OK State Fair race report

Rilat keeps rollin' in O'Reilly ASCS action at OKC OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (May 9, 2003) - Travis Rilat took command at the outset and fought off Darren Stewart's late challenges at State Fair Speedway Friday night to notch his third triumph in the...

Rilat keeps rollin' in O'Reilly ASCS action at OKC

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (May 9, 2003) - Travis Rilat took command at the outset and fought off Darren Stewart's late challenges at State Fair Speedway Friday night to notch his third triumph in the last four O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour features presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers.

After making a last corner pass to nip Shane Stewart at the line to win the second heat race, Rilat led the feature field to the green flag with Sooner Region shoe Travis Scott alongside. Rilat jumped into the lead as the green flag flew, with third-starting Darren Stewart quickly moving into second and sixth-starter Danny Jennings taking over third on the second round.

Surviving a pair of early cautions for spins that sent Marvin Lough and Nick Smith pitside, Rilat paced the field through the early going with Darren Stewart, Jennings and eighth-starter Shane Stewart in pursuit.

Darren Stewart kept Rilat in his sights throughout, moving in closer to challenge as lapped traffic came into play at the midway point. Rilat sliced through lapped traffic quickly, keeping the younger Stewart at bay as the final laps approached.

In the final three rounds, Darren Stewart closed the four car-length gap and challenged Rilat for the point, but Rilat drove the Snyder-powered F&J Construction/Haulmark Trailers/Archer Motorsports Eagle to a car-length victory over Stewart at the checkered flag. "I could hear someone right on me, but I knew that as long as I kept my line I'd probably be alright," stated Rilat, who moved atop the series point standings by just two markers over Darren Stewart.

"I made a run for it, but just couldn't quite get there," said Darren Stewart after his runner-up showing. Defending ASCS Sooner Region champion Jennings topped his Sooner Region foes by taking the show position, while Larry Neighbors took over fourth on the 18th round when Shane Stewart tangled with a lapped car and spun off the track in turn four. Neighbors held fourth to the line, with defending ASCS National champion Tim Crawley turning in the evening's best passing performance by coming from 17th to round out the top five.

ASCS Sooner Region point leader Kevin Ramey charged from 15th to claim sixth, with Nebraska's Billy Alley coming from 11th to claim seventh at the line. Robert Sellers notched eighth, with Kansas drivers Garry Lee Maier and J.D. Johnson completing the top ten.

Nick Smith, Rilat, Scott, Jimmy Taylor and Darren Stewart topped heat race action for the 39-car field, with Ramey and Maier claiming victory honors in the twin 12-lap B Mains.

Zach Chappell and Matt Clevenger both used provisional starting positions to compete in the main event. While Clevenger exited early, Chappell raced from 21st to claim eleventh.

Gary Wright's championship hopes took a severe blow as his tow rig was involved in a traffic accident en route to Oklahoma City. Wright's hauler suffered heavy damage and he was unable to complete the journey from Hooks, TX, to Oklahoma City.

-ascs-

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Series Sprint
Drivers Darren Stewart , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Nick Smith , Danny Jennings , Kevin Ramey , Tim Crawley