Shane Stewart Wins Lucas Oil ASCS Opener at Devil's Bowl! MESQUITE, Texas (March 20, 2009) -- A new era in Sprint Car racing kicked off with the opening night of the 36th Annual Devil's Bowl Speedway Spring Nationals as Oklahoma...
Shane Stewart Wins Lucas Oil ASCS Opener at Devil's Bowl!
MESQUITE, Texas (March 20, 2009) -- A new era in Sprint Car racing kicked off with the opening night of the 36th Annual Devil's Bowl Speedway Spring Nationals as Oklahoma native Shane Stewart raced to victory lane in the season opening 25-lap feature event for the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters.
Stewart raced around early leader Paul McMahan on the tenth round and later held off the closing duo of Gary Wright and Jason Johnson to strike the winning blow in the opening salvo of the Lucas Oil ASCS $60,000 championship points chase.
"This has got to be one of my biggest wins," were the first words out of Stewart's mouth after climbing from Paul Silva's Wesmar-powered ProBilt Construction No. 57 ART-chassis. "Paul and his guys did an unbelievable job, just four days ago the trailer was completely empty and now it's got about all we could need."
Stewart beat four-time series champion Gary Wright to the stripe by two car-lengths, with defending series champion Jason Johnson claiming the show position. Brian Brown snared the fourth and final lock-in position to Saturday night's 30-lap Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals championship feature event by crossing the stripe in fourth.
After starting the feature from the second row inside, Stewart spent the early rounds chasing McMahan, who had outgunned Brown for the lead at the drop of the green.
But, after three quick cautions in the opening handful of laps, Stewart began pressuring McMahan for the point before diving into the lead in turn three on the tenth lap.
"I thought he (McMahan) would be a little stronger than what he was," Stewart explained afterward. "We were just a little tight early, so I knew we'd probably get better as the race went on."
Out front, Stewart worked through traffic adeptly to keep Wright and Johnson at bay in the final rounds en route to his 16th career ASCS National triumph.
"We just need a backup motor and then I'm sure we can stay out here all year and try to keep racking up the points," Stewart commented of his Lucas Oil ASCS title aspirations.
Just as Stewart took command on the tenth circuit, the action immediately behind him for position was intense between McMahan, Wright and Johnson.JWright finally battled into the second position on the 15th round with Johnson following suit. A lap later, McMahan bicycled in turn two and lost three more positions.
Wright, who surrendered the second starting position and was shuffled back to 14th in the grid (last among heat race transfers to the "A" Main) after swapping out powerplants, had wasted little time racing into contention by cracking the top five in Scott Brown's ASI-powered Lubbock Wrecker Service No. 9x Maxim after just five laps.
Wright then took fourth from Brown by the ninth round before surging past both Johnson and McMahan in traffic. Wright closed in on Stewart in the closing circuits before settling for runner-up honors and locking into Saturday's feature in his bid for back-to-back Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals honors.
Working forward from seventh, Johnson kicked off his title defense with a close third-place run in the Wesmar-powered The Shop Motorsports No. 41 Eagle, while Brown took advantage of McMahan's lap 16 slip to snare fourth in the Super Clean No. 21 Maxim.
Riding a wave of 15 consecutive ASCS Regional feature wins into the weekend, New Mexico's Johnny Herrera rounded out the top five just a couple of car lengths behind Brown.
McMahan settled for sixth, with Tony Bruce, Jr., earning KSE Hard Charger honors by racing from 20th to seventh. Jack Dover bounced back from an early stop to snare eighth after starting 18th, while Danny Wood recovered from an early foray off of turn two to claim ninth. After running among the top five in the early stages, Pennsylvania's Trevor Lewis completed the top ten.
Stewart, Wright, Kyle Bellm, Nick Smith, Herrera, Lewis, Aaron Berryhill and Wood topped heat race action for the 65-car field, with Michael Dupuy, Skip Wilson, Dustin Morgan and Dover victorious in the 12-lap "B" Mains.
The red flag flew on the opening lap of the night's eighth and final heat race when Minnesota's Neil Stevens and Nebraska's Mark Pace both flipped wildly in the opening pair of corners after contact. Both drivers emerged relatively unscathed.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters
36th Annual Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals Preliminary Results:
Heat Races (Top 14 in Passing Points to "A" Main; Balance to 4 "B" Mains):
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 57-Shane Stewart, 2. 93-Dustin Morgan, 3. 1-Sean McClelland, 4. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 5. 31m-Matt Clevenger, 6. 22-Koby Barksdale, 7. 2-Kenneth Walker, 8. 50-Stephanie Chappell, 9. 12w-Dale Wester.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 9x-Gary Wright, 2. 13k-Kathryne Minter, 3. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 4. 88-Tim Crawley, 5. 29-Travis Rilat, 6. 9jr-Derek Hagar, 7. 12-Trey Robb, 8. 9-Brian Parker.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 14k-Kyle Bellm, 2. 4c-Mike Chadd, 3. 13-Jesse Hockett, 4. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 5. 53-Jack Dover, 6. 96-Bronson Maeschen, 7. 55-Donnie Ray Crawford, 8. 5m-Glenn Martin.
Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 15s-Nick Smith, 2. 00-Michael Dupuy, 3. 41-Jason Johnson, 4. 15-Kerry McAlister, 5. 23-Seth Bergman, 6. e85-Zach Chappell, 7. 17w-Brad Welborn, 8. 91-Gary Taylor.
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 2. 21-Brian Brown, 3. 81au-Gavin Punch, 4. 12J-Jared Ridge, 5. 7-Darren Long, 6. 87-Billy Melton, 7. 51-Jimmy Brooks, 8. 99-Brady Bacon.
Heat Six (8 Laps): 1. 21L-Trevor Lewis, 2. 11F-Foster Landon, 3. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 4. 27-Andy Shouse, 5. 10a-Ricky Logan, 6. 11-Chad Corken, 7. 14e-Justin Spoerl, 8. 85-Jerry Bell.
Heat Seven (8 Laps): 1. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 2. 3-Mark Shirshekan, 3. 65-Skip Wilson, 4. 10-Bryan Dobesh, 5. 95-Matt Covington, 6. 35-Derrik Ortega, 7. 65g-Jordan Goldesberry, 8. 45-Martin Edwards.
Heat Eight (8 Laps): 1. 94-Danny Wood, 2. 3d-Paul McMahan, 3. 86-Josh Fisher, 4. 4x-Jamie Passmore, 5. 4J-Lee Grosz, 6. 1a-Robby Wolfgang, 7. 2x-Neil Stevens, 8. 31-Mark Pace.
"B" Mains (Top 2 From Each Advance to "A" Main):
First "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 00-Michael Dupuy, 2. 1-Sean McClelland, 3. 13-Jesse Hockett, 4. 22-Koby Barksdale, 5. 4J-Lee Grosz, 6. 96-Bronson Maeschen, 7. 15-Kerry McAlister, 8. 1a-Robby Wolfgang, 9. 12-Trey Robb, 10. 12J-Jared Ridge, 11. 65g-Jordan Goldesberry, 12. 9-Brian Parker. DNS: 91-Gary Taylor.
Second "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 65-Skip Wilson, 2. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 3. e85-Zach Chappell, 4. 88-Tim Crawley, 5. 23-Seth Bergman, 6. 99-Brady Bacon, 7. 55-Donnie Ray Crawford, 8. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 9. 31m-Matt Clevenger, 10. 3-Mark Shirshekan, 11. 9jr-Derek Hagar. DNS: 2x-Neil Stevens, 31-Mark Pace.
Third "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 93-Dustin Morgan, 2. 81au-Gavin Punch, 3. 86-Josh Fisher, 4. 4x-Jamie Passmore, 5. 11-Chad Corken, 6. 7-Darren Long, 7. 10a-Ricky Logan, 8. 27-Andy Shouse, 9. 17w-Brad Welborn, 10. 85-Jerry Bell, 11. 12w-Dale Wester, 12. 45-Martin Edwards. DNS: 51-Jimmy Brooks.
Fourth "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 53-Jack Dover, 2. 11F-Foster Landon, 3. 29-Travis Rilat, 4. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 5. 95-Matt Covington, 6. 14e-Justin Spoerl, 7. 2-Kenneth Walker, 8. 87-Billy Melton, 9. 35-Derrik Ortega, 10. 5m-Glenn Martin 11. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 12. 50-Stephanie Chappell.
36th Annual Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals Preliminary "A" Main Event:
"A" Feature (25 Laps): 1. 57-Shane Stewart, 2. 9x-Gary Wright, 3. 41-Jason Johnson, 4. 21-Brian Brown, 5. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 6. 3d-Paul McMahan, 7. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 8. 53-Jack Dover, 9. 94-Danny Wood, 10. 21L-Trevor Lewis, 11. 15s-Nick Smith, 12. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 13. 00-Michael Dupuy, 14. 10-Bryan Dobesh, 15. 1-Sean McClelland, 16. 81au-Gavin Punch, 17. 11F-Foster Landon, 18. 14k-Kyle Bellm, 19. 93-Dustin Morgan, 20. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 21. 65-Skip Wilson, 22. 50-Stephanie Chappell, 23. 4c-Mike Chadd, 24. 13k-Kathryne Minter.
Lap Leaders: Paul McMahan 1-9, Shane Stewart 10-25.
Note: Stephanie Chappell and Eric Baldaccini utilized provisionals based on 2008 owner's points to start the "A" Main.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters Points (Top 15): 1. Shane Stewart 150, 2. Gary Wright 146, 3. Jason Johnson 144, 4. Brian Brown 142, 5. Johnny Herrera 140, 6. Paul McMahan 138, 7. Tony Bruce, Jr. 136, 8. Jack Dover 134, 9. Danny Wood 132, 10. Trevor Lewis 130, 11. Nick Smith 128, 12. Aaron Berryhill 126, 13. Michael Dupuy 124, 14. Bryan Dobesh 122, 15. Sean McClelland 120.