Taylor Takes First ASCS National Win in Speedweek Opener at Texarkana! TEXARKANA, Ark. (July 11, 2008) -- There was a new face in O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National victory lane on Friday night, as Gary Taylor wired the field to...
Taylor Takes First ASCS National Win in Speedweek Opener at Texarkana!
TEXARKANA, Ark. (July 11, 2008) -- There was a new face in O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National victory lane on Friday night, as Gary Taylor wired the field to top the opening round of the 16th Annual Toyota Tundra ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek at Sixty-Seven Speedway for his first career National win.
The Washington state native now residing in Sapulpa, OK, took full advantage of his pole starting position to lead all 30 circuits around the tight, 0x00bc-mile clay oval, narrowly escaping a late skirmish in lapped traffic to secure the win aboard Mike and Megan Eubanks' Wesmar-powered Tel-Star Communications No. 5* Triple-X.
While the former ASCS Rocky Mountain Region champion had the race well in hand much of the way, Wayne Johnson closed in as heavy lapped traffic became a factor in the final ten rounds. And when Justin Sturch and Brad Bowden tangled and spun directly in front of the leaders on the 24th lap, it nearly spelled disaster for Taylor.
"I had to get on the brakes so hard to keep from getting into them that I about locked it up," Taylor explained. "The rear end actually did lock up for just a split second, I was just thinking 'There it went!' I was about ready to reach up and flip the switch and then it got going again."
With clear track over the final seven circuits, there was no stopping Taylor, who added his first ASCS National Tour feature win to three Sooner Region triumphs earned earlier this season along with a handful of past Rocky Mountain Region scores.
Taylor led from the outset after outgunning fellow front row starter Gary Wright, pacing the early rounds with Wright and Johnson in tow.
Holding down the runner-up slot through a pair of early cautions, Wright's championship hopes took a hit when a right front hub broke exiting turn four on the eighth lap. Wright was forced pitside and credited with a 20th place finish, surrendering the series points lead in the process.
Wayne Johnson assumed the second position upon Wright's departure and held the spot the rest of the way in Mike and Tim Hammers' H&H Enterprises/Pearson Farms No. 94 Maxim.
"If we would have stayed in traffic, he was going to have to move around some and I think I could have got him," Johnson commented. "But in open track, he was working the bottom and there wasn't anything I could do."
After struggling in heat race action, Jason Johnson raced through the field from the 18th starting position. Working the top side of the track, Johnson had cracked the top ten by the time the second caution flew after six laps for a Ryan Hall spin. Johnson kept clawing forward, taking fifth from Matt Covington soon after a lap 15 caution.
Jason Johnson completed his forward drive by battling past Garry Lee Maier for fourth entering turn one on the 27th lap and then taking third away from Nick Smith less than a lap later, settling for show honors aboard Lanny Row's Wesmar-powered The Shop Motorsports/Custom Equipment Design No. 41 Eagle and taking over the series points lead in the process.
Nick Smith crossed the stripe fourth in the Wesmar-powered Sooner Network Solutions No. 15s J&J, with Maier rounding out the top five in Scott Brown's ASI-powered Lubbock Wrecker Service No. 11x Maxim.
Covington crossed the stripe in sixth, with Kevin Ramey, Zach Chappell, Jamie Passmore and Travis Rilat completing the top ten.
Kenneth Walker, Nick Smith and Wayne Johnson each posted heat race victories.
Following an engine change after heat race action, Sean McClelland climbed from 23rd to 12th in his first outing aboard the Bobby Sparks No. 91 entry.
Cody Gardner scratched from the main event after damaging a rear end in a heat race incident.
16th Annual Toyota Tundra ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek Results from 67 Texarkana Speedway:
Brodix Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 2-Kenneth Walker, 2. 9-Gary Wright, 3. 5*-Gary Taylor, 4. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 5. 74-Claud Estes, 6. 41-Jason Johnson, 7. 8z-Zach Pringle, 8. 15-Brad Bowden.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 15s-Nick Smith, 2. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 3. 4J-Jamie Passmore, 4. 50z-Zach Chappell, 5. 29-Travis Rilat, 6. 9x-Justin Sturch, 7. 7-J.J. Hickle, 8. 33-Mark Huddleston.
Brodix Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 94-Wayne Johnson, 2. 95-Matt Covington, 3. 79h-Ryan Hall, 4. 13-Kathryne Minter, 5. 71-Channin Tankersley, 6. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 7. 1g-Cody Gardner, 8. 91-Sean McClelland.
O'Reilly ASCoT "A" Main Event:
"A" Feature (30 Laps): 1. 5*-Gary Taylor, 2. 94-Wayne Johnson, 3. 41-Jason Johnson, 4. 15s-Nick Smith, 5. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 6. 95-Matt Covington, 7. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 8. 50z-Zach Chappell, 9. 4J-Jamie Passmore, 10. 29-Travis Rilat, 11. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 12. 91-Sean McClelland, 13. 9x-Justin Sturch, 14. 15-Brad Bowden, 15. 7-J.J. Hickle, 16. 13-Kathryne Minter, 17. 71-Channin Tankersley, 18. 74-Claud Estes, 19. 79h-Ryan Hall, 20. 9-Gary Wright, 21. 8z-Zach Pringle, 22. 2-Kenneth Walker, 23. 33-Mark Huddleston. DNS: 1g-Cody Gardner.
Lap Leaders: Gary Taylor 1-30.
O'Reilly ASCoT Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Jason Johnson 2,385, 2. Gary Wright 2,359, 3. Wayne Johnson 2,323, 4. Zach Chappell 2,241, 5. Garry Lee Maier 2,108, 6. Eric Baldaccini 1,957, 7. Nick Smith 1,855, 8. Kenneth Walker 1,721, 9. Jack Dover 1,648, 10. Travis Rilat 1,494, 11. Kathryne Minter 1,459, 12. Gary Taylor 1,413, 13. Aaron Berryhill 1,174, 14. Jason Sides 1,130, 15. Don Droud, Jr. 902.
16th Annual Toyota Tundra ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek Points (Top Ten -- Through Round One of Six): 1. Gary Taylor 150, 2. Wayne Johnson 146, 3. Jason Johnson 144, 4. Nick Smith 142, 5. Garry Lee Maier 140, 6. Matt Covington 138, 7. Kevin Ramey 136, 8. Zach Chappell 134, 9. Jamie Passmore 132, 10. Travis Rilat 130.