ASCoT: Paris, Little Rock previews

O'Reilly ASCoT Set for Short Track Double This Weekend! TULSA, Okla. (April 21, 2008) -- The intensity level continues to climb for the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series, as the nation's premier traveling Sprint...

O'Reilly ASCoT Set for Short Track Double This Weekend!

TULSA, Okla. (April 21, 2008) -- The intensity level continues to climb for the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series, as the nation's premier traveling Sprint Car circuit invades a pair of bullrings for the first time thus far in 2008 this coming weekend.

On Friday night, the O'Reilly ASCoT stars take to the high-banked, 0x00bc-mile Paris Motor Speedway dirt oval in Paris, TX. Then on Saturday night, it's off to Little Rock's high-banked, 0x00bc-mile I-30 Speedway clay oval.

Friday's card at Paris Motor Speedway marks the first National Tour event atop the Parisian dirt track since 2005, when four-time and reigning series champion Gary Wright claimed victory just an hour or so from his Hooks, TX, home. Louisiana's Jason Johnson topped a Regional event at Paris in 2006.

Saturday's action at I-30 Speedway serves as an excellent tune-up opportunity for the second leg of the 16th Annual ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek on July 12 and then the track's and series' season-ending $15,000-to-win Short Track Nationals on October 23-25, an event that has become one of the nation's most highly anticipated Sprint Car spectaculars.

After consecutive O'Reilly ASCoT points runner-up finishes in 2006 and 2007, Jason Johnson of Eunice, LA, rides a wave of two consecutive series feature wins into the weekend and ranks as the only driver to snare more than one National win thus far in 2008 with a total of three National victories.

However, Johnson enters the weekend ranked third in points due to missing the cut for one feature event and using a provisional, which awards money but no points.

Trying to chase down an unprecedented fifth consecutive ASCS National championship, Wright enters the weekend with a 40-point lead over Oklahoma City native Wayne Johnson in the $50,000 championship chase, with the unrelated Jason Johnson just another 18 points back.

Wright, winner of the last two ASCS National events at Paris Motor Speedway and ten series events at I-30 Speedway, has finished among the top ten in all eight series feature events this season with his lone win coming in the Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals finale on March 15.

A third-place finisher in last year's points, 2000 series champion Wayne Johnson comes off Hard Charger efforts at Lucas Oil Speedway as he pursues a second series title.

Tennessee's Jason Sides is holding down fourth in series points, with Garry Lee Maier of Cimarron, KS, rounding out the current top five.

Maier, the 1992 ASCS National champion, is just ahead of two more past ASCS National champions, including 2001 king Zach Chappell (Talala, OK) and 2003 champ Travis Rilat (Forney, TX).

Twenty-year-old Eric Baldaccini enters the weekend ranked eighth, tops amongst the series Brodix Rookie of the Year contenders. Baldaccini is just 35 points ahead of fellow rookie contender Don Droud, Jr., of Lincoln, NE with Springfield, Nebraska's Jack Dover competing the current top ten.

Other full-time O'Reilly ASCoT contenders include Kenneth Walker (Sapulpa, OK), Nick Smith (Broken Arrow, OK), 17-year-old Kathryne Minter (Bedford, TX), Gary Taylor (Sapulpa, OK) and Chris Tarrant (Greenville, TX).

A number of other top contenders will be in action over the weekend, including three-time ASCS National champion Tim Crawley of Benton, AR. Crawley topped this past weekend's weekly Sprint Car action at I-30 Speedway.

This weekend marks the second of four consecutive weekends of racing action for the O'Reilly ASCoT National series. The series moves on to Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, MO, on Saturday night, May 3, before returning to Oklahoma City's State Fair Speedway and then Devil's Bowl Speedway near Dallas, TX, on May 9-10.

The Series: O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour (ASCoT)

When & Where:
Friday night, April 25 -- Paris Motor Speedway at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday night, April 26 -- I-30 Speedway at 7:30 p.m.

Track Information: Paris Motor Speedway (Paris, TX) -- 1/4-mile high-banked dirt oval located 7.4 miles east of Paris' loop 286 on US 82, then 3.9 miles south on FM 196. For more information, contact the track at 903-982-6062.

I-30 Speedway (Little Rock, AR) -- 0x00bc-mile high-banked clay oval located seven miles southwest of Little Rock off I-30 Exit 126 (Alexander Rd.), then south to frontage road, then east. For more information, contact the track at 501-455-4567.

-credit: ascs

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Jason Sides , Travis Rilat , Nick Smith , Wayne Johnson , Gary Taylor , Tim Crawley , Chris Tarrant , Jason Johnson