Rilat claims O'Reilly ASCS crown as Wright tops Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals. MESQUITE, Tex. (October 18, 2003) - Gary Wright slipped around Wayne Johnson on the 12th round en route to pocketing $5,000 by winning Saturday night's 25-lap 30th ...
Rilat claims O'Reilly ASCS crown as Wright tops Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals.
MESQUITE, Tex. (October 18, 2003) - Gary Wright slipped around Wayne Johnson on the 12th round en route to pocketing $5,000 by winning Saturday night's 25-lap 30th Annual Devil's Bowl Speedway Winter Nationals finale. However, it was Travis Rilat who took center stage by charging from 19th to tenth to claim the O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers championship by a narrow 12 point margin over Wright.
While Rilat entered the evening with a 32-point edge, Wright was already locked into the main event by virtue of his fourth place finish in Friday night's preliminary feature. Rilat had to qualify for the main event through the first B Main, then advanced far enough through the field to claim the crown.
Friday night's winner Tim Crawley led the 26-car feature field to the green flag with Johnson alongside. Crawley's bid for a weekend sweep came to an early end when driveline problems sent him limping to the pits moments after the green flag flew, as Johnson took the early lead over Wright, fifth-starter Don Droud, Jr., and Garry Lee Maier.
With Johnson setting the pace, action was interrupted with just three laps in the books when C.J. Johnson flipped wildly down the frontstretch. C.J. Johnson emerged from the wreckage uninjured.
Wayne Johnson took off on the restart, holding a five car-length advantage over Wright, with Droud, Maier and ninth-starter Billy Alley in tow. Johnson went unchallenged until lapped traffic became a factor on the tenth circuit, when Wright quickly closed the gap.
Wright closed on Johnson's bumper on the eleventh lap, then raced into the lead in turn two the next time around. Johnson stayed close and nearly found an opportunity to challenge for the point on the 19th lap when heavy lapped traffic became a factor, but Wright was up to the task and raced to the checkered flag unchallenged over the final rounds aboard the Salina-powered Southwest Express/The Shop/Richwood Construction Maxim to notch his 15th series victory of the year.
Johnson held off Droud to claim the runner-up position, with Maier in fourth. After starting 13th, Shane Stewart made a late pass of Alley round out the top five. Alley was sixth in front of Chuck Swenson, Cody Branchcomb and 25th-starter Zach Chappell, who earned the race's Hard Charger award.
After staring 19th, Rilat needed less than eight laps to battle into a top ten position. Rilat held his spot to the end to claim the championship aboard the F&J Construction/Archer Motorsports/Haulmark Trailers Eagle.
Swenson, Droud, J.D. Johnson, Brian Harvill, Branchcomb and Shane Stewart claimed heat race victories, with Dusty Zomer and Danny Jennings winning the twin 12-lap B Features.
Zomer suffered engine woes as the checkered flag flew in the first B Main, allowing Mike Chadd to start the feature as an alternate. Chappell and Toby Brown utilized provisional starting positions to start the main event.
Pre-qualified from Friday's preliminary feature: Tim Crawley, Wayne Johnson, Garry Lee Maier, Gary Wright.
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. Chuck Swenson, 2. Claud Estes, 3. Dusty Zomer, 4. Bob Ewell, 5. Foster Landon, 6. Mike Chadd, 7. Rick Ziehl, 8. Darren Stewart.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Don Droud, Jr., 2. Kevin Ramey, 3. Billy Alley, 4. Scott Pace, 5. Greg Rilat, 6. Jimmy Taylor, 7. Tony Bruce, Jr. DNS: Zach Chappell.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. J.D. Johnson, 2. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 3. Travis Rilat, 4. Danny Jennings, 5. J.P. Bailey, 6. Gregg Bakker, 7. Dennis Park, 8. Bryan Gossel.
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. Brian Harvill, 2. Richard Cordray, 3. Rick Behr, 4. Toby Brown, 5. Blake Mallory, 6. Chris Sweeney, 7. William Eggimann.
Fifth Heat (8 Laps): 1. Cody Branchcomb, 2. Loyd Clevenger, 3. Josh Higday, 4. Derek Drown, 5. Joe Beaver, 6. Rawdy Hull, 7. Jeff Dodd.
Sixth Heat (8 Laps): 1. Shane Stewart, 2. C.J. Johnson, 3. Jason Martin, 4. Skip Wilson, 5. Ryan Anderson, 6. James Shoun, 7. Matt Clevenger.
First B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Dusty Zomer, 2. Travis Rilat, 3. Derek Drown, 4. Jason Martin, 5. Mike Chadd, 6. Joe Beaver, 7. Dennis Park, 8. Rick Ziehl, 9. Chris Sweeney, 10. Jeff Dodd, 11. Ryan Anderson, 12. Scott Pace, 13. Jimmy Taylor, 14. Darren Stewart, 15. J.P. Bailey.
Second B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Danny Jennings, 2. Josh Higday, 3. Skip Wilson, 4. Toby Brown, 5. Foster Landon, 6. Blake Mallory, 7. Zach Chappell, 8. Matt Clevenger, 9. Greg Rilat, 10. Bryan Gossel, 11. James Shoun, 12. Gregg Bakker, 13. Tony Bruce, Jr., 14. William Eggimann, 15. Rawdy Hull, 16. Bob Ewell.
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. Gary Wright, 2. Wayne Johnson, 3. Don Droud, Jr., 4. Garry Lee Maier, 5. Shane Stewart, 6. Billy Alley, 7. Chuck Swenson, 8. Cody Branchcomb, 9. Zach Chappell, 10. Travis Rilat, 11. Danny Jennings, 12. Rick Behr, 13. Skip Wilson, 14. Claud Estes, 15. Derek Drown, 16. Josh Higday, 17. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 18. J.D. Johnson, 19. Mike Chadd, 20. Kevin Ramey, 21. Toby Brown, 22. Brian Harvill, 23. Richard Cordray, 24. C.J. Johnson, 25. Tim Crawley, 26. Loyd Clevenger.
Final O'Reilly ASCS National Points (Top Twenty): 1. Travis Rilat 5,704, 2. Gary Wright 5,692, 3. Zach Chappell 5,622, 4. Darren Stewart 5,364, 5. Cody Branchcomb 5,173, 6. Toby Brown 4,996, 7. Shane Stewart 3,323, 8. Jimmy Taylor 2,876, 9. Tim Crawley 2,851, 10. Rick Behr 2,475, 11. Kevin Ramey 2,016, 11. Matt Clevenger 1,987, 13. A.G. Rains 1,883, 14. Nick Smith 1,790, 15. Jason Martin 1,789, 16. Garry Lee Maier 1,664, 17. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 1,662, 18. Derek Drown 1,608, 19. Dale Howard 1,447, 20. Jan Howard 1,341.