Wright on the Last Lap at Devil's Bowl for Fourth ASCoT Win of the Year! MESQUITE, Texas (October 18, 2008) -- Gary Wright's experience paid off to the tune of a $5,000 victory in Saturday night's 35th Annual Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals 25-lap...
Wright on the Last Lap at Devil's Bowl for Fourth ASCoT Win of the Year!
MESQUITE, Texas (October 18, 2008) -- Gary Wright's experience paid off to the tune of a $5,000 victory in Saturday night's 35th Annual Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals 25-lap championship main event.
While several rabbits ran dry, or dangerously close to it, Wright worked forward from the 14th starting position and took the lead away from a sputtering Jason Johnson on the final circuit to capture his fourth O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National feature win of the season.
Looking for a two-night sweep of the Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals for the second year in a row after winning Friday night's preliminary feature, Johnson gunned into the lead at the outset from the pole position and had the race well in hand most of the way.
But, when the last of the race's several cautions set up a three-lap dash to the checkered flag, Johnson's Wesmar-powered The Shop Motorsports No. 41 Eagle began to sputter down the front chute as it starved for fuel.
And, by that time, Gary Wright had worked his way into position to take advantage, motoring by on the backstretch on the final circuit to snare the victory in the Wesmar-powered Richwood Construction/Whiteco Commercial Funding No. 9 Maxim.
"After that caution about three laps into the race, I leaned her down," Wright explained after his 123rd career ASCS National Tour feature win. "I knew this might be one of those races where fuel could become an issue, so I conserved as much as possible every chance I had. I needed every drop in there, that's for sure."
Wright quietly ascended into the top ten in the opening eight laps, was up to sixth by the 20th round and then worked his way to the top rung in a chaotic final handful of laps.
The feature started innocently enough, for the initial three rounds that is, until Michael Lang flipped in turn two. Lang was uninjured but done for the night, with Channin Tankersley forced pitside as well after the left side panel of his wing was torn off by Lang's tumbling machine.
The caution then flew another three laps later when Garry Lee Maier spun to a stop on the top of turn three with front end damage, with Kolt Walker then taking a wild ride through turns one and two on the ensuing restart. Walker was uninjured, while Maier rejoined the chase after the quick red flag period.
As he'd done over the opening half dozen circuits, Jason Johnson cruised out front over the following rounds with Kenneth Walker and Gary Taylor trailing in a distant second and third. Behind them, action was wild between the likes of Travis Rilat, Wayne Johnson, Trey Robb and Zach Chappell.
Rilat and Wayne Johnson emerged in front of the scrum for fourth by the time the caution flew after twelve laps for Kathryne Minter's stalled mount, with Gary Wright blasting around Chappell and Robb to move from eighth to sixth on the restart.
Rilat made his way past Taylor for third on the restart as well, but it was Wayne Johnson quickly asserting himself by moving past both Taylor and Rilat for third by the 15th lap and then taking second away from Kenneth Walker on the 20th circuit. With his sights set on the leader and traffic ahead, the yellow flew moments later when Maier came to another stop.
Restarting on Jason Johnson's tail tank, Wayne Johnson bounced through turns one and two on the restart and then shot off the top of turn two a lap later after his brakes failed, foiling his victory effort.
Up to fifth upon Wayne Johnson's demise, Wright charged past Taylor exiting turn four on the 23rd lap, moments before Taylor, Robb, Joe Wood, Jr., and Kevin Ramey tangled up on the frontstretch. "The Texan" then found himself third on the race's final restart when Rilat ducked into the work area for a quick stop.
Wright raced into second as the green flag reappeared when Kenneth Walker's machine stumbled and then charged past Jason Johnson on the high side of the 1/2-mile Devil's Bowl Speedway clay oval on the final lap to post the unlikely win.
Jason Johnson held on to take runner-up honors, with ASCS Midwest champ Jack Dover picking off a half dozen spots to take the show position in the Eckley-powered 3D Auto Transport No. 53 Eagle. Brian Brown was fourth in the Super Clean No. 21 Maxim, while ASCS Northern Plains champion Lee Grosz raced from 18th to round out the top five in Doug Howells' Wesmar-powered Bergstrom Electric No. 4J J&J.
After an early trip to the work area, Friday night runner-up Kevin Ramey climbed back up to sixth, with Mike Peters, Robert Sellers, Travis Rilat and Eric Baldaccini completing the top ten.
Maier, Robb, Dover, Sellers and Wayne Johnson won Saturday night's heat races, with Tankersley and Grosz victorious in the twin "B" Mains.
