Mesquite rounds one, two preview

DEVIL'S BOWL THIS WEEKEND FOR LUCAS OIL ASCS! TULSA, Okla. (March 16, 2009) -- After months of anticipation, it's just about here as the quest for the 2009 Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters championship kicks off...


TULSA, Okla. (March 16, 2009) -- After months of anticipation, it's just about here as the quest for the 2009 Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters championship kicks off with this weekend's 36th Annual Devil's Bowl Speedway Spring Nationals in Mesquite, TX.

A staggering field of approximately 70 or so entries is expected for the two-night stand atop the famed Devil's Bowl clay on Friday and Saturday as the VERSUS Network cameras take in all the action for a tape-delayed telecast.

This weekend's event kicks off a new era of Sprint Car racing, launching a much-anticipated season under the Lucas Oil banner that was announced last August. A whopping $250,000 point fund is in place, with $60,000 earmarked for the series 2009 champion.

Gunning for a second consecutive title is Louisiana's Jason Johnson, who held off four-time series king Gary Wright to take top honors in 2008. The duo of Johnson and Wright has combined to win nine of the last ten ASCS National feature events at Devil's Bowl Speedway.

They'll have their hands full this weekend with a pit area that will be overflowing with top talent from throughout the nation, including another 25 or so competitors that have stated intentions of taking in the full Lucas Oil ASCS slate in 2009.

Those ready for Lucas Oil ASCS title consideration in 2009 include the following:

1 Sean McClelland (Tulsa, OK) -- The former ASCS Sooner Region champ ranked sixth in 2006 National points. Sean is ready for his second full National effort after working the bugs out during a Gulf South double a couple of weeks ago.

1a Robby Wolfgang (Sioux Falls, SD) -- Going Scruffy style by tagging an "a" to the number 1, the 16-year-old will see one new track after another in his first year on the National trail.

2 Kenneth Walker (Sapulpa, OK) -- Set for his second year on Tour after ranking eighth last year.

3d Paul McMahan (Nashville, TN) -- The 2002 STN winner makes his first start in the No. 3d entry this weekend as he kicks off his title pursuit.

4 Eric Baldaccini (Keller, TX) -- A top-five Gulf South finisher at Cleveland, Eric needs a strong start to stay on the road after ranking sixth and picking up Rookie of the Year honors last year.

7 Darren Long (Elida, OH) -- Kicks off his Rookie of the Year campaign with his first visit to Devil's Bowl.

9x Gary Wright (Hooks, TX) -- A sweep of the Gulf South opening weekend on March 6-7 just serves notice that "The Texan" will be hard to top in his bid for an unprecedented fifth series championship. Races under the Lubbock Wrecker Service banner in 2009.

10a Ricky Logan (Little Rock, AR) -- Breaks away from the Saturday Knoxville routine to take on the road.

11 Chad Corken (Highlands Ranch, CO) -- Ready to contend for Rookie of the Year honors after ranking fourth in ASCS Rocky Mountain points last year.

12 Trey Robb (Newcastle, OK) -- The 16-year-old makes his second full National effort, now teamed with past Gulf South champ Jerry Bell.

13 Jesse Hockett (Warsaw, MO) -- Staying sharp by staying busy, "The Rocket" already has a $13,000 ASCS Rebel win in Florida and a non-wing Canyon win at Manzanita.

13m Kathryne Minter (Bedford, TX) -- With past East Bay champ R.J. Johnson spinning the wrenches, the 18-year-old gears up for her second year of National competition.

15s Nick Smith (Broken Arrow, OK) -- Looks for a fourth-consecutive top-ten series ranking after becoming just the 23rd driver in series history to top the 100-features started mark last season.

18 Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS) -- The reigning Short Track Nationals champion guns for the series title in 2009, finished second behind Gary Wright in Gulf South events on March 6-7.

21 Brian Brown (Grain Valley, MO) -- A strong start over the next couple of weeks could force the defending Knoxville Raceway champion's hand. Opened the 2009 season with a Sunday win at Springfield to bring the curtain down on an event that only took four months to get in the books.

23 Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA) -- The first Washington-based team to tackle the Lucas Oil ASCS Series, Seth has ranked among the best of the Northwest over the past three seasons.

29 Travis Rilat (Forney, TX) -- Just 14 features away from becoming the third driver in series history to reach the 300 mark, a deflating left rear cost the 2003 champion a possible Gulf South win at Beaumont on March 6.

41 Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA) -- With fifty-one overall ASCS feature wins over the past three years, the reigning series champion posted a pair of fourth-place finishes in Gulf South action on March 6-7.

53 Jack Dover (Springfield, NE) -- Back from New Zealand to pursue Rookie of the Year honors after earning the Midwest Region championship and National Newcomer of the Year honors in 2008.

55 Donnie Ray Crawford (Tulsa, OK) -- The 2008 SMRS Midget runner-up hooks up with Wade Wiseley's A&W Motorsports team for a run at the Lucas Oil ASCS title in 2009.

57 Shane Stewart (Bixby, OK) -- Shane can shine, especially when teamed with Paul Silva. They'll have things ready to roll just in time.

86 Josh Fisher (Smithton, MO) -- Takes to the Lucas Oil ASCS trail after capturing the Lake Ozark championship in 2008 and National Rookie of the Year honors in 2007.

91 Gary Taylor (Snohomish, WA) -- GT makes his debut aboard the Sparks entry at Devil's Bowl.

93 Dustin Morgan (Collinsville, OK) -- After working out some bugs at Springfield, Dustin is set for his first full winged campaign after several seasons of primarily topless action.

94 Danny Wood (Norman, OK) -- A three-time series runner-up tries for the top spot aboard the familiar H&H entry.

95 Matt Covington (Glenpool, OK) -- The fourth-place Sooner finisher last year goes National in 2009.

97 Aaron Berryhill (Broken Arrow, OK) -- Providing last-lap dramatics at Lake Ozark last year much to Jason Johnson's chagrin, Berryhill is set for his first full Lucas Oil ASCS effort.

99 Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, OK) -- An STN feature starter, Bacon should show Devil's Bowl improvement with functional steering and brakes.

And those are just the likely series championship contenders.

Another 30-40 are likely for this weekend's competition including Zach Chappell, two-time ASCS Northern Plains champion Lee Grosz, two-time ASCS Sooner Region champion Kevin Ramey, ASCS Rocky Mountain Region champion Derrik Ortega and past ASCS Sooner Region champion Danny Jennings among others.

The top four finishers in Friday night's 25-lap preliminary feature will be locked into Saturday night's 30-lap finale, with the balance of the field battling through another full card of heats and "B" Mains to fill out the Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals championship feature event.

The Series:
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters

When & Where:
Friday night, March 20 at 8:00 p.m. -- 36th Annual Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals prelim

Saturday night, March 21 at 8:00 p.m. -- 36th Annual Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals finale

Track Information:
Devil's Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX) -- 0x00bd-mile, high-banked clay oval located six miles east of Dallas' I-635 on US 80, then three miles south on Lawson Road. Track phone: 972-222-2421.

-credit: ascs

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Aaron Berryhill , Brian Brown , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Josh Fisher , Jesse Hockett , Dustin Morgan , Nick Smith , Danny Jennings , Kevin Ramey , Donnie Ray Crawford , Gary Taylor , Matt Covington , Jason Johnson , Sean McClelland