ASCoT Pocola, Sedalia preview

O'Reilly ASCoT Ready for Fireworks at Pocola and Sedalia TULSA, Okla. (June 27, 2006) -- With the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour championship points chase reaching a fever pitch, the series is set for a pair of events over the...

O'Reilly ASCoT Ready for Fireworks at Pocola and Sedalia

TULSA, Okla. (June 27, 2006) -- With the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour championship points chase reaching a fever pitch, the series is set for a pair of events over the upcoming Fourth of July holiday weekend.

On Saturday night, the series makes its lone stop of the season atop the high-banked, 3/8-mile Tri State Speedway clay oval in Pocola, OK, just across the state line from Fort Smith, AR, headlining the track's 35th Annual Firecracker Special. The evening will also include a spectacular 30-minute Fireworks 'Salute to America'.

Then on Monday night, the stars of the nation's premier touring series make the trek to Sedalia's Missouri State Fair Speedway for the first ASCS National Tour event atop the 0x00bd-mile dirt oval since September of 2003, when Nebraska's Billy Alley raced to his first ASCS win in the finale of a three-day Shootout. The O'Reilly ASCoT entries will take on the Missouri-based O'Reilly Winged Outlaw Warriors in the Monday night holiday special.

It's a case of "rookie" vs. "veteran" squaring off in the championship points chase, worth $50,000 to the victor at season's end. Twenty-three year old Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Nick Smith of Broken Arrow, OK, enters the weekend double with a meager five-point advantage over two-time and defending series champion Gary Wright of Hooks, TX.

Smith maintained his lead by racing through the field in all three feature events over the past weekend to secure finishes of sixth, fifth and fourth. But at the same time, Wright recorded three podium finishes including his first win of the season on Friday night along with a pair of Saturday night runner-up finishes to close the gap to just 5 points.

With this weekend's double followed immediately the six-event COMP Cams Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek, several other drivers can sill climb back into serious title contention with a strong spurt over the next three weeks.

Warsaw, Missouri's Jesse Hockett, another National Tour Rookie contender, enters this weekend ranked third in points, exactly 100 points off the lead pace. The first of Hockett's four career ASCS National Tour feature wins came during Sedalia prelim action in September 2003. Hockett has made one trip to victory lane this year in an early season Baton Rouge event.

Two-thousand-three ASCS National Tour champion Travis Rilat of Forney, TX, an East Bay ASCoT prelim winner, enters the weekend just 17 points behind Hockett, with Louisiana's Jason Johnson, a March sweeper at Oklahoma City, rounding out the current top five.

Bixby, Oklahoma's Darren Stewart climbed back up to sixth after a season-best runner-up finish on Friday night at Oklahoma City, with Byhalia, MS, racer Jan Howard holding down seventh. Just two points behind Howard is Collinsville, OK, racer Sean McClelland, who posted a pair of strong sixth-place Devil's Bowl feature finishes on Saturday night after destroying a car in Oklahoma City heat race action the night four.

Fourteen-year-old Trey Robb of Newcastle, OK, has climbed to ninth in National points, with Tony Bruce, Jr., of Liberal, KS, cracking the top ten on the strength of a pair of strong runs at Devil's Bowl Speedway on Saturday night, including a season-best fourth-place run in the nightcap.

Saturday's action at Tri-State Speedway is slated to get under way at 7:00 p.m., with Monday's Missouri State Fair Speedway action firing off at 8:00 p.m.

Tri-State Speedway is located in Pocola, OK, just 1.6 miles west of the Arkansas state line on US 271, then 0.3 miles north. For more information, contact the track at 918-436-2914.

The Missouri State Fair Speedway is located in Sedalia, a half-mile south of US 50 on US 65, then west at the Missouri State Fairgrounds. For more information, call 972-487-6960.

In its 15th year of sanctioning Sprint Car racing in the United States, the American Sprint Car Series will present approximately 180 nights of racing at nearly 100 tracks throughout 27 different states and Canada in 2006 including the National Tour and its Regional Tours (Gulf South, Mid-South, Midwest, Northern Plains, Patriot Sprint Group, Rocky Mountain, Sooner, Southern and Sprints on Dirt).

Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series and the ASCS Patriot Sprint Group is available at www.ascsracing.com.

-ascs-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Darren Stewart , Travis Rilat , Jesse Hockett , Nick Smith , Jason Johnson , Sean McClelland