Jennings Completes O'Reilly ASCS Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals Sweep MESQUITE, Tex. (March 19, 2005) -- With an assist from Lady Luck, Norman, Oklahoma's Danny Jennings completed a sweep of the opening weekend of racing for the O'Reilly American...
Jennings Completes O'Reilly ASCS Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals Sweep
MESQUITE, Tex. (March 19, 2005) -- With an assist from Lady Luck, Norman, Oklahoma's Danny Jennings completed a sweep of the opening weekend of racing for the O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores by topping Saturday night's 25-lap finale for the 32nd Annual Devil's Bowl Speedway Spring Nationals.
As a four-car battle for the point began to heat up in the race's latter stages, Darren Stewart raced past race-long pacesetter Jennings on the 20th round only to have the move negated when the caution flag flew moments later. Jennings took full advantage and held off Stewart and Kevin Ramey over the final six lap dash to the checkered flag to notch his second triumph in as many nights and fifth career ASCS National Tour victory.
"We caught a little bit of a break on that one," Jennings commented afterward. "I moved up to try to pass a bunch of lapped cars at one time and left the door open and there went Darren. The yellow came out at the right time. We'll take 'em however we can get 'em, this is a great way to start the year though."
By virtue of winning Friday night's preliminary feature, Jennings led the field to the green flag with Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Tony Bruce, Jr., alongside. Jennings outgunned Bruce for the early lead as fifth-starter Stewart disposed of second row starters Zach Chappell and Jan Howard to move into third on the opening round. Stewart overtook Bruce for second a lap later, with rookie contender Lee Sowell spinning in turn one to bring out the caution after two laps.
Jennings took off on the restart and held a half straightaway advantage over Stewart, Bruce and ninth-starter Ramey by the time lapped traffic came into play on the seventh round. Five laps later, Jennings' advantage had vanished as Stewart closed to his rear bumper with Ramey moving into third.
Battling through lapped traffic, the lead quartet of Jennings, Stewart, Ramey and Bruce were dicing in nose-to-tail formation by the 18th circuit with all four drivers eyeing a potential visit to victory lane. Jennings then slid high exiting turn four on the 20th round, allowing Stewart to duck underneath and lead the pack across the stripe. Stewart's pass for the lead was negated moments later however when Sowell's machine came to a halt in turn four minus a right front tire.
Jennings was up to the task on the restart and raced to the checkered flag to complete the weekend sweep aboard the Folks-powered DJ Motorsports/Lucas Oil Products No. 61J Maxim. Stewart held off Ramey to secure the runner-up slot, while eighth-starter Brian Brown made a late pass of Bruce to snare fourth. Bruce rounded out the top five.
Wayne Johnson turned in the night's top passing performance by charging from 19th to claim sixth, with 2001 series champion Zach Chappell and defending champion Gary Wright next across the stripe. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., claimed ninth, with Howard completing the top ten.
Stewart, Ramey, Bobby Mincer and Natalie Sather each scored heat race victories, with Johnson and Nick Smith topping the twin 12-lap B Mains.
Stewart nabbed the opening heat race victory when race-leader Wright lost power on the final round. Wright then survived a blown power steering line in the second B Main to claim the final transfer position to the main event.
Travis Rilat and A.G. Rains both utilized provisional starting positions to start the main event.
The evening kicked off with Toby Brown and car owner Terry Brown honored in opening ceremonies for competing in their 200th consecutive O'Reilly ASCS National Tour event. Brown, the first driver in ASCS history to compete in 200 consecutive events, posted a twelfth place finish in the feature.
Locked in from Friday Night's Preliminary Feature: Danny Jennings, Tony Bruce, Jr., Zach Chappell, Jan Howard.
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. Darren Stewart, 2. Toby Brown, 3. Larry Neighbors, 4. Andy Shouse, 5. Lee Sowell, 6. Dusty Zomer, 7. Landon Brown, 8. Gary Wright, 9. Josh Lofton.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Kevin Ramey, 2. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 3. Matt Clevenger, 4. Wayne Johnson, 5. Eric Payne, 6. Kerry McAlister. DNS: Scott Box, Brett Geldner.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. Bobby Mincer, 2. Shawn Van Whye, 3. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 4. Skip Wilson, 5. Cody Branchcomb, 6. Scott Winters, 7. Koby Barksdale. DNS: Rick Ideus.
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. Natalie Sather, 2. Brian Brown, 3. Frankie Heimbaugh, 4. Jake Martens, 5. Nick Smith, 6. Gary Taylor, 7. A.G. Rains, 8. Travis Rilat.
First B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Wayne Johnson, 2. Dusty Zomer, 3. Eric Payne, 4. Travis Rilat, 5. Scott Winters, 6. A.G. Rains, 7. Rick Ideus, 8. Landon Brown, 9. Andy Shouse. DNS: Brett Geldner.
Second B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Nick Smith, 2. Jake Martens, 3. Gary Wright, 4. Gary Taylor, 5. Cody Branchcomb, 6. Kerry McAlister, 7. Josh Lofton, 8. Koby Barksdale. DNS: Scott Box.
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. Danny Jennings, 2. Darren Stewart, 3. Kevin Ramey, 4. Brian Brown, 5. Tony Bruce, Jr., 6. Wayne Johnson, 7. Zach Chappell, 8. Gary Wright, 9. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 10. Jan Howard, 11. Larry Neighbors, 12. Toby Brown, 13. Bobby Mincer, 14. Skip Wilson, 15. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 16. Jake Martens, 17. Nick Smith, 18. Eric Payne, 19. A.G. Rains, 20. Travis Rilat, 21. Dusty Zomer, 22. Natalie Sather, 23. Matt Clevenger, 24. Frankie Heimbaugh, 25. Lee Sowell, 26. Shawn Van Whye.
O'Reilly ASCS National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores Points (Top Ten): 1. Danny Jennings 300, 2. Tony Bruce, Jr. 286, 3. Zach Chappell 280, 4. Jan Howard 272, 5. Gary Wright 270, 6. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 266, 7. Darren Stewart 258, 8. Bobby Mincer 256, 9. Jake Martens 248, 10. (tie) Larry Neighbors and Skip Wilson 246.