Wright Pockets $21K with 16th Annual Short Track Nationals Triumph LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (November 1, 2003) - The 16th Annual Team Affiliated Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires came to a spectacular conclusion at I-30 Speedway Saturday...
Wright Pockets $21K with 16th Annual Short Track Nationals Triumph
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (November 1, 2003) - The 16th Annual Team Affiliated Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires came to a spectacular conclusion at I-30 Speedway Saturday night, with Gary Wright racing past Shane Stewart on the 16th round en route to pocketing $21,000 for notching his third career Short Track Nationals triumph. The paycheck for the prestigious 40-lap victory included a $1,000 bonus from Huggins Cams.
"We had a great car tonight and the track was perfect, you could race anywhere from bottom to top," Wright stated after his 22nd feature win of the season. "We made some changes to the car after the dash. I was gaining on Shane in open track early in the race and I thought then that we might have something. Then after I got by him, it seemed like the car just kept getting better," Wright concluded.
After winning the action-filled Pack's Dash for Cash, Friday night winner Travis Rilat led the feature field to the green flag with Tim Montgomery alongside, as Stewart and Wright started in the second row. Rilat led the way into the first corner, but it was third-starter Stewart immediately moving to the high side and blasting into the lead on the opening round.
Stewart paced the opening rounds, with Rilat fending off Wright for second until the red flag flew after four rounds when Tim Crawley and Mike Ward flipped in turn four after contact while battling for sixth. Both returned to action after quick repairs.
Stewart took off on the restart, with Wright riding the rim past Rilat to take command of second on the sixth round, as Garry Lee Maier, Tim Montgomery and Wayne Johnson chased the lead trio.
With Stewart setting the pace, Wright closed to within three car-lengths by the time lapped traffic came into play on the 13th round. Battling through heavy lapped traffic, Wright slipped underneath Stewart in turn four on the 16th lap to claim a lead he would never relinquish.
Wright's victory drive was interrupted by three brief cautions over the final 20 rounds, including the race's final caution after 28 laps when Lewis Jenkins, Jr., came to a stop off turn two while running eighth.
Wright stretched his advantage to more than a half straightway over the final twelve lap charge to the checkered flag, securing the victory aboard the Salina-powered Southwest Express/The Shop/Richwood Construction Maxim. Stewart settled for a strong second place finish in Scott Chilcutt's Wesmar-powered Visit Australia "Down & Dirty Down Under Tour" Maxim.
After racing the final lap and a half in heat race action to secure the 12th starting position for the feature with his machine on fire when an oil line fitting came loose, Eddie Gallagher worked his way up to eighth by the midway point of the main event, then made a late charge to finish third.
Jerrod Hull, who charged from ninth to win the First B Feature, methodically worked his way toward the front from his 15th starting slot, then made a late charge to snare fourth on the final round. After battling amongst the top four most of the race, Rilat settled for fifth.
Johnson crossed the stripe sixth, just ahead of Maier and Montgomery. Claud Estes turned in a strong performance by charging from 20th to finish ninth, with Jesse Hockett completing the top ten.
Heat race victories were claimed by Jenkins, Ward, Marshall Skinner, Paul Sides, Zach Chappell, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., and Steven Tiner. Garry Bell and Micah Schliemann topped the 12-lap C Features, with Hull and Darren Stewart winning the 15-lap B Features.
After an intense three-car battle for the lead in the opening rounds of Pack's Dash for Cash, Rilat led Montgomery, Stewart, Wright and Maier to the line. Crawley was scored sixth after his "Dash" run came to an early end with front end damage following contact while battling for third with Stewart.
First Heat (10 Laps): 1. Lewis Jenkins, Jr., 2. Ryan Coniam, 3. Pete Butler, 4. Jan Howard, 5. Ernie Ainsworth, 6. Micah Schliemann, 7. Robert Bell, 8. Henry Gustavus, Jr.
Second Heat (10 Laps): 1. Mike Ward, 2. Darren Stewart, 3. Joe Bustillos, 4. Zach Pringle, 5. Kenny Coke, 6. Richard Herring, 7. Rob Jenkins. Disqualified: Kevin Ramey (failed to report to scales after finishing third).
Third Heat (10 Laps): 1. Marshall Skinner, 2. Jesse Hockett, 3. Wally Henson, 4. Greg Rilat, 5. Garry Bell, 6. Clint Garner, 7. Sonny Sayre. Disqualified: Billy Alley (failed to report to scales after finishing second).
Fourth Heat (10 Laps): 1. Paul Sides, 2. Nick Smith, 3. Claud Estes, 4. A.G. Rains, 5. Justin Sturch, 6. Brian Bell, 7. Josh Baker, 8. Greg Merritt.
