Wright Rules O'Reilly ASCS at MMP MEMPHIS, Tenn. (September 10, 2004) - Gary Wright turned in a dominant performance in Friday night's 30-lap feature at Memphis Motorsports Park to post his eighth O'Reilly American ...
Wright Rules O'Reilly ASCS at MMP
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (September 10, 2004) - Gary Wright turned in a dominant performance in Friday night's 30-lap feature at Memphis Motorsports Park to post his eighth O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and Classic Trailers feature victory of the season.
With just a half dozen events remaining on the 2004 ASCS National slate, Wright moved closer to his first ASCS championship by extending his point lead to 108 markers over Travis Rilat, who finished fifth Friday night.
Rilat, the defending series champion, led the feature field to the green flag, but it was outside front row starter Wright jumping into the early lead as Rilat slipped to fourth on the opening circuit behind Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., and Terry Gray.
As the leaders exited the fourth corner on the second round, Stenhouse began to loop his machine in front of the field, collecting fourth and fifth runners Rilat and Darren Stewart. All three managed to keep their mounts going and kept their position when the caution flew for Henry Gustavus, Jr., who came to a stop on the backstretch with race-ending mechanical woes.
Back under way, Wright drove the Wesmar-powered Southwest Express/The Shop/Richwood Construction No. 9 Maxim to a straightaway advantage over Stenhouse and Gray by the time lapped traffic came into play on the sixth round.
Wright worked through traffic until the race's final caution flew at the midway point for Stewart, who spun in turn four while running seventh.
With a clear track, Wright once again raced to a straightaway lead in short order. Despite lapped traffic over the final eight rounds, Wright cruised to his 89th career ASCS National Tour checkered flag undeterred.
Behind Wright, Stenhouse and Gray engaged in a torrid battle for second with Marshall Skinner laying in wait. Gray appeared to get the best of Stenhouse as the pair diced through traffic in turn two on the 28th lap, only to have Stenhouse battle back ahead in turns three and four.
Stenhouse held off Gray over the final round to snare the runner-up position by a car-length over Gray, with Skinner crossing the stripe in fourth. Rilat rounded out the top five, with 12th-starter Jan Howard in sixth. Eddie Gallagher claimed seventh, while Stewart rebounded from his mid-race spin to nip Dale Howard at the line for eighth. Sixteenth-starter Mike Ward completed the top ten.
Stenhouse, Gray, D. Howard, Rilat and Wright topped heat race action for the 40-car field, with Zach Chappell and Ward winning the twin 12-lap B Mains.
Toby Brown started the main event as first alternate when Paul Sides scratched, while Cody Branchcomb utilized a provisional starting position for the main event.
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 2. Jimmy Taylor, 3. D.J. Masner, 4. Natalie Sather, 5. Henry Gustavus, Jr., 6. Travis Senter, Jr., 7. Skip Andrews. DNS: Bryce Vowan.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Terry Gray, 2. Ernie Ainsworth, 3. Darren Stewart, 4. A.G. Rains, 5. Kenny Coke, 6. Paul Sides, 7. Justin Sturch, 8. Cody Branchcomb.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. Dale Howard, 2. Bennie Chesteen, 3. Jan Howard, 4. Raymond Stull, 5. Terry Hinck, 6. Josh Baker, 7. Hunter Schuerenberg, 8. Damon Tillman.
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. Travis Rilat, 2. Marshall Skinner, 3. Zach Chappell, 4. Dewayne Prince, 5. Ronny Howard, 6. Josh Howard, 7. Jamie McDonald, 8. Mike McElya.
Fifth Heat (8 Laps): 1. Gary Wright, 2. Eddie Gallagher, 3. Chad Jones, 4. Mike Ward, 5. Robert Gant, 6. Toby Brown, 7. Tim Crawley, 8. Kevin Gaut.
First B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Zach Chappell, 2. Henry Gustavus, Jr., 3. Tim Crawley, 4. Toby Brown, 5. Terry Hinck, 6. Kenny Coke, 7. Natalie Sather, 8. Kevin Gaut, 9. Ronny Howard, 10. Jamie McDonald, 11. Damon Tillman, 12. Justin Sturch, 13. Josh Baker.
Second B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Mike Ward, 2. Dewayne Prince, 3. Paul Sides, 4. A.G. Rains, 5. Raymond Stull, 6. Mike McElya, 7. Travis Senter, Jr., 8. Cody Branchcomb, 9. Hunter Schuerenberg, 10. Skip Andrews, 11. Robert Gant, 12. Josh Howard. DNS: Bryce Vowan.
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. Gary Wright, 2. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 3. Terry Gray, 4. Marshall Skinner, 5. Travis Rilat, 6. Jan Howard, 7. Eddie Gallagher, 8. Darren Stewart, 9. Dale Howard, 10. Mike Ward, 11. Chad Jones, 12. Tim Crawley, 13. Zach Chappell, 14. Cody Branchcomb, 15. Dewayne Prince, 16. Toby Brown, 17. Ernie Ainsworth, 18. D.J. Masner, 19. Jimmy Taylor, 20. Henry Gustavus, Jr.
O'Reilly ASCS National Tour Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Gary Wright 4,056, 2. Travis Rilat 3,948, 3. Zach Chappell 3,816, 4. Toby Brown 3,327, 5. Garry Lee Maier 3,275, 6. Darren Stewart 3,263, 7. A.G. Rains 3,050, 8. Jimmy Taylor 2,822, 9. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 2,812, 10. Cody Branchcomb 2,690, 11. Natalie Sather 2,411, 12. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,953, 13. Shane Stewart 1,694, 14. Marshall Skinner 1,622, 15. Tim Crawley 1,587.