Sweeney Grabs ASCS Gulf South Gator Gelt Lonnie Wheatley, WILLIS, Tex. (May 27, 2006) -- Chris Sweeney scored his first American Sprint Car Series Gulf South Region feature win in nearly four years by topping Saturday night's 25-lap feature...
Sweeney Grabs ASCS Gulf South Gator Gelt
Lonnie Wheatley, WILLIS, Tex. (May 27, 2006) -- Chris Sweeney scored his first American Sprint Car Series Gulf South Region feature win in nearly four years by topping Saturday night's 25-lap feature at the Gator Motorplex.
Posting his first win since July of 2002, Sweeney outlasted the efforts of both Greg Rilat and Darryl Wills to snare his second career ASCS Gulf South triumph aboard the Custom Automotive-powered Humble Paint & Body No. 93 Maxim.
Starting outside the front row, Sweeney outgunned polesitter Michael Herrington to take the early lead. Third-starter Rilat charged past Herrington to take over second on the opening lap, with Herrington and Kent Lewis, Jr., tangling on the third lap to bring out the caution.
The battle was on at that point, with Sweeney and Rilat racing side-by-side and swapping the lead numerous times as they exchanged slide jobs over the next dozen rounds.
Sweeney finally got the better of Rilat with a turn four slide on the 15th round, only to have Wills race by Rilat three circuits later and throw his hat into the mix for a first career ASCS victory.
Wills passed Sweeney on two occasions, only to have cautions negate both moves for the lead on the 19th and 23rd laps.
Set for a green-white-checkered dash following the race's final caution, Sweeney hung on to take the win in front of Wills and Rilat. Scottie McDonald took over fourth on the 16th round and held the spot to the line after charging from 14th, with Gary Watson rounding out the top five.
Brad Best finished sixth, with defending series champion Ray Allen Kulhanek, Rod Craddock, Jamie Will and 20th-starter Richard Cooper completing the top ten.
Lane Whittington, Herrington, Wills and Best topped heat race action for the stout 35-car field, with Brandon Berryman and A.J. Weaver splitting victory honors in the twin "B" Mains.
ASCS Gulf South Region Results:
First Heat : 1. 9-Lane Whittington, 2. 35-Greg Rilat, 3. 96-Rod Craddock, 4. 41-Ray Allen Kulhanek, 5. 28-Richard Cooper, 6. 6s-Steven Padgett, 7. 56-David Kulhanek, 8. 21b-Brandi Miller, 9. 8tw-Kent Lewis, Sr.
Second Heat: 1. 7-Michael Herrington, 2. 93-Chris Sweeney, 3. 4J-Jamie Will, 4. 12-Trey Schmidt, 5. 6-Mike Henderson, 6. 15-Brad Stokes, 7. 71s-Tim Simmons, 8. 17c-Greg Coleman, 9. 27s-Steve Haning.
Third Heat: 1. 23-Darryl Wills, 2. 21T-Kent Lewis, Jr., 3. 88-Scottie McDonald, 4. 55-A.J. Weaver, 5. 20-Richard Holt, 6. 31-Brandon Berryman, 7. 79-Charlie McDonald, 8. 05-Heath Lindley. DNS: 61-Travis Knighton.
Fourth Heat: 1. 35x-Brad Best, 2. 3-Gary Watson, 3. 10-Larry Hartwell, 4. 12m-Tommy Bryant, 5. 71-Channin Tankersley, 6. 1n-Bruce Crockett, 7. 69-Larry Howery. DNS: 51-Jimmy Brooks.
First "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 31-Brandon Berryman, 2. 71-Channin Tankersley, 3. 12-Trey Schmidt, 4. 20-Richard Holt, 5. 79-Charlie McDonald, 6. 71s-Tim Simmons, 7. 1n-Bruce Crockett, 8. 27s-Steve Haning, 9. 05-Heath Lindley, 10. 21b-Brandi Miller. DNS: 61-Travis Knighton.
Second "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 55-A.J. Weaver, 2. 12m-Tommy Bryant, 3. 28-Richard Cooper, 4. 6s-Steven Padgett, 5. 56-David Kulhanek, 6. 15-Brad Stokes, 7. 17c-Greg Coleman, 8. 69-Larry Howery, 9. 51-Jimmy Brooks, 10. 8tw-Kent Lewis, Sr.
"A" Feature (25 Laps): 1. 93-Chris Sweeney, 2. 23-Darryl Wills, 3. 35-Greg Rilat, 4. 88-Scottie McDonald, 5. 3-Gary Watson, 6. 35x-Brad Best, 7. 41-Ray Allen Kulhanek, 8. 96-Rod Craddock, 9. 4J-Jamie Will, 10. 28-Richard Cooper, 11. 12m-Tommy Bryant, 12. 10-Larry Hartwell, 13. 9-Lane Whittington, 14. 7-Michael Herrington, 15. 31-Brandon Berryman, 16. 55-A.J. Weaver, 17. 6-Mike Henderson, 18. 12-Trey Schmidt, 19. 21T-Kent Lewis, Jr., 20. 71-Channin Tankersley.
ASCS Gulf South Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Greg Rilat 838, 2. Chris Sweeney 818, 3. Gary Watson 812, 4. Lane Whittington 770, 5. Ray Allen Kulhanek 753, 6. Channin Tankersley 752, 7. Larry Hartwell 713, 8. Jason Johnson 710, 9. Michael Herrington 581, 10. Stephen Chevallier 563.