Wright completes O'Reilly ASCS weekend sweep with Riverside romp WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (July 19, 2003) - Gary Wright outdueled Zach Chappell through the first two corners then led the rest of the way to win Saturday night's action-packed 30-lap ...
Wright completes O'Reilly ASCS weekend sweep with Riverside romp
WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (July 19, 2003) - Gary Wright outdueled Zach Chappell through the first two corners then led the rest of the way to win Saturday night's action-packed 30-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour feature presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers at Riverside Speedway. The victory was Wright's tenth of the season in ASCS National Tour competition.
"The track was really fast tonight," stated the Hooks, TX, veteran hotshoe following his 71st career ASCS National triumph. "Some of them struggled with it, but we had a really good car tonight, so I liked the way the track was."
The feature got off to a rough start when front row outside starter Toby Brown bicycled and began to flip entering the first turn. Fourth-starter Raymond Stull had nowhere to go and flipped after colliding with Brown's mount. Stull was done for the night, while Brown restarted at the rear after quick repairs.
The second attempt to start the race was waved off as well for a multi-car tangle in turn three that eliminated Ronny Howard, Jim Bowden and D.J. Masner from competition. While there was extensive damage in both incidents, there were no injuries.
Chappell led the field to the green flag on the ensuing restart with Wright alongside. The duo battled wheel-to-wheel through the first two turns, with Wright edging into the lead off turn two. Wright gradually established a half straightway advantage, with Chappell, Marshall Skinner and eighth-starter Darren Stewart in pursuit.
Wright encountered lapped traffic by the sixth round, and Chappell closed the gap to four car-lengths when a pair of lapped machines briefly slowed Wright's pace on the ninth circuit. Wright worked his way through the lapped cars and was rebuilding his advantage when the red flag flew after eleven rounds for Henry Gustavus' hard first turn endo. Gustavus walked away uninjured.
Wright set a lightning quick pace aboard the Salina-powered Southwest Express/Richwood Construction/The Shop Maxim on the restart, amassing a full straightway lead by the 15th round. Wright had to contend with lapped traffic over the last half of the race, but maintained his healthy lead to the checkered flag.
Stewart battled past Skinner for third on the 14th round, then overtook Chappell to secure the runner-up slot four laps later. Skinner battled past Chappell for the show position in the final rounds, with Chappell settling for fourth. Jody Roland posted a strong finish by rounding out the top five.
After utilizing a provisional starting position following a fuel pick-up problem in the B Feature, Travis Rilat sliced through the field to finish sixth after starting 21st, earning the race's Hard Charger award. Cody Branchcomb raced from 16th to claim seventh, with 14th-starter Mike Ward in eighth. Bryce Vowan recorded a ninth place finish, with fifteen year-old Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., racing from 17th to complete the top ten.
Brown, Wright, Stull and Skinner topped heat race action, with Stenhouse winning the 12-lap B Feature.
First Heat (10 Laps): 1. Toby Brown, 2. Jimmy Taylor, 3. Jody Roland, 4. Mike Ward, 5. Cody Branchcomb, 6. Lee Sowell, 7. Jeff Leach.
Second Heat (10 Laps): 1. Gary Wright, 2. Zach Chappell, 3. Dewayne Prince, 4. Henry Gustavus, 5. Travis Rilat, 6. Ronny Howard, 7. A.G. Rains.
Third Heat (10 Laps): 1. Raymond Stull, 2. Bryce Vowan, 3. Darren Stewart, 4. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 5. Sonny Sayre, 6. Josh Baker.
Fourth Heat (10 Laps): 1. Marshall Skinner, 2. D.J. Masner, 3. Dale Howard, 4. Eddie Gallagher, 5. Shorty Chambliss, 6. Jim Bowden.
B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 2. Sonny Sayre, 3. Jim Bowden, 4. Shorty Chambliss, 5. Ronny Howard, 6. Lee Sowell, 7. Josh Baker, 8. Jeff Leach, 9. Travis Rilat. DNS: A.G. Rains.
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. Gary Wright, 2. Darren Stewart, 3. Marshall Skinner, 4. Zach Chappell, 5. Jody Roland, 6. Travis Rilat, 7. Cody Branchcomb, 8. Mike Ward, 9. Bryce Vowan, 10. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 11. Dewayne Prince, 12. Toby Brown, 13. Sonny Sayre, 14. Shorty Chambliss, 15. Jimmy Taylor, 16. Josh Baker, 17. Henry Gustavus, 18. Eddie Gallagher, 19. Dale Howard, 20. Ronny Howard, 21. Jim Bowden, 22. D.J. Masner, 23. Raymond Stull.
O'Reilly ASCS National Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Darren Stewart 3,642, 2. Travis Rilat 3,604, 3. Zach Chappell 3,588, 4. Gary Wright 3,586, 5. Cody Branchcomb 3,396, 6. Toby Brown 3,195, 7. Shane Stewart 1,948, 8. Rick Behr 1,833, 9. Matt Clevenger 1,642, 10. Tim Crawley 1,410, 11. Nick Smith 1,402, 12. Kevin Ramey 1,358, 13. Jimmy Taylor 1,330, 14. A.G. Rains 1,227, 15. Bryce Vowan 1,059.