Wright on the Mark in ASCS Mid-South Opener at Swinging Bridge JACKSON, Miss. (April 14, 2006) -- Hooks, TX, ace Gary Wright etched his name into the American Sprint Car Series record books once again by charging to victory lane in...
Wright on the Mark in ASCS Mid-South Opener at Swinging Bridge
JACKSON, Miss. (April 14, 2006) -- Hooks, TX, ace Gary Wright etched his name into the American Sprint Car Series record books once again by charging to victory lane in Friday night's inaugural 30-lap feature event for the all-new ASCS Mid-South Region at Swinging Bridge Raceway.
Starting from the pole position, Wright gunned into the early lead and led in flag-to-flag fashion in the event co-sanctioned with the Southern United Professional Racing (SUPR) sprint car series, lapping all the way up to eighth despite several cautions along the way atop the 1/3-mile clay oval.
"This was our first time here, but in 30 years I've seen so many tracks that there's quite a few that we could compare this one to," Wright commented after the triumph aboard the Wesmar-powered Southwest Express/The Shop/Richwood Construction No. 9 Maxim. "They're all pretty similar, circles of dirt and you turn left at the end of the straightaways."
Wright earned the pole position for the feature by racing from fourth to win the evening's opening heat race, then outgunned second heat race winner Darren Stewart for the point at the drop of the green flag.
Following a lap two caution, the next 16 laps were run in non-stop fashion with Wright amassing a near straightaway lead over Stewart by the time the yellow lights flickered for Brian Dyar, who coasted to a halt in turn four with front end damage after contact with the turn three retaining wall.
As Dyar stopped, brothers Dale Howard and Jan Howard, who had been dicing for third position, tangled in turn two. Both rejoined the chase at the tail.
With three lapped cars separating Wright from Stewart on the restart, defending SUPR champion Michael Herrington quickly battled past A.G. Rains to take the third position. Behind the lead trio, Rains and a resurgent Dale Howard engaged in a wild battle for fourth position, ultimately tangling when they dove for the same spot in turn four and setting up a green-white-checkered dash to the stripe.
While Stewart had eliminated the lapped cars by this time, he was still unable to challenge the leading Wright and settled for second. Herrington took the show position, with Jan Howard climbing back up to fourth. Phillip Faulkner recovered from a lap 23 spin to round out the top five.
Stephen Chevallier snared sixth, with Rains and Dale Howard the final cars on the lead lap. Robert Casada crossed the stripe ninth in his ASCS debut, with Bryce Vowan completing the top ten.
Wright, Stewart and Rains each scored heat race victories.
Action for the ASCS Mid-South Region continues Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. at Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, MS.
ASCS Mid-South Region Results:
First Heat (10 Laps): 1. 9-Gary Wright, 2. 45-Josh Howard, 3. 46-Jan Howard, 4. 7-Michael Herrington, 5. 1h-Tommy Hall, 6. 33-David Bryant, 7. 23-Brian Dyar.
Second Heat (10 Laps): 1. 91-Darren Stewart, 2. 2m-Bryce Vowan, 3. 94c-Stephen Chevallier, 4. 44-Ronny Howard, 5. 0-Andy McElhannon. DNS: 31-Willie Stauffer, Jr., 4-Donny Howard.
Third Heat (10 Laps): 1. 3-A.G. Rains, 2. 47-Dale Howard, 3. 17-Phillip Faulkner, 4. 4x-Josh Lofton, 5. K9-Robert Casada, 6. 46F-Randy Fusi.
"A" Feature (30 Laps): 1. 9-Gary Wright, 2. 91-Darren Stewart, 3. 7-Michael Herrington, 4. 46-Jan Howard, 5. 17-Phillip Faulkner, 6. 94c-Stephen Chevallier, 7. 3-A.G. Rains, 8. 47-Dale Howard, 9. K9-Robert Casada, 10. 2m-Bryce Vowan, 11. 44-Ronny Howard, 12. 31-Willie Stauffer, Jr., 13. 1h-Tommy Hall, 14. 33-David Bryant, 15. 0-Andy McElhannon, 16. 45-Josh Howard, 17. 23-Brian Dyar, 18. 4x-Josh Lofton, 19. 46F-Randy Fusi, 20. 4-Donny Howard.
ASCS Mid-South Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Gary Wright 150, 2. Darren Stewart 146, 3. Michael Herrington 144, 4. Jan Howard 142, 5. Phillip Faulkner 140, 6. Stephen Chevallier 138, 7. A.G. Rains 136, 8. Dale Howard 134, 9. Robert Casada 132, 10. Bryce Vowan 130.