Mac Attack in O'Reilly ASCoT Go at HRP BAYTOWN, Tex. (March 11, 2006) -- "Not bad for a rookie!" So quipped Collinsville, Oklahoma's Sean McClelland as he pulled into O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour victory lane after ...
Mac Attack in O'Reilly ASCoT Go at HRP
BAYTOWN, Tex. (March 11, 2006) -- "Not bad for a rookie!" So quipped Collinsville, Oklahoma's Sean McClelland as he pulled into O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour victory lane after acing Saturday night's 25-lap Leading Edge Lubricants Challenge feature event at Houston Raceway Park.
McClelland was one of three drivers making a serious bid for a first career ASCS National Tour triumph along with ASCS Gulf South Region shoe Brandon Berryman and 13-year-old Trey Robb, but at the end it was two-time and defending series champion Gary Wright who nearly foiled the Rookie of the Year candidate's victory drive.
"On those last two restarts I looked up at the scoreboard and saw that number nine (Wright) and thought, 'Oh no, I'm gonna get snookered here'," the defending ASCS Sooner Region champion commented afterward. "To get a win against all these tough National guys here, it's a real treat."
McClelland, who earned the pole for the feature event by virtue of compiling the most passing points through heat and qualifying race action, outgunned fellow front row starter Berryman for the point at the drop of the green flag and led in wire-to-wire fashion aboard Allisha and Wade Wisely's Wesmar-powered Oil Capital Transportation/Messer Construction No. 1 Maxim.
But the final outcome was in question throughout, not sealed until McClelland flashed under the checkered flag with a mere four car-length advantage over Wright.
With McClelland and Berryman pacing the early rounds, it was youngster Robb wrestling third from fellow second row starter Wright on the opening lap. After Dustin Lindquist's hard tumble down the front stretch after climbing a right rear tire on the fourth lap, the top four ran in the same order with Kevin Ramey taking fifth from Mike Chadd.
McClelland and Berryman separated themselves from the pack over the following rounds as Robb fought off Wright for third. Berryman closed to McClelland's tailtank on the 14th round and began challenging for the lead, with Wright finally battling past Robb for third a lap later.
With McClelland busy fending off Berryman for the lead, Wright was quickly closing the gap as the lead trio approached lapped traffic. Wright caught the lead pair in short order and was poised to make a bid for the lead when Berryman clipped an infield tire entering turn one on the 19th lap and flipped. Although uninjured, the upstart's strong drive had come to a premature end.
McClelland and Wright led the way on the restart in front of 12th-starter Jason Johnson, who slid past Robb for third moments before the stoppage. The race's final caution flew with just four laps to go when the battling trio of Robb, Nick Smith and Jake Peters got together entering turn one. Getting the worst of it was Robb, who was forced pitside. Peters and Smith both stayed under power and maintained their positions, although Smith had nose wing issues.
Poised for a four-lap dash to the checkered, McClelland got a good jump on Wright to open up a six car-length edge on the restart. "My engine was stumbling a little on those restarts, so I was surprised when my guys told me I was still getting away from Gary each time," McClelland explained later.
Wright fought off a bid from Johnson for the runner-up slot then narrowed the gap on McClelland, but was unable to deny a weekend sweep for Rookie of the Year contenders, as Rookie contender Jesse Hockett was victorious in Friday night action at Baton Rouge.
Wright settled for second aboard the Wesmar-powered Southwest Express/The Shop/Richwood Construction No. 9 Maxim, with Johnson taking the show position in Lanny Row's The Shop Diesel Service No. 41 Eagle. South Dakota's Peters posted his strongest run of the year aboard the Weseman-powered Folken Brothers Trucking No. 57x Schnee by snaring fourth, with Travis Rilat charging from 19th to round out the top five in the Motor Mike-powered Hard Eight Racing/F&J Construction No. 29 Maxim.
Ramey crossed the stripe sixth, with 14th-starter Aaron Berryhill, Nick Smith, Mike Chadd and Jesse Hockett completing the top ten.
Tony Bruce, Jr., Tim Montgomery, Jerrod Hull and Wright topped heat race action for the 36-car field, with Ramey, Chadd, Smith and rookie shoe Brad Best victorious in qualifying race competition.
After blowing an engine in qualifying race action, Rilat beat brothers Jan and Dale Howard to the stripe in the 12-lap "B" Main.
Zach Chappell, who utilized a provisional starting position for the main event after an engine change, raced from 23rd to twelfth.
