Short Track Nationals Friday Prelim notes

Rilat treats himself to Friday's Short Track Nationals Halloween Prelim victory LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 31, 2003) - Travis Rilat fought off Mike Ward in the early stages then raced to the checkered flag to win Friday night's 25-lap 16th...

Rilat treats himself to Friday's Short Track Nationals Halloween Prelim victory

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 31, 2003) - Travis Rilat fought off Mike Ward in the early stages then raced to the checkered flag to win Friday night's 25-lap 16th Annual Team Affiliated Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires qualifying feature at I-30 Speedway.

Rilat adeptly maneuvered around a pair of lapped cars in the final laps to take the checkered flag ahead of Tim Crawley, who battled past Ward for the second and final transfer position to Saturday night's $20,000-to-win Short Track Nationals finale. Rilat and Crawley join Shane Stewart, Gary Wright, Tim Montgomery and Garry Lee Maier in Saturday night's Pack's Dash for Cash, which determines their starting positions in Saturday's main event.

"Mike Ward was tough early, it was wheel-to-wheel for a while," Rilat commented following the victory. "We got to a couple of lapped cars there at the end, but I was just playing it cool. We'd built a little bit of a lead by that time, so we were alright," Rilat concluded.

After charging from seventh to finish second behind Ward in the third of seven heat races, Rilat led the feature field to the green flag with Ward alongside. Rilat gained the early advantage, with Ward applying heavy pressure over the early rounds as Crawley, Eddie Gallagher and Ernie Ainsworth pursued the lead duo.

After a pair of lap four cautions, the red flag flew with five rounds in the books when Clint Garner vaulted end-over-end over off the turn two embankment. Garner climbed from his machine uninjured.

Following the red flag stoppage, Rilat slipped away from his pursuers, leaving Ward and Crawley to battle for second. Ward and Crawley raced wheel-to-wheel for several rounds before Crawley took command of second on the 12th circuit.

Rilat held a safe advantage until he approached a pair of lapped machines on the 19th round. Crawley closed to within several car lengths before Rilat made quick work of the traffic and raced to the checkered flag unchallenged aboard the F&J Construction/Archer Motorsports/Haulmark Trailers Eagle.

Crawley took the second transfer to Saturday's finale, with Eddie Gallagher slipping around Ward on the 21st lap to snare the show position. Ward crossed the stripe in fourth, with Wayne Johnson rounding out the top five. Pete Butler came from twelfth to claim sixth in front of Paul Sides and Jerrod Hull. Toby Brown turned in the evening's best passing performance by racing from 18th to finish ninth, with Ainsworth completing the top ten.

Johnson, Crawley, Ward, Gallagher, Ainsworth, Sides and Jesse Hockett topped heat race action for the 53-car field, with Kevin Ramey, Darren Stewart and Dale Howard winning the three 12-lap B Features.

Rob Jenkins, Don Droud, Jr., and Zach Pringle joined Garner among the evening's flip victims. There were no injuries.


First Heat (10 Laps): 1. Wayne Johnson, 2. Jan Howard, 3. Zach Chappell, 4. Skip Wilson, 5. Ronny Howard, 6. Lewis Jenkins, Jr., 7. Zach Pringle, 8. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

Second Heat (10 Laps): 1. Tim Crawley, 2. Pete Butler, 3. Steven Tiner, 4. Nick Smith, 5. Toby Brown, 6. Greg Rilat, 7. Greg Merritt, 8. Micah Schliemann.

Third Heat (10 Laps): 1. Mike Ward, 2. Travis Rilat, 3. Ryan Coniam, 4. Rick Pringle, 5. Josh Higday, 6. Justin Sturch, 7. Jeff Leach, 8. Rob Jenkins.

Fourth Heat (10 Laps): 1. Eddie Gallagher, 2. Clint Garner, 3. Jerrod Hull, 4. Wade Oliver, 5. Joe Bustillos, 6. Robert Bell, 7. Richard Herring, 8. Dusty Zomer.

Fifth Heat (10 Laps): 1. Ernie Ainsworth, 2. Kevin Ramey, 3. Marshall Skinner, 4. Darren Stewart, 5. Scott Bolden, 6. Josh Baker, 7. Billy Alley.

Sixth Heat (10 Laps): 1. Paul Sides, 2. A.G. Rains, 3. Kenny Coke, 4. Joe Young, 5. Joey Montgomery, 6. Lyle Howey III, 7. Jerry Kamer.

Seventh Heat (10 Laps): 1. Jesse Hockett, 2. Dale Howard, 3. Don Droud, Jr., 4. Josh Howard, 5. Garry Bell, 6. Sonny Sayre, 7. Brian Bell.

First B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Kevin Ramey, 2. Toby Brown, 3. Nick Smith, 4. Micah Schliemann, 5. Garry Bell, 6. Sonny Sayre, 7. Robert Bell, 8. Greg Merritt, 9. Joe Young, 10. Jerry Kamer, 11. Don Droud, Jr., 12. Marshall Skinner, 13. Ronny Howard.

Second B Feature (12 Laps): 1. A.G. Rains, 2. Darren Stewart, 3. Josh Howard, 4. Wade Oliver, 5. Lewis Jenkins, Jr., 6. Josh Higday, 7. Rick Pringle, 8. Greg Rilat, 9. Josh Baker, 10. Richard Herring, 11. Jeff Leach. DNS: Brian Bell, Rob Jenkins.

Third B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Dale Howard, 2. Ryan Coniam, 3. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 4. Skip Wilson, 5. Dusty Zomer, 6. Kenny Coke, 7. Billy Alley, 8. Justin Sturch, 9. Lyle Howey III, 10. Joe Bustillos, 11. Scott Bolden, 12. Zach Pringle. DNS: Joey Montgomery.

A Feature (25 Laps - Starting Position in Parenthesis): 1. 29-Travis Rilat (1), 2. 77-Tim Crawley (3), 3. 1n-Eddie Gallagher (4), 4. 88-Mike Ward (2), 5. 01-Wayne Johnson (6), 6. 29h-Pete Butler (12), 7. Paul Sides (9), 8. 50-Jerrod Hull (8), 9. 61a-Toby Brown (18), 10. 8-Ernie Ainsworth (5), 11. 40x-Steven Tiner (14), 12. 75-Jesse Hockett (10), 13. 39-Kevin Ramey (15), 14. 40-Clint Garner (7), 15. 91-Darren Stewart (16), 16. 50z-Zach Chappell (11), 17. 46-Jan Howard (13), 18. 3-A.G. Rains (19), 19. 6c-Ryan Coniam (20), 20. 47-Dale Howard (17).


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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Darren Stewart , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Jesse Hockett , Nick Smith , Wayne Johnson , Kevin Ramey , Tim Crawley