Stenhouse Strikes for First ASCS Win as Crawley Captures Speedweek Crown WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (July 17, 2004) 0x2022 As the American Sprint Car Series contested its 400th National Tour feature event since its inception in 1992, it was 16-year-old...
Stenhouse Strikes for First ASCS Win as Crawley Captures Speedweek Crown
WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (July 17, 2004) 0x2022 As the American Sprint Car Series contested its 400th National Tour feature event since its inception in 1992, it was 16-year-old Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., holding off Eddie Gallagher in the 12th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek finale to post his first career series victory in Saturday night's 30-lap feature at Riverside Speedway.
Meanwhile, three time O'Reilly ASCS National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and Classic Trailers champion Tim Crawley recovered from an early incident to finish tenth, enabling him to capture his first COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek championship by a slim 12-point margin over Gary Wright.
Stenhouse assumed command of the seventh and final round of ASCS Speedweek when race leader Travis Rilat collided with another car and suffered front-end damage as the red flag flew for a front stretch skirmish with 16 laps in the books. Last year's National 360 Sprint Car Rookie of the Year then fought off Gallagher the rest of the way to score the victory aboard Shorty Chambliss' Dynotech-powered South Tire No. 40r J&J.
"Man, that was fun," the young Stenhouse commented in victory lane. "I knew Gallagher was on me, he made me work for it. It's just awesome to get this win."
A.G. Rains, who scored his lone ASCS victory in 2001 Speedweek competition at Riverside, led the field to the green flag with fellow Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Natalie Sather alongside. Sather jumped into the early lead, holding off Rains, Rilat and Crawley in the early stages.
With Sather setting the pace, Rilat raced battled past Rains for second on the fourth round, then overtook Sather for the lead on the sixth round only to have the pass negated when Buster Dickerson coasted to a halt in turn four.
Back under way, Rilat kept the pressure on Sather as seventh-starter Stenhouse quickly disposed of Crawley for third. After bluffing on the high side, Rilat dove underneath Sather exiting turn two on the seventh round to take command. Two circuits later, Sather looped her machine in the same turn, collecting Rains and Crawley. After quick repairs, Crawley rejoined the Speedweek championship chase at the tail minus his nose wing.
With the second through fourth place contenders involved in the incident, Rilat led the way on the restart in front of Stenhouse, ninth-starter Eddie Gallagher and B Feature transfers Steven Tiner and Marshall Skinner.
Stenhouse tried to mount a challenge, but Rilat began to check out on the field until the red flag flew with 16 laps complete when Mike Ward and Henry Gustavus, Jr., tangled on the front stretch, with Gustavus tipping over. As the red lights flashed, Rilat's victory hopes were diminished when he tagged the back of Rains' mount and suffered a broken front axle along with other damage. Rilat rejoined the race after quick repairs, while Rains was transported to a local hospital complaining of back and neck pain.
Stenhouse assumed the point on the restart with Riverside master Gallagher in tow. Gallagher made several bids for the lead before falling back several car lengths. Gallagher reeled the leader in over the final five rounds and made one last bid for his third consecutive Riverside ASCS Speedweek triumph over the final two rounds.
Stenhouse was up to the task however, beating Gallagher to the stripe by two car-lengths. Aboard the second Shorty Chambliss entry, California transplant Tiner completed his charge from 18th by snaring the show position. Gary Wright raced from 17th to claim fourth, with Rilat slicing back through the field to round out the top five.
After starting 20th, Marshall Skinner took the checkered flag in sixth ahead of Paul Sides and 21st-starter Zach Chappell. Jimmy Taylor turned in his best outing of the year by crossing the stripe ninth, with Crawley completing the top ten.
Rains, Rilat, Dickerson, Sather and Sides topped heat race action, with Ward and Robert Gant winning the twin 12-lap B Mains.
12th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Round 7 Results:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. A.G. Rains, 2. Tim Crawley, 3. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 4. Steven Tiner, 5. Tony Bruce, Jr., 6. Marshall Skinner, 7. Garry Lee Maier, 8. Bryce Vowan.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Travis Rilat, 2. Ronny Howard, 3. Mike Ward, 4. Josh Howard, 5. Tim Montgomery, 6. Lee Sowell, 7. Toby Brown. DNS: Kenny Coke.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. Buster Dickerson, 2. Cody Branchcomb, 3. Josh Baker, 4. Robert Gant, 5. Zach Chappell, 6. Wesley Hale, 7. Andy Goin.
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. Natalie Sather, 2. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 3. Jimmy Taylor, 4. Gary Wright, 5. Corey Bailey, 6. Dale Howard, 7. Raymond Stull.
Fifth Heat (8 Laps): 1. Paul Sides, 2. Henry Gustavus, Jr., 3. Eddie Gallagher, 4. Stephen Chevallier, 5. Jim Bowden, 6. D.J. Masner, 7. Kevin Gaut.
First B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Mike Ward, 2. Gary Wright, 3. Josh Howard, 4. Jim Bowden, 5. Zach Chappell, 6. Tony Bruce, Jr., 7. Wesley Hale, 8. Garry Lee Maier, 9. Lee Sowell, 10. Andy Goin, 11. Kevin Gaut. DNS: Kenny Coke.
Second B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Robert Gant, 2. Steven Tiner, 3. Marshall Skinner, 4. Tim Montgomery, 5. D.J. Masner, 6. Dale Howard, 7. Stephen Chevallier, 8. Raymond Stull, 9. Corey Bailey, 10. Toby Brown, 11. Bryce Vowan.
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 2. Eddie Gallagher, 3. Steven Tiner, 4. Gary Wright, 5. Travis Rilat, 6. Marshall Skinner, 7. Paul Sides, 8. Zach Chappell, 9. Jimmy Taylor, 10. Tim Crawley, 11. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 12. Jim Bowden, 13. Henry Gustavus, Jr., 14. Mike Ward, 15. A.G. Rains, 16. Ronny Howard, 17. Natalie Sather, 18. Josh Baker, 19. Buster Dickerson, 20. Robert Gant, 21. Cody Branchcomb, 22. Josh Howard, 23. Corey Bailey.
O'Reilly ASCS National Tour Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Gary Wright 2,970, 2. Travis Rilat 2,946, 3. Zach Chappell 2,838, 4. Garry Lee Maier 2,715, 5. Darren Stewart 2,551, 6. Toby Brown 2,458, 7. A.G. Rains 2,228, 8. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 2,138, 9. Jimmy Taylor 2,125, 10. Natalie Sather 1,961, 11. Cody Branchcomb 1,766, 12. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,462, 13. Dale Howard 1,313, 14. Mike Ward 1,241, 15. Marshall Skinner 1,234.
12th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Points (Top Twenty): 1. Tim Crawley 994, 2. Gary Wright 982, 3. Travis Rilat 968, 4. Zach Chappell 944, 5. Garry Lee Maier 849, 6. Mike Ward 845, 7. Dale Howard 815, 8. Marshall Skinner 805, 9. Toby Brown 765, 10. A.G. Rains 754, 11. Tim Montgomery 751, 12. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 743, 13. Cody Branchcomb 734, 15. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 729, 15. Josh Howard 691, 16. Tony Bruce, Jr. 687, 17. Natalie Sather 677, 18. Jimmy Taylor 662, 19. Darren Stewart 625, 20. Jamie Passmore 473.