HAUGHTON, Lou. (August 30, 2003) - Gary Wright continued to chip away at Travis Rilat's O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers point lead by fighting off Zach ...
HAUGHTON, Lou. (August 30, 2003) - Gary Wright continued to chip away at Travis Rilat's O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers point lead by fighting off Zach Chappell's race long pressure to notch his 13th feature triumph of the season in Saturday night's 25-lap main event at Champion Park Speedway.
With his 74th career victory, Wright is now tied with Chappell for second in points, with the duo a mere 30 points behind Rilat.
Wright earned the pole position for the feature by racing from sixth to claim second in the second heat race. Wright outgunned Chappell at the drop of the green flag and set the pace throughout in the Salina-powered Southwest Express/The Shop/Richwood Construction Maxim.
Wright survived four cautions along the way, including one after the initial round when Larry Hartwell came to a halt in turn one. Moments later, Darren Stewart skidded to a stop in turn four with front-end damage after contact was made with Rilat while battling for third. Stewart was done for the night, falling 66 points off the lead pace in the championship points race.
As action resumed, Wright gradually established an eight car-length advantage over Chappell during the first half of the race until lapped traffic came into play. Chappell closed the gap and pressured Wright, but was unable to take advantage of a pair of late cautions for Brandon Berryman's disabled mount after 19 rounds and a three-car tangle involving Sam Hafertepe, Jr., Scottie McDonald and Tina Creswell three rounds later. Wright led Chappell to the finish line with a three car-length advantage.
Rilat ran third throughout, while ASCS Gulf South regular Todd Johnson posted his best career O'Reilly ASCS National Tour finish by crossing the stripe in fourth. After battling with Johnson much of the way and having a pass for fourth position negated by the final caution, Cody Branchcomb rounded out the top five.
Current ASCS Gulf South Region point leader Kelly Angelette took the checkered flag in sixth, while Toby Brown raced from 13th to claim seventh. Kansas shoe Jason Martin was eighth, with Jimmy Taylor earning Hard Charger honors by coming from 17th to snare ninth. Rick Behr completed the top ten.
Chappell, Rilat and Johnson topped heat race action, with Greg Rilat escaping a wild multi-car tangle on the opening lap to win the 10-lap B Feature.
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. Zach Chappell, 2. Darren Stewart, 3. Rick Behr, 4. Jason Martin, 5. Toby Brown, 6. Scottie McDonald, 7. Jimmy Taylor, 8. Tina Creswell.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Travis Rilat, 2. Gary Wright, 3. Brandon Berryman, 4. Cody Branchcomb, 5. Chris Sweeney, 6. Tony Krites, 7. Stephen Chevallier, 8. Cody Pearson.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. Todd Johnson, 2. Kelly Angelette, 3. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 4. Larry Hartwell, 5. Greg Rilat, 6. David Forbis, 7. Harry Yerrington.
B Feature (10 Laps): 1. Greg Rilat, 2. Chris Sweeney, 3. Jimmy Taylor, 4. Cody Pearson, 5. Tina Creswell, 6. David Forbis, 7. Tony Krites, 8. Stephen Chevallier, 9. Harry Yerrington.
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. Gary Wright, 2. Zach Chappell, 3. Travis Rilat, 4. Todd Johnson, 5. Cody Branchcomb, 6. Kelly Angelette, 7. Toby Brown, 8. Jason Martin, 9. Jimmy Taylor, 10. Rick Behr, 11. Scottie McDonald, 12. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 13. Greg Rilat, 14. Chris Sweeney, 15. Cody Pearson, 16. Tina Creswell, 17. Brandon Berryman, 18. David Forbis, 19. Darren Stewart, 20. Larry Hartwell.
O'Reilly ASCS Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Travis Rilat 4,476, 2. (tie) Zach Chappell and Gary Wright, 4,446, 4. Darren Stewart 4,410, 5. Cody Branchcomb 4,198, 6. Toby Brown 4,009, 7. Shane Stewart 2,212, 8. Jimmy Taylor 2,045, 9. Rick Behr 2,023, 10. Tim Crawley 1,846, 11. Kevin Ramey 1,768, 12. Nick Smith 1,656, 13. Matt Clevenger 1,642, 14. A.G. Rains 1,371, 15. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 1,339.
ASCS Gulf South Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Kelly Angelette 1,446, 2. Greg Rilat 1,404, 3. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 1,396, 4. Brandon Berryman 1,336, 5. Cody Pearson 1,292, 6. Todd Johnson 1,260, 7. Tina Creswell 1,253, 8. Stephen Chevallier 1,208, 9. Chris Sweeney 1,155, 10. David Forbis 1,138, 11. Scottie McDonald 1,093, 12. Harry Yerrington 1,069, 13. Rod Craddock 898, 14. Larry Howery 701, 15. Jimmy Brooks 682.