Rilat Receives O'Reilly ASCS Championship Honors TULSA, Okla. (November 11, 2003) - Travis Rilat of Forney, TX, picked up the biggest check in American Sprint Car Series history this past Saturday night at Sam's Town Casino & Gambling Hall ...
Rilat Receives O'Reilly ASCS Championship Honors
TULSA, Okla. (November 11, 2003) - Travis Rilat of Forney, TX, picked up the biggest check in American Sprint Car Series history this past Saturday night at Sam's Town Casino & Gambling Hall in Tunica, MS. Rilat received a check for $20,000, along with contingencies, for winning the closest points race ever for the O'Reilly ASCS National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers.
Five different drivers swapped the point lead nine times over 43 nights of racing in 2003, with Rilat taking the lead for keeps on August 2 with a victory at Joplin 66 Speedway. Rilat posted 36 top-ten finishes in ASCS National action, including 26 top-fives and five feature wins aboard the F&J Construction/Haulmark Trailers/Archer Motorsports Eagle en route to his first series title.
Rilat's crew chief, Roland Saucedo, was named the Lee Maier Crew Chief of the Year as well.
After missing an early season event due to a traffic accident, Gary Wright had closed to within 14 points of Rilat until a flat tire after contact with Dale Howard's disabled mount at Batesville Speedway on September 5 sent him pitside early in the feature, costing valuable points.
On the strength of 15 victories on the season, extending his career ASCS win total to 76, the Hooks, TX, hotshoe once again closed the gap in the final weeks, this time to a mere 12 points, when the season's final checkered flag flew at Devil's Bowl Speedway on October 18 with Wright settling for second in points.
Zach Chappell of Talala, OK, received third place honors along with the Hilborn Injectors Horizon Award, annually awarded to a driver who displays promise of glory in present and future seasons with ASCS.
After leading the points chase much of the way, Darren Stewart claimed fourth in points. A year after claiming Newcomer of the Year honors, Stewart received Brodix Rookie of the Year honors for a strong season.
2002 Brodix Rookie of the Year Cody Branchcomb finished a strong fifth in points. Branchcomb claimed both the Brodix Most Improved Driver Award and the Hilborn Injectors Young Lion Award, which is annually presented to a driver under the age of 20 for providing support to the ASCS.
Toby Brown posted his third consecutive top-ten ranking in ASCS National points with a sixth place showing. Brown also received the ButlerBuilt Highest Average Draw award.
With eight feature wins to his credit, Shane Stewart finished seventh in points. Stewart also claimed the Ronald Laney Hard Charger Award.
Jimmy Taylor earned an eighth place finish in his first season in injected Sprint Cars. Taylor earned an additional $1,000 by being presented with the Comp Cams Newcomer of the Year award.
Tim Crawley was ninth in points and also got the ButlerBuilt Lowest Average Draw award.
Posting his first top-ten finish in ASCS National points was Houston's Rick Behr. Behr was also the recipient of the Sportsmanship Award.
Rilat, Chappell, Darren Stewart, Branchcomb and Brown were all presented awards for perfect attendance as well.
The 2003 O'Reilly ASCS National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers consisted of 43 nights of racing at 25 different racetracks in nine states. 280 drivers from 23 different states, as well as Canada, Mexico and Australia, competed in at least one ASCS National event in 2003.
The 2004 ASCS National Tour is slated to kick off at Delta Bowl Speedway in Tunica, MS, on March 27.
More information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.