Wright Holds on to Win O'Reilly ASCS Dodge City Prelim DODGE CITY, Kan. (June 17, 2005) -- With smoke billowing from his mount, Gary Wright limped across the finish line to top the opening night of Dodge City Raceway Park's ...
Wright Holds on to Win O'Reilly ASCS Dodge City Prelim
DODGE CITY, Kan. (June 17, 2005) -- With smoke billowing from his mount, Gary Wright limped across the finish line to top the opening night of Dodge City Raceway Park's Three-Eighths Mile Nationals in Friday night's 20-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores preliminary feature.
Wright raced past early pacesetter Danny Jennings for the point on the sixth round then held on to secure his 95th career O'Reilly ASCS National Tour triumph and fifth of the season as his powerplant expired while exiting the final corner.
"We lost a cylinder on that restart one lap into the race, so we were on seven cylinders after that," Wright commented from victory lane. "We lost some more late in the race so were probably on about five cylinders the last three or four laps, another lap and we couldn't have made it."
While Wright gridded the feature field third, it was American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region shoe Danny Jennings leading the way to the green flag after charging from eighth to top the evening's third heat race. Jennings outgunned fellow front row starter Jeff Heffner, an ASCS Rocky Mountain Region rep, for the lead at the drop of the green with Wright quickly moving into second.
After the race's only caution flew with one laps in the books for the disabled mount of Preston Peebles II, Jennings kept Wright at bay for several rounds before Wright rode the high line through turns one and two to take command on the sixth circuit.
Lapped traffic came into play after just nine rounds but did little to deter Wright's quick pace. Wright's apparent easy win came into question in the final five laps however, as heavy smoke began to emanate from his machine.
Wright had amassed a healthy enough lead that he was still able to coast across the line when the engine expired with the checkered flag in sight. Wright took the victory aboard the Wesmar-powered Southwest Express/The Shop/Richwood Construction No. 9 Maxim, while Jennings held the second and final lock-in position to Saturday night's Three-Eighths Mile Nationals finale.
Jason Martin closed on Jennings in the late stages, but settled for the show position at the line, with former ASCS National champion Garry Lee Maier and Darren Stewart rounding out the top five.
Current ASCS Sooner Region point leader Sean McClelland advanced from tenth to finish sixth, with Foster Landon racing from 14th to seventh. Michael Woodruff charged from 19th to eighth, with ASCS Rocky Mountain Region point leader Gary Taylor and Gavin Punch completing the top ten.
Leading Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Tony Bruce, Jr., earned the KSE Hard Charger award as well as an extra $100 from The Sprint Car Exchange by racing from 23rd to 12th after swapping engines following "B" Feature action.
Martin, Maier, Jennings, Punch, C.J. Johnson and Cody Branchcomb topped heat race action for the 51-car field, with Woodruff, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., and Dex Eaton winning the 12-lap "B" Mains.
The opening lap of the fifth heat race was red-flagged when Steven King climbed Mark Sweet's tire and flipped down the front stretch. As the field slowed in turn three for the red flag, Jesse Baker climbed a tire and flipped as well. There were no injuries, but Baker, Sweet and King were done for the night.
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. Jason Martin, 2. David Wheeler, 3. Foster Landon, 4. A.J. Selenke, 5. Kerry McAlister, 6. Bob Schaeffer, 7. Jeff Crook, 8. Cody Caldwell. DNS: Rick Halverstadt.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Garry Lee Maier, 2. Luke Cranston, 3. Derek Drown, 4. Dex Eaton, 5. J.D. Johnson, 6. Abe Sherwood, 7. Eric Miller, 8. Jake Pierson, 9. Tim Newman.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. Danny Jennings, 2. Gary Taylor, 3. Jimmy Taylor, 4. Dennis Park, 5. Josh Fellows, 6. Scott Milan, 7. Derek Cottrell, 8. Cyrus Perme. Disqualified: Brett Ream (failed to report to scales after finishing third).
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. Gavin Punch, 2. Sean McClelland, 3. Darren Stewart, 4. Michael Woodruff, 5. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 6. Jake Martens, 7. Brian Herbert, 8. Landon Brown.
Fifth Heat (8 Laps): 1. C.J. Johnson, 2. Jeff Heffner, 3. Brian McClelland, 4. Joe Wagner, 5. Earnest Jennings, 6. Jesse Baker, 7. Mark Sweet, 8. Steven King.
Sixth Heat (8 Laps): 1. Cody Branchcomb, 2. Gary Wright, 3. Tony Bruce, Jr., 4. Jon Freeman, 5. Preston Peebles II, 6. Geoff Dodge, 7. John Jacob, 8. Shane Bangerter.
First B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Michael Woodruff, 2. Kerry McAlister, 3. Brian McClelland, 4. Jake Martens, 5. Brian Herbert, 6. Josh Fellows, 7. Bob Schaeffer, 8. Derek Cottrell, 9. Tim Newman, 10. Cody Caldwell, 11. Landon Brown.
Second B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 2. Tony Bruce, Jr., 3. Jeff Crook, 4. Jon Freeman, 5. Rick Halverstadt, 6. Jake Pierson, 7. Abe Sherwood, 8. Joe Wagner. DNS: Jesse Baker, Mark Sweet, Steven King.
Third B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Dex Eaton, 2. Preston Peebles II, 3. A.J. Selenke, 4. Geoff Dodge, 5. Eric Miller, 6. Shane Bangerter, 7. Cyrus Perme, 8. Scott Milan, 9. Earnest Jennings, 10. Brett Ream, 11. John Jacob.
A Feature (20 Laps): 1. Gary Wright, 2. Danny Jennings, 3. Jason Martin, 4. Garry Lee Maier, 5. Darren Stewart, 6. Sean McClelland, 7. Foster Landon, 8. Michael Woodruff, 9. Gary Taylor, 10. Gavin Punch, 11. C.J. Johnson, 12. Tony Bruce, Jr., 13. J.D. Johnson, 14. Jeff Heffner, 15. Luke Cranston, 16. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 17. Derek Drown, 18. Dennis Park, 19. Dex Eaton, 20. David Wheeler, 21. Kerry McAlister, 22. Cody Branchcomb, 23. Jimmy Taylor, 24. Preston Peebles II.
O'Reilly ASCS National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores Points (Top Ten): 1. Gary Wright 2,108, 2. Darren Stewart 2,076, 3. Tony Bruce, Jr., 1,879, 4. Jan Howard 1,851, 5. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 1,825, 6. Jake Martens 1,698, 7. Toby Brown 1,679, 8. A.G. Rains 1,391, 9. Jimmy Taylor 1,350, 10. Lee Sowell 1,348.
ASCS Rocky Mountain Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Gary Taylor 984, 2. Jake Pierson 976, 3. Eric Miller 952, 4. Bob Schaeffer 932, 5. Jeff Heffner 910, 6. Joe Wagner 872, 7. Scott Milan 854, 8. Josh Fellows 842, 9. Nick Haygood 826, 10. John Jacob 792.
American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Sean McClelland 1,026, 2. Danny Jennings 998, 3. Cody Branchcomb 954, 4. Kerry McAlister 876, 5. Preston Peebles II 855, 6. Brian McClelland 843, 7. Foster Landon 759, 8. J.P. Bailey 727, 9. Andy Shouse 668, 10. Derek Cottrell 587.