Berryman Strikes Blow for ASCS Gulf South in Regional Shootout at HOT WACO, Texas (August 31, 2007) -- In four previous years of American Sprint Car Series Gulf South vs. Sooner Region Shootout competition, no Gulf South Region regular had...
Berryman Strikes Blow for ASCS Gulf South in Regional Shootout at HOT
WACO, Texas (August 31, 2007) -- In four previous years of American Sprint Car Series Gulf South vs. Sooner Region Shootout competition, no Gulf South Region regular had graced victory lane. That changed on Friday night however, as Brandon Berryman topped the opening leg of the ASCS Gulf South vs. Sooner Region Shootout in the 25-lap feature at Heart O' Texas Speedway.
After collecting his first career ASCS Gulf South win just over three months ago, the 27-year-old Missouri City, TX, racer battled past Johnny Miller on the ninth round and led the rest of the way to snare his second win of the season aboard the Westside Performance-powered JDM Trucking No. 31 Triple X chassis.
"This is a nice one to win, there were a lot of good cars behind us in this one," Berryman commented after the triumph.
With Berryman leading the Gulf South charge, Regional swinger Miller (who competes in both Sooner and Gulf South events) took runner-up honors with Sooner Region title contender Kevin Ramey, O'Reilly ASCoT National invader Jason Johnson and Gulf South mainstay Greg Rilat rounding out the top five.
After the initial start was waved off when third-starter Michael Lang tagged the turn two wall, polesitter Miller outgunned fellow front row starter Greg Rilat for the early lead with fifth-starter Berryman quickly working into second.
Weathering three cautions over the opening eight rounds, Miller led the way until a lap nine restart when Berryman scurried by on the low side of turns three and four to take command.
"My race car just kept getting tighter and tighter, my race track went away from me," Miller explained afterward.
Berryman survived two more cautions over the final half of the race, including the final one after 17 laps when Travis Rilat slid into the turn two wall after breaking a steering arm, then endured some dicey moments in lapped traffic over the final three laps to take the checkered flag with a three car-length advantage over Miller.
After starting 13th, two-time ASCS Sooner Region champion Ramey marched up to seventh in the opening seven rounds then emerged from a wild three-car battle with Greg Rilat and Brian McClelland to take fourth by the midway point.
Ramey charged past Jason Johnson for third on a lap 16 restart, but had nothing for the lead duo over the final rounds.
Johnson, last year's ASCS Gulf South vs. Sooner Region victor at Heart O' Texas Speedway, crossed the stripe fourth, with three-time Gulf South series runner-up Greg Rilat rounding out the top five.
After blitzing from ninth to fifth in the initial three circuits, Brian McClelland found himself mired behind the elder Rilat the rest of the way and ultimately finished sixth, good enough to move atop a tight American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region championship points battle.
Claud Estes was seventh, with Chris Sweeney, Cody Branchcomb and Brad Stokes completing the top ten.
Berryman, Johnson, Sweeney, Miller and Greg Rilat topped heat race action for the 35-car field, with Tommy Bryant and Ray Allen Kulhanek winning the twin "B" Mains.
Scott Reneau flipped on the frontstretch on the opening lap of the first heat race, while Danny Caldwell and David Doyle tumbled wildly down the frontstretch in twin fashion as the green flag flew upon the first "B" Main. While the other drivers walked away, Caldwell was transported to a local hospital for observation.
The ASCS Gulf South vs. Sooner Region Shootout moves on to Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, TX, on Saturday night, with action firing off at 8:00 p.m.
ASCS Gulf South vs. American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region Shootout Results from Heart O' Texas Speedway:
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 31-Brandon Berryman, 2. 65-Skip Wilson, 3. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 4. 8-Bruce Crockett, 5. 20-Richard Holt, 6. 1-Scott Reneau. DNS: 14e-Todd Evans.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 41x-Jason Johnson, 2. 15-Brad Stokes, 3. 81au-Gavin Punch, 4. 3-Gary Watson, 5. 25-Derek Cottrell, 6. 55d-David Doyle, 7. 23-Darryl Wills.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 93-Chris Sweeney, 2. 87-Brian McClelland, 3. 29-Travis Rilat, 4. 94-Cody Branchcomb, 5. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 6. 22L-Kent Lewis, Sr., 7. 29n-Larry Neighbors.
Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 64J-Johnny Miller, 2. 14L-Michael Lang, 3. 51-Jimmy Brooks, 4. 45-J.P. Bailey, 5. 13m-Kathryne Minter, 6. 81-Danny Caldwell, 7. 67-Rodney Henderson.
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 35-Greg Rilat, 2. 74e-Claud Estes, 3. 41-Ray Allen Kulhanek, 4. 12m-Tommy Bryant, 5. 15b-Michael Brown, 6. 99-Justin Melton, 7. 11-Tommy Jones.
Pole Dash (5 Laps): 1. 64J-Johnny Miller, 2. 35-Greg Rilat, 3. 14L-Michael Lang, 4. 41x-Jason Johnson, 5. 31-Brandon Berryman, 6. 65-Skip Wilson.
First "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 12m-Tommy Bryant, 2. 3-Gary Watson, 3. 51-Jimmy Brooks, 4. 13m-Kathryne Minter, 5. 25-Derek Cottrell, 6. 15b-Michael Brown, 7. 23-Darryl Wills, 8. 67-Rodney Henderson, 9. 55d-David Doyle, 10. 81-Danny Caldwell. DNS: 14e-Todd Evans.
Second "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 41-Ray Allen Kulhanek, 2. 8-Bruce Crockett, 3. 45-J.P. Bailey, 4. 99-Justin Melton, 5. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 6. 29n-Larry Neighbors, 7. 22L-Kent Lewis, Sr., 8. 11-Tommy Jones, 9. 20-Richard Holt. DNS: 1-Scott Reneau.
"A" Feature (25 Laps): 1. 31-Brandon Berryman, 2. 64J-Johnny Miller, 3. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 4. 41x-Jason Johnson, 5. 35-Greg Rilat, 6. 87-Brian McClelland, 7. 74e-Claud Estes, 8. 93-Chris Sweeney, 9. 94-Cody Branchcomb, 10. 15-Brad Stokes, 11. 65-Skip Wilson, 12. 29-Travis Rilat, 13. 45-J.P. Bailey, 14. 3-Gary Watson, 15. 51-Jimmy Brooks, 16. 12m-Tommy Bryant, 17. 81au-Gavin Punch, 18. 41-Ray Allen Kulhanek, 19. 8-Bruce Crockett, 20. 14L-Michael Lang.
ASCS Gulf South Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Ray Allen Kulhanek 952, 2. Skip Wilson 946, 3. Gary Watson 944, 4. Brandon Berryman 942, 5. (tie) Jimmy Brooks and Greg Rilat 916, 7. Chris Sweeney 912, 8. Tommy Bryant 890, 9. Johnny Miller 842, 10. Richard Holt 799.
American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Brian McClelland 954, 2. Cody Branchcomb 952, 3. Kevin Ramey 939, 4. Gavin Punch 848, 5. Ray Allen Kulhanek 800, 6. Michael Brown 772, 8. J.P. Bailey 739, 9. Sherman Davis 711, 10. Derek Cottrell 666.