OKC-Joplin double preview

TULSA, Okla. (July 26, 2004) - Current O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and Classic Trailers point leader Gary Wright leads the series into this coming weekend's racing action at...

TULSA, Okla. (July 26, 2004) - Current O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and Classic Trailers point leader Gary Wright leads the series into this coming weekend's racing action at Oklahoma City's State Fair Speedway on Friday night and Joplin (MO) 66 Speedway on Saturday night.

Joining the O'Reilly ASCS National forces for both cards will be the competitors of the American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region.

Pursuing his first ASCS National crown, Wright enters the weekend with a meager 24-point lead over Forney, TX, driver Travis Rilat, who edged the veteran Hooks, TX, shoe by just 12 points for the 2003 ASCS National championship.

The winningest driver in O'Reilly ASCS history with 85 National triumphs, Wright has found his way to victory lane on just four occasions thus far in 2004, most recently at Tech Motor Speedway in Lubbock, TX, on July 1, ten events ago. Wright has yet to finish outside the top ten through 20 features however, enabling him to maintain the point lead over Rilat, who has raced to six feature wins. Darren Stewart and Tim Crawley, with three wins apiece, are the only other drivers to post multiple wins so far this season.

Past ASCS winners have been numerous at both Oklahoma City's State Fair Speedway and Joplin 66 Speedway.

Since reconfigured to its current 3/8-mile status, five different drivers have raced to victory lane in eight Oklahoma City ASCS events. Wright has scored three victories, with other winners including Rilat, Shane Stewart and defending ASCS Sooner Region champion Kevin Ramey, each of whom will be shooting for victory lane this weekend. Danny Wood topped the most recent ASCS event at State Fair Speedway on June 25.

Nine different drivers have reached the winner's circle in ten ASCS events at Joplin 66 Speedway, with Wright once again the only to repeat. Wright has two Joplin wins, with other past winners including Rilat (in last season's event, the most recent at Joplin), Garry Lee Maier, Michael Dupuy, Wayne Johnson, Larry Neighbors, Danny Wood, Terry Gray and Mike Peters.

Last year's Joplin outing proved pivotal, as Rilat gained a point lead that he would never relinquish by taking the checkered flag.

While Wright and Rilat are slugging it out for the 2004 title, 2001 series champion Zach Chappell of Talala, OK, remains in contention in third, with Maier and Darren Stewart rounding out the current top five. Carthage, MO, shoe Toby Brown is ranked sixth, with Brodix Rookie of the Year contenders A.G. Rains, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., Jimmy Taylor and Natalie Sather completing the current top ten.

While Ft. Worth's Kevin Ramey is gunning for his second American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region title in a row, it is Oklahoma City's Andy Shouse who leads the Sooner shoes into this weekend's double. Shouse is just 16 points ahead of Ramey, with Sean McClelland (Tulsa), Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS) and Preston Peebles II (Lubbock, TX) rounding out the current top five.

Former Sooner Region champion and four-time State Fair Speedway champion Danny Jennings of Norman, OK, enters the weekend sixth in Sooner Region points, with Foster Landon (Collinsville, OK), Brian Harvill (Irving, TX), Jason Martin (Liberal, KS) and 2001 Sooner kingpin J.P. Bailey (Collinsville, OK) completing the current top ten.

Friday night's card at State Fair Speedway, which also kicks off the Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores annual fund-raising efforts for the Children's Miracle Network, gets under way at 7:30 p.m. State Fair Speedway is located on the Oklahoma State Fair Grounds near the intersection of NW 10th and May Avenue. For more information, contact the track at 405-948-6796.

Saturday's racing action at Joplin 66 Speedway goes green at 6:30 p.m. Joplin 66 Speedway is located five miles north of I-44 Exit 4, then one mile left on W. 7th Street, then left. For more information, contact the track at 417-782-0660.

The 2004 O'Reilly ASCS National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and Classic Trailers consists of nearly 40 nights of racing at 20 different tracks throughout Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

More information about the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.

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Series Sprint
Drivers Darren Stewart , Preston Peebles , Larry Neighbors , Travis Rilat , Danny Jennings , Wayne Johnson , Kevin Ramey , J.P. Bailey , Andy Shouse , Sean McClelland