Series Mesquite Winter Nationals news 2009-10-06

Lucas Oil Sprint Cars on Deck: Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals! TULSA, Okla. (October 7, 2009) -- Race fans in and around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex will have one last opportunity to catch the nation's most intensely competitive...

Lucas Oil Sprint Cars on Deck: Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals!

TULSA, Okla. (October 7, 2009) -- Race fans in and around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex will have one last opportunity to catch the nation's most intensely competitive Sprint Car series in action next weekend when the Lucas Oil Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters take to the famed Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, TX.

Revisiting the same venue that launched a new era of Sprint Car racing earlier this year in March, the Lucas Oil Sprint Cars tackle the famed half-mile clay oval just east of Dallas next Friday and Saturday, October 16-17, for the 36th Annual Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals.

The Lucas Oil Sprint Cars opened what has been a wildly competitive 2009 campaign with 67 competitors from 17 different states taking in the Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals in March, with Jason Johnson ultimately making his car wide enough down the backstretch to fend off Tony Bruce, Jr., for top honors. To add insult to injury, Bruce's No. 18 entry weighed in just below the required 1,475 lb. minimum afterwards and he was credited with 24th rather than second.

While reigning series champion Johnson won the Spring Nationals finale, it was Oklahoma native Shane Stewart winning the Spring Nationals prelim.

That weekend proved to be a harbinger of things to come, as "The Ragin' Cajun" and "Sugar Shane" have locked horns for the $60,000 series championship, with defending Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals champion Gary Wright in the title mix much of the way as well.

Stewart matched Johnson in the win column with his third triumph of the year in the series most recent outing, a wild night of racing action at Wheatland, Missouri's Lucas Oil Speedway on September 26, to whittle Johnson's advantage to just 22 points with only I-30 Speedway's Short Track Nationals and USA Raceway's Western World Championships remaining after the Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals.

A Northwest journey gone awry dimmed Wright's championship hopes, as "The Texan" has fallen 68 points off of Johnson's lead pace in his bid for a fifth series title.

While Johnson, Stewart and Wright have risen to the top of the point charts, a stellar group of 17 teams have taken in the entire Lucas Oil Sprint Car slate or missed just one event, with another handful of teams taking in the vast majority of the events.

Just behind the lead trio in current points, which will award a total of $250,000 to the final top 15, is 2003 series champion Travis Rilat, with three-time series king Tim Crawley rounding out the current top five.

Leading Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Paul McMahan is currently sixth, with Tony Bruce, Jr., three-time series runner-up Danny Wood, 19-year-old rookie shoe Jack Dover and Jesse Hockett completing the current top ten.

Tulsa racer Sean McClelland is just outside the top ten in eleventh, one spot ahead of fellow Tulsa-area racer Kenneth Walker. Other top Lucas Oil rookie contenders include Ohio's Darren Long, Colorado's Chad Corken, Washington's Seth Bergman and Gavin Punch.

Still ranked 13th after missing the series Lucas Oil Speedway event, Washington native Gary Taylor will reportedly team with Dallas-area contender Brian Parker for the Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals with California's Jonathan Allard taking the wheel of the Bobby Sparks No. 91 entry.

The 36th Annual Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals weekend of activities kicks off with the Third Annual Steve King Foundation Golf Tournament at the Buffalo Creek Golf Club in Rockwall, TX, on Thursday, October 15. More information regarding the Golf Tournament is available at

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

When & Where:
Thursday, October 15 at 12:00 p.m. noon -- 3rd Annual Steve King Foundation Golf Tournament

Friday night, October 16 at 8:00 p.m. -- 36th Annual Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals prelim

Saturday night, October 17 at 8:00 p.m. -- 36th Annual Devil's Bowl Winter 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.

Lucas Oil ASCS Devil's Bowl History:
Devil's Bowl Speedway has been hosting the Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series since 1994, with 20 different drivers scoring at least one victory in 58 feature events. Gary Wright has claimed 19 of his 125 career ASCS National wins at Devil's Bowl, including Winter Nationals triumphs in 2003, 2005 and 2008.

Wright and Jason Johnson have had somewhat of a stranglehold on victory lane at Devil's Bowl over the past couple of seasons, combining to win ten of the last twelve features atop the storied clay oval. Only Tony Bruce, Jr. (a Spring Nationals preliminary winner in 2008) and Shane Stewart (a Spring Nationals preliminary winner this year), have interrupted the Wright-Johnson reign of terror at Da' Bowl.

While Wright topped last year's Winter Nationals to go along with previous victories in 2005 and 2003, Jason Johnson gave car owner Lanny Row his first Winter Nationals triumph in 2007, Travis Rilat topped the event in 2006 and Shane Stewart won the event in 2004.

Devil's Bowl Lucas Oil ASCS winners include: Gary Wright 19, Jason Johnson 7, Wayne Johnson 4, Danny Jennings 3, Kevin Ramey 3, Shane Carson 2, Terry Gray 2, Garry Lee Maier 2, Mike Peters 2, Travis Rilat 2, Shane Stewart 2, Sammy Swindell 2, Tony Bruce, Jr. 1, Tim Crawley 1, Edd French 1, Johnny Herrera 1, Larry Neighbors 1, Alan Payne 1, Jake Peters 1, Mike Ward 1.

-credit: ascs

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Series Sprint
Drivers Sammy Swindell , Larry Neighbors , Jonathan Allard , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Jesse Hockett , Danny Jennings , Wayne Johnson , Johnny Herrera , Kevin Ramey , Gary Taylor , Tim Crawley , Jason Johnson , Sean McClelland