oliver, 11. Darren Stewart, 12. Shane Stewart, 13. Gary Wright. DNS: David Langford.
O'Reilly ASCS National Points (Top Ten): 1. Darren Stewart 3,906, 2. Travis Rilat 3,894, 3. Zach Chappell 3,878, 4. Gary Wright 3,850, 5. Cody Branchcomb 3,672, 6. Toby Brown 3,475, 7. Shane Stewart 2,212, 8. Rick Behr 1,893, 9. Tim Crawley 1,704, 10. Matt Clevenger 1,642.