Fifth Heat (10 Laps): 1. Zach Chappell, 2. Toby Brown, 3. Chris Morgan, 4. Ronny Howard, 5. D.J. Masner, 6. Lyle Howey III, 7. Scott Bolden, 8. Jeff Leach.
Sixth Heat (10 Laps): 1. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 2. Eddie Gallagher, 3. Don Droud, Jr., 4. Jerrod Hull, 5. Josh Howard, 6. Skip Wilson, 7. Rick Pringle, 8. Joey Montgomery.
Seventh Heat (10 Laps): 1. Steven Tiner, 2. Wayne Johnson, 3. Wade Oliver, 4. Dale Howard, 5. Dusty Zomer, 6. Joe Young, 7. Josh Higday, 8. Jerry Kamer.
First C Feature (12 Laps): 1. 32-Garry Bell, 2. 65-Skip Wilson, 3. 10h-Richard Herring ($225), 4. 39-Kevin Ramey ($225), 5. 55h-Lyle Howey III ($225), 6. 18-Scott Bolden ($225), 7. 24-Sonny Sayre ($225), 8. 71-Robert Bell ($225), 9. 12m-Greg Merritt ($225), 10. 23-Brian Bell ($225). DNS: 83-Josh Higday ($225), 21c-Joey Montgomery ($225).
Second C Feature (12 Laps): 1. 9m-Micah Schliemann, 2. 45-Josh Howard, 3. 40-Clint Garner ($225), 4. 1z-Dusty Zomer ($225), 5. 12t-Joe Young ($225), 6. 22-Billy Alley ($225), 7. 38-Rick Pringle ($225), 8. 5k-Jerry Kamer ($225), 9. 33-Josh Baker ($225), 10. 6-Henry Gustavus, Jr. ($225), 11. 2-Rob Jenkins ($225). DNS: 17-Jeff Leach ($225).
First B Feature (15 Laps): 1. 50-Jerrod Hull, 2. 26-Marshall Skinner, 3. 40r-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 4. 6h-Wally Henson ($425), 5. 90-Wade Oliver ($400), 6. 65-Skip Wilson ($350), 7. 8z-Zach Pringle ($325), 8. 44-Ronny Howard ($275), 9. 37-Joe Bustillos ($250), 10. 29h-Pete Butler ($250), 11. 46-Jan Howard ($250), 12. 7c-Chris Morgan ($250), 13. 32-Garry Bell ($250). DNS: 8-Ernie Ainsworth ($250).
Second B Feature (15 Laps): 1. 91-Darren Stewart, 2. 61a-Toby Brown, 3. 74e-Claud Estes, 4. 3-A.G. Rains ($425), 5. 47-Dale Howard ($400), 6. D1-D.J. Masner ($350), 7. 9m-Micah Schliemann ($325), 8. 35-Greg Rilat ($275), 9. 6c-Ryan Coniam ($250), 10. 91x-Don Droud, Jr. ($250), 11. 15s-Nick Smith ($250), 12. 24w-Kenny Coke ($250), 13. 4t-Justin Sturch ($250). DNS: 45-Josh Howard ($225).
Pack's Dash for Cash (6 Laps): 1. Travis Rilat ($500), 2. Tim Montgomery ($250), 3. Shane Stewart ($150), 4. Gary Wright ($100), 5. Garry Lee Maier ($100), 6. Tim Crawley ($100).
A Feature (40 Laps - Starting Position in Parenthesis): 1. 9-Gary Wright (4) [$21,000], 2. 4m-Shane Stewart (3) [$8,500]; 3. 1n-Eddie Gallagher (12) [$6,000], 4. 50-Jerrod Hull (15) [$3,500], 5. 29-Travis Rilat (1) [$3,000], 6. 01-Wayne Johnson (9) [$2,000], 7. 11x-Garry Lee Maier (5) [$1,900], 8. 4-Tim Montgomery (2) [$1,875], 9. 74e-Claud Estes (20) [$1,825], 10. 75-Jesse Hockett (10) [$1,800], 11. 26-Marshall Skinner (17) [$1,725], 12. 61a-Toby Brown (18) [$1,700], 13. 1J-Lewis Jenkins, Jr. (13) [$1,675], 14. 77-Tim Crawley (6) [$1,650], 15. 88-Mike Ward (7) [$1,625], 16. 11J-Paul Sides (11) [$1,600], 17. 40x-Steven Tiner (8) [$1,600], 18. 50z-Zach Chappell (14) [$1,600], 19. 91-Darren Stewart (16) [$1,600], 20. 40r-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (19) [$1,600].