Wright on the Money in COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Opener MEMPHIS, Tenn. (June 3, 2005) -- A year ago, Hooks, TX, hotshoe Gary Wright was shut out of COMP Cams American Sprint Car Series Speedweek victory lane for the first time since...
Wright on the Money in COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Opener
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (June 3, 2005) -- A year ago, Hooks, TX, hotshoe Gary Wright was shut out of COMP Cams American Sprint Car Series Speedweek victory lane for the first time since 1996. "The Texan" made sure it wouldn't happen again, as he led in wire-to-wire fashion in Friday night's 30-lap feature at Memphis Motorsports Park to top the opening leg of the 13th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek.
Starting on the front row outside, Wright outgunned polesitter Eddie Gallagher at the drop of the green then beat Gallagher in a frantic race through lapped traffic much of the way to secure his 94th career O'Reilly ASCS National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores feature win and 22nd career Speedweek victory aboard the Wesmar-powered Southwest Express/The Shop/Richwood Construction No. 9 Maxim.
With Wright and Gallagher setting the early pace, Darren Stewart claimed third position in the early going with eighth-starter Dale Howard advancing to fourth on the opening round. Lapped traffic came into play after just five rounds on the quarter-mile gumbo clay oval, with Gallagher keeping the pressure on Wright.
Wright deftly worked through traffic over the opening half of the race, with Gallagher keeping pace. Stewart and Howard held third and fourth, while Oregon's Roger Crockett cracked the top five on the 13th round when he took the position from Joey Montgomery.
Wright began to slip away from Gallagher on the 20th round, only to have the race's only caution fly with 23 laps in the books when Howard spun in turn four after contact with a lapped car, collecting sixth-runner Chad Jones, eighth-runner Jan Howard and Cody Gardner in the process. Jones and Gardner were forced pitside, while Dale and Jan Howard both rejoined the field on the tail end of the lead lap.
With a pair of lapped cars separating Wright from Gallagher on the ensuing restart, Wright checked out and charged to the checkered flag unchallenged. Gallagher settled for second, with Stewart fending off Crockett's challenges over the final rounds to claim third. Crockett was fourth, with defending ASCS Speedweek champion Tim Crawley rounding out the top five after starting tenth.
Montgomery crossed the stripe sixth, with Steven Tiner, Jan Howard, Dale Howard and Travis Senter completing the top ten. Nine cars were on the lead lap when the checkered flag flew.
Gallagher, Wright and Stewart topped heat race action, with Bryce Vowan winning the 12-lap B Main.
The 13th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek got off to a spectacular start when Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Jake Martens, who entered the evening ranked third in points, flipped in wild fashion into the turn one fencing as the green flag flew upon the opening heat race. Back under way, the red flag flew again one lap later when Sam Hafertepe, Jr., took a hard spill in turn two. Both drivers were uninjured and returned to action. Hafertepe advanced through the B Main and finished 17th in the feature, with Martens utilizing his first provisional of the season to salvage a 16th place finish.
Action continues for the 13th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek at Riverside Speedway in West Memphis, AR, on Saturday night.
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. Eddie Gallagher, 2. Roger Crockett, 3. Steven Tiner, 4. Tim Crawley, 5. Jan Howard, 6. Bryce Vowan, 7. Henry Gustavus, 8. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 9. Jake Martens.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Gary Wright, 2. Dale Howard, 3. Chad Jones, 4. Toby Brown, 5. Tony Bruce, Jr., 6. Don Young, 7. Jimmy Taylor, 8. Lee Sowell.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. Darren Stewart, 2. Joey Montgomery, 3. Travis Senter, 4. A.G. Rains, 5. Cody Gardner, 6. Jim Bowden, 7. Justin Sturch, 8. Tim Sites.
B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Bryce Vowan, 2. Henry Gustavus, 3. Cody Gardner, 4. Jim Bowden, 5. Jimmy Taylor, 6. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 7. Don Young, 8. Lee Sowell, 9. Justin Sturch. DNS: Jake Martens, Tim Sites.
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. Gary Wright, 2. Eddie Gallagher, 3. Darren Stewart, 4. Roger Crockett, 5. Tim Crawley, 6. Joey Montgomery, 7. Steven Tiner, 8. Jan Howard, 9. Dale Howard, 10. Travis Senter, 11. Toby Brown, 12. A.G. Rains, 13. Henry Gustavus, 14. Tony Bruce, Jr., 15. Bryce Vowan, 16. Jake Martens, 17. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 18. Jim Bowden, 19. Chad Jones, 20. Cody Gardner, 21. Lee Sowell, 22. Jimmy Taylor.
O'Reilly ASCS National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores Points (Top Ten): 1. Gary Wright 1,130, 2. Darren Stewart 1,100, 3. Jan Howard 1,037, 4. Jake Martens 1,036, 5. Tony Bruce, Jr. 997, 6. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 957, 7. Toby Brown 945, 8. A.G. Rains 913, 9. Lee Sowell 742, 10. Jimmy Taylor 673.
13th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Points (Top Ten -- Through One of Seven Events): 1. Gary Wright 150, 2. Eddie Gallagher 146, 3. Darren Stewart 144, 4. Roger Crockett 142, 5. Tim Crawley 140, 6. Joey Montgomery 138, 7. Steven Tiner 136, 8. Jan Howard 134, 9. Dale Howard 132, 10. Travis Senter 130.