O'Reilly ASCoT Leading Edge Lubricants Challenge Results from Houston Raceway Park:
Heat Races and Qualifying Races (Top 18 in Combined Points Advance to "A" Main; balance to "B" Main)
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 2. 29-Travis Rilat, 3. 1-Sean McClelland, 4. 12-Trey Robb, 5. 35-Brad Best, 6. 21c-Joey Montgomery, 7. 94-Cody Branchcomb, 8. 55L-Dustin Lindquist, 9. 45-Josh Howard.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 01-Tim Montgomery, 2. 41-Jason Johnson, 3. 75-Jesse Hockett, 4. 44J-Abe Sherwood, 5. 46-Jan Howard, 6. 93-Chris Sweeney, 7. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 8. d12-Doc Sloan, 9. X-Chuck Swenson.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 94h-Jerrod Hull, 2. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 3. 57x-Jake Peters, 4. 50z-Zach Chappell, 5. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 6. 91-Darren Stewart, 7. 47-Dale Howard, 8. 94c-Stephen Chevallier. DNS: 14w-Sean Walden.
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. 9-Gary Wright, 2. 31-Brandon Berryman, 3. 35T-Greg Rilat, 4. 4-Mike Chadd, 5. 15s-Nick Smith, 6. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 7. 23-Darryl Wills, 8. 9L-Lane Whittington, 9. 85-Dustin Daggett.
First Qualifying Race (8 Laps): 1. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 2. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 3. 35T-Greg Rilat, 4. 1-Sean McClelland, 5. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 6. 94-Cody Branchcomb, 7. 94h-Jerrod Hull, 8. 45-Josh Howard, 9. 9L-Lane Whittington.
Second Qualifying Race (8 Laps): 1. 4-Mike Chadd, 2. 31-Brandon Berryman, 3. 9-Gary Wright, 4. 21c-Joey Montgomery, 5. 55L-Dustin Lindquist, 6. X-Chuck Swenson, 7. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 8. 01-Tim Montgomery. DNS: 50z-Zach Chappell.
Third Qualifying Race (8 Laps): 1. 15s-Nick Smith, 2. 12-Trey Robb, 3. 93-Chris Sweeney, 4. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 5. 47-Dale Howard, 6. d12-Doc Sloan, 7. 85-Dustin Daggett, 8. 29-Travis Rilat, 9. 44J-Abe Sherwood.
Fourth Qualifying Race (8 Laps): 1. 35-Brad Best, 2. 91-Darren Stewart, 3. 57x-Jake Peters, 4. 46-Jan Howard, 5. 41-Jason Johnson, 6. 75-Jesse Hockett, 7. 94c-Stephen Chevallier, 8. 23-Darryl Wills, 9. 14w-Sean Walden.
"B" Mains -- Top 4 advance to "A" Main
"B" Main (12 Laps): 1. 29-Travis Rilat, 2. 46-Jan Howard, 3. 47-Dale Howard, 4. 55L-Dustin Lindquist, 5. 21c-Joey Montgomery, 6. 93-Chris Sweeney, 7. 94-Cody Branchcomb, 8. 50z-Zach Chappell, 9. X-Chuck Swenson, 10. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 11. 23-Darryl Wills, 12. 94c-Stephen Chevallier, 13. 45-Josh Howard, 14. 14w-Sean Walden. DNS: d12-Doc Sloan, 44J-Abe Sherwood, 85-Dustin Daggett, 9L-Lane Whittington.
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 1-Sean McClelland, 2. 9-Gary Wright, 3. 41-Jason Johnson, 4. 57x-Jake Peters, 5. 29-Travis Rilat, 6. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 7. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 8. 15s-Nick Smith, 9. 4-Mike Chadd, 10. 75-Jesse Hockett, 11. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 12. 50z-Zach Chappell, 13. 94h-Jerrod Hull, 14. 46-Jan Howard, 15. 91-Darren Stewart, 16. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 17. 35T-Greg Rilat, 18. 12-Trey Robb, 19. 31-Brandon Berryman, 20. 35-Brad Best, 21. 01-Tim Montgomery, 22. 55L-Dustin Lindquist, 23. 47-Dale Howard.
Lap Leaders: Sean McClelland 1-25.
Note: Zach Chappell utilized a provisional starting position for the "A" Main.
O'Reilly ASCoT Points (Top Twenty): 1. Travis Rilat 406, 2. Gary Wright 400, 3. Nick Smith 399, 4. Darren Stewart 378, 5. Tim Montgomery 362, 6. Jesse Hockett 361, 7. Zach Chappell 348, 8. Jerrod Hull 343, 9. (tie) Sean McClelland and Mike Chadd 341, 11. Jan Howard 320, 12. Jake Peters 316, 13. Tony Bruce, Jr. 311, 14. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 307, 15. Dustin Lindquist 301, 16. Jason Johnson 190, 17. Brad Best 276, 18. Aaron Berryhill 264, 19. Dustin Daggett 252, 20. Trey Robb 249.