Champion Park race report

Rilat reigns supreme in O'Reilly ASCS action at Champion Park HAUGHTON, Lou. (May 3, 2003) - Travis Rilat took advantage of race long leader Shane Stewart's misfortune in lapped traffic on the 17th round and went on to win Saturday night's...

Rilat reigns supreme in O'Reilly ASCS action at Champion Park

HAUGHTON, Lou. (May 3, 2003) - Travis Rilat took advantage of race long leader Shane Stewart's misfortune in lapped traffic on the 17th round and went on to win Saturday night's 25-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour feature event presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers at Champion Park Speedway. With the triumph, Rilat became the series' first repeat winner through the first five events on the 2003 ASCS National Tour.

Gunning for his second win in as many nights, Stewart led the field to the green flag after earning the pole position by charging from seventh to finish second in the second heat race. Stewart beat fellow front row starter Rilat into the first turn as action got under way, with Zach Chappell, Darren Stewart and Gary Wright in pursuit as the caution flew for a turn one tangle involving Rick Behr and Cody Pearson on the second lap. Stewart's lead pace was once again briefly interrupted after five rounds when John Pate and Brandon Berryman got together in turn four.

Shane Stewart resumed his quick pace as action resumed, with Rilat, Chappell, Darren Stewart and Wright keeping the leader within striking distance. Lapped traffic came into play after eleven rounds, with Shane Stewart navigating past the first several cars without incident.

However, as the leaders entered turn three on the 17th round, Shane Stewart abandoned the preferred low line in an attempt to put a lap on Tina Creswell's machine via the high groove. Stewart and Creswell made contact, with both cars spinning to a halt in turn four, handing the lead to an opportunistic Rilat. Wright was then forced to surrender his newfound fourth position on the ensuing caution period with a cut right rear tire. Stewart and Wright both restarted at the tail of the field.

Rilat took off on the final restart with Chappell, Darren Stewart, Toby Brown and Kelly Angelette in tow. While Cody Branchcomb cracked the top five by quickly overtaking Angelette on the restart, Rilat held off his challengers for the point.

While lapped traffic once again came into play in the final rounds, Rilat worked the low groove masterfully to secure his second triumph of the season aboard the Snyder-powered F&J Construction/Haulmark Trailers/Archer Motorsports Eagle, beating Chappell to the checkered flag by four car-lengths. Darren Stewart moved atop the series' point charts by claiming the show position, with Toby Brown in fourth and Branchcomb posting his best career O'Reilly ASCS National Tour finish by rounding out the top five.

Defending ASCS Gulf South Region champion Angelette regained the 2003 ASCS Gulf South Region point lead by crossing the stripe sixth, with fellow Gulf South competitor Greg Rilat earning the race's Hard Charger award by coming from 13th to claim seventh. Matt Clevenger notched a solid eighth place finish, while Gulf South Region regulars Jimmy Brooks and Sam Hafertepe, Jr., completed the top ten.

Darren Stewart, Travis Rilat and Chappell topped heat race action for the 26-car field, with Todd Johnson winning the B Feature.

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Series Sprint
Drivers Darren Stewart , Cody Branchcomb , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat