O'Reilly ASCoT - Magnificent Seven Locked in and Loving It at East Bay TAMPA, Fla. (January 27, 2007) -- Locked in. And in the best sense of the term. After two fierce nights of qualifying action at East Bay Raceway Park's Ninth Annual "King...
O'Reilly ASCoT - Magnificent Seven Locked in and Loving It at East Bay
TAMPA, Fla. (January 27, 2007) -- Locked in. And in the best sense of the term.
After two fierce nights of qualifying action at East Bay Raceway Park's Ninth Annual "King of the 360's" Nationals, seven drivers have risen to the top of the pile of 75 different competitors that have fought it out atop the 1/3-mile dirt oval in the O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series on Tour season opener.
And those lucky, and absurdly talented seven (bumped up one from the originally planned six due to a tie) will get to kick back and enjoy the early festivities as the balance of the stout field that represents 20 different American states and three Canadian provinces (including three non-English speaking drivers from Quebec) will wage literal war atop Tampa real estate for the remaining 17 starting positions in Saturday night's Sixth Annual Ronald Laney Memorial, worth $10,000 to the winner.
Already earning front-row starting berths are three-time and defending O'Reilly ASCS National champion Gary Wright of Hooks, TX, and World of Outlaws hotshoe Terry McCarl of Altoona, IA, both of whom are past "King of the 360's" Nationals champions. Wright topped Thursday night's preliminary feature before finishing third on Friday, while McCarl, defending race winner, improved upon Thursday's third-place run with a dazzling Friday night triumph.
Both Wright and McCarl have the opportunity to become the first repeat winner in East Bay's "King of the 360's" history.
Currently without a permanent ride, Oklahoma City native Wayne Johnson, the 2001 ASCS National champion, grids the field inside row two, with Danville, IN, veteran racer Danny Smith slated to start fourth.
Ohio's Greg Wilson earned the fifth starting position for Saturday night's finale, with Pennsylvania's Tim Shaffer and Oklahoma's Darren Stewart knotted in a tie for the crucial sixth starting position. Shaffer and Stewart will both bypass Saturday's final qualifying events and grid the feature field in the sixth and seventh starting slots.
The balance of the field will race through a series of seven heat races and "B" Mains to fill the field to determine who will become the next "King of the 360's" at East Bay Raceway Park. Six states are already represented among the locked-in drivers, with only Oklahoma locking two into the field with Johnson and Stewart.
Saturday night's top earner in passing points will earn the eighth starting position, with the balance of the Ronald Laney Memorial "A" Main event filled in accordingly.
Saturday night's racing action at East Bay Raceway Park's 31st Annual Winter Nationals gets under way at 7:00 p.m.