Brady Bacon's initial weekend of winged competition came to a rough conclusion when he flipped in turn two on final lap of the first "B" Main. Bacon was uninjured.
O'Reilly ASCoT 35th Annual Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals Results:
Locked in from Friday Night's Preliminary Feature:
41-Jason Johnson, 7m-Kevin Ramey, 2-Kenneth Walker, 5*-Gary Taylor.
Heat Races (Top 12 in Passing Points to "A" Main; Balance to 2 "B" Mains):
Brodix Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 2. 9-Gary Wright, 3. 61L-Lee Jennings, 4. 71T-Channin Tankersley, 5. 29L-Larry Long, 6. 1x-Don Droud, Jr., 7. 14e-Todd Evans, 8. 45-Martin Edwards.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 1s-Trey Robb, 2. 21-Brian Brown, 3. 3d-Rickey Hood, 4. 13-Kathryne Minter, 5. 71-R.J. Johnson, 6. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 7. 76-John Ricketts. DNS: 22-Koby Barksdale.
Brodix Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 53-Jack Dover, 2. 45k-Kolt Walker, 3. 15s-Nick Smith, 4. 7k-Justin Zimmerman, 5. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 6. 91-Tim Shaffer, 7. 29n-Larry Neighbors, 8. 99-Brady Bacon.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 25-Robert Sellers, 2. 51-Mike Peters, 3. 14-Michael Lang, 4. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 5. 72-Steven Richardson, 6. 94s-Natalie Sather, 7. 93-Dustin Morgan, 8. 85-Jerry Bell.
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 94-Wayne Johnson, 2. e85-C.J. Johnson, 3. 4J-Lee Grosz, 4. 29-Travis Rilat, 5. 50z-Zach Chappell, 6. 61J-Danny Jennings, 7. 10-Kenny Adams, 8. 69h-Larry Howery.
"B" Mains (Top 3 From Each Advance to "A" Main):
First "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 71T-Channin Tankersley, 2. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 3. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 4. 7k-Justin Zimmerman, 5. 61L-Lee Jennings, 6. 10-Kenny Adams, 7. 29L-Larry Long, 8. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 9. 72-Steven Richardson, 10. 69h-Larry Howery, 11. 99-Brady Bacon, 12. 91-Tim Shaffer, 13. 76-John Ricketts, 14. 14e-Todd Evans.
Second "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 4J-Lee Grosz, 2. 14-Michael Lang, 3. 15s-Nick Smith, 4. 50z-Zach Chappell, 5. 1x-Don Droud, Jr., 6. 61J-Danny Jennings, 7. 71-R.J. Johnson, 8. 94s-Natalie Sather, 9. 93-Dustin Morgan, 10. 45-Martin Edwards, 11. 85-Jerry Bell, 12. 13-Kathryne Minter, 13. 22-Koby Barksdale. DNS: 29n-Larry Neighbors.
O'Reilly ASCoT 35th Annual Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals "A" Main Event:
"A" Feature (25 Laps): 1. 9-Gary Wright, 2. 41-Jason Johnson, 3. 53-Jack Dover, 4. 21-Brian Brown, 5. 4J-Lee Grosz, 6. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 7. 51-Mike Peters, 8. 25-Robert Sellers, 9. 29-Travis Rilat, 10. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 11. 2-Kenneth Walker, 12. 5*-Gary Taylor, 13. 1s-Trey Robb, 14. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 15. 50z-Zach Chappell, 16. 94-Wayne Johnson, 17. 3d-Rickey Hood, 18. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 19. 13-Kathryne Minter, 20. 45k-Kolt Walker, 21. e85-C.J. Johnson, 22. 14-Michael Lang, 23. 71T-Channin Tankersley, 24. 15s-Nick Smith.
Lap Leaders: Jason Johnson 1-24, Gary Wright 25.
Note: Zach Chappell and Kathryne Minter utilized ASCoT provisionals to start the "A" Main.
O'Reilly ASCoT Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Jason Johnson 3,843, 2. Gary Wright 3,730, 3. Wayne Johnson 3,651, 4. Zach Chappell 3,556, 5. Garry Lee Maier 3,331, 6. Eric Baldaccini 3,185, 7. Nick Smith 3,039, 8. Kenneth Walker 2,858, 9. Travis Rilat 2,797, 10. Gary Taylor 2,615, 11. Kathryne Minter 2,310, 12. Jack Dover 2,289, 13. Matt Covington 1,729, 14. Brian Brown 1,577, 15. Kevin Ramey 1,509.