Rilat takes O'Reilly ASCS point lead with Joplin Triumph JOPLIN, Mo. (August 2, 2003) - Travis Rilat took over the O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers point lead...
Rilat takes O'Reilly ASCS point lead with Joplin Triumph
JOPLIN, Mo. (August 2, 2003) - Travis Rilat took over the O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers point lead by winning Saturday night's 25-lap feature at Joplin 66 Speedway. The victory marked Rilat's fifth triumph of the season.
After making a last corner pass of Nick Smith to win the second heat race, Aaron Berryhill led the field to the green flag with Rilat alongside. Berryhill held a slight advantage going into turn one, but Rilat rode the cushion through the first two turns to race into the lead.
Rilat paced the early rounds with Berryhill, Darren Stewart and Gary Wright in pursuit. While Rilat established a half straightaway advantage, Wright slipped past Stewart for third on the seventh round.
As Rilat encountered lapped traffic on the eighth circuit, Berryhill closed the gap and positioned himself to challenge for the lead. Rilat successfully worked through traffic and took off, while Wright reeled in Berryhill and took over second on the eleventh round when Berryhill jumped the turn four cushion.
Moments later, Stewart tried to pass Berryhill for third on the front straightaway and the cars made contact. Berryhill kept his mount off the wall, while Stewart cut a right rear tire. Stewart was pushed to the work area under the ensuing caution, however his crew was unable to make repairs in time to restart the race, thus surrendering the series point lead.
Rilat took off once again on the restart, holding a ten car-length lead over Wright until lapped traffic once again came into play with six laps to go. Rilat maintained the point, then survived a caution for Roy Larkin's disabled machine with two rounds to go to post the victory aboard the F&J Construction/Haulmark Trailers/Archer Motorsports Eagle.
Wright took the checkered flag in second, with Berryhill claiming third. Nick Smith crossed the stripe in fourth, with 11th-starter Zach Chappell holding off fellow sixth-row starter Cody Branchcomb to round out the top five. Branchcomb was sixth, with Foster Landon, Toby Brown, Derek Drown and 17th-starter Danny Jennings completing the top ten.
Rilat, Berryhill and Stewart topped heat race action.
Rilat departed Joplin with not only the winner's hardware, but a 22 point lead over 2001 ASCS National champion Chappell in the series' points chase as well. Stewart fell from first to third, 28 points off the pace, with Wright just 40 markers out of the lead.
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. Travis Rilat, 2. Gary Wright, 3. Roy Larkin, 4. Robert Sellers, 5. Cody Branchcomb, 6. Jimmy Taylor, 7. Joel Howard.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Aaron Berryhill, 2. Nick Smith, 3. Brian Harvill, 4. Zach Chappell, 5. Derek Drown, 6. Danny Jennings, 7. Larry Carter.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. Darren Stewart, 2. Foster Landon, 3. Toby Brown, 4. Stephanie Chappell, 5. Kevin Ramey, 6. James Shoun.
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. Travis Rilat, 2. Gary Wright, 3. Aaron Berryhill, 4. Nick Smith, 5. Zach Chappell, 6. Cody Branchcomb, 7. Foster Landon, 8. Toby Brown, 9. Derek Drown, 10. Danny Jennings, 11. Kevin Ramey, 12. Robert Sellers, 13. Stephanie Chappell, 14. Joel Howard, 15. James Shoun, 16. Jimmy Taylor, 17. Roy Larkin, 18. Brian Harvill, 19. Darren Stewart, 20. Larry Carter.
O'Reilly ASCS National Points (Top Ten): 1. Travis Rilat 4,186, 2. Zach Chappell 4,164, 3. Darren Stewart 4,158, 4. Gary Wright 4,146, 5. Cody Branchcomb 3,934, 6. Toby Brown 3,741, 7. Shane Stewart 2,212, 8. Rick Behr 1,893, 9. Jimmy Taylor 1,785, 10. Tim Crawley 1,704.
ASCS Sooner Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Kevin Ramey 1,618, 2. Danny Jennings 1,526, 3. Derek Drown 1,462, 4. Brian Harvill 1,409, 5. Robert Sellers 1,338, 6. James Shoun 1,239, 7. Roy Larkin 1,208, 8. Nick Smith 1,100, 9. Stephanie Chappell 1,070, 10. Jimmy Taylor 957.