Sooner Region 81 Speedway race notes

Shouse Strikes Blow for ASCS in Wichita Challenge vs. NCRA WICHITA, Kan. (May 9, 2004) -- Oklahoma City's Andy Shouse struck a blow for the American Sprint Car Series while at the same time solidly entrenching himself as a leading ...

Shouse Strikes Blow for ASCS in Wichita Challenge vs. NCRA

WICHITA, Kan. (May 9, 2004) -- Oklahoma City's Andy Shouse struck a blow for the American Sprint Car Series while at the same time solidly entrenching himself as a leading contender for the 2004 American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region championship by topping Sunday night's 25-lap ASCS Sooner Region vs. O'Reilly NCRA 360 Sprint Car series feature at 81 Speedway.

Shouse inherited the lead on the 19th round when race-long leader Garry Lee Maier tagged an infield tire exiting turn two and spun to a stop along the backstretch with race-ending front-end damage. Ironically, Maier had picked up his first victory of the year just 24 hours earlier under similar circumstances at Enid Motor Speedway.

Shouse then held off the fast-closing duo of Derek Drown and Kevin Ramey over the final rounds to post the landmark victory aboard the Allen Competition Engines No. 27 Smiley's Race Products/Eskridge Auto Group Maxim.

"The track really started taking rubber and the car kept getting tighter and tighter," Shouse explained in victory lane. "It was pushing so hard we burned the right front tire off. Luckily, we were able to hang on. It's great to get this win."

While Shouse gridded the Mother's Day feature third, Maier led the field to the green flag after coming from sixth to make a last lap pass of Jason Martin to win the evening's second heat race. Maier outgunned fellow front row starter C.J. Johnson to snare the early lead, with Shouse quickly moving into second.

Several cautions slowed the early going, including turn two spins by Sean McClelland and Martin in the first four laps. Two laps later, moments after surrendering third to Danny Jennings, Johnson spun to a halt on the backstretch after contact with Steve King.

After two more brief stoppages for a turn two tangle involving Jake Martens and Chris Morgan on the tenth round and a J.D. Johnson spin with thirteen laps in the books, Maier set the pace with Shouse, Jennings, King and Drown in tow.

The complexion of the race would change dramatically six circuits later when Maier's apparent victory drive came to an early end after his turn two tango with an infield tire. On the ensuing restart, Jennings surrendered second position with a blown rear end.

With Maier and Jennings out of the race, Shouse quickly raced to nearly a half straightaway advantage over Drown, King, Ramey and Tony Bruce, Jr. However, Shouse's lead soon began to diminish when his mount developed a push in the final five rounds.

With two-time top-five ASCS Sooner Region points finisher Drown and defending Sooner Region champion Ramey nipping at his heels, Shouse took the checkered flag with a mere two car-length advantage over Drown, who edged Ramey for the runner-up slot.

After starting 14th, Bruce ducked underneath King in the final corner to snare fourth, while King held off current series point leader Martin at the line by inches to round out the top five. Martin recovered from his early spin to claim sixth, with Mike Woodruff in seventh. Rookie contender Preston Peebles II posted his first career ASCS top-ten feature finish by crossing the stripe in eighth, with Jon Freeman and Mike Peters advancing from 18th and 17th, respectively, to complete the top ten.

Jennings, Maier, McClelland and C.J. Johnson topped heat race action for the competitive 34-car field, with Peters winning the 12-lap B Main.

Results:

First Heat (8 Laps): 1. Danny Jennings, 2. Preston Peebles II, 3. Steve King, 4. Mike Woodruff, 5. Luke Cranston, 6. Chris Morgan, 7. Earnest Jennings, 8. Natalie Sather, 9. Abe Sherwood.

Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Garry Lee Maier, 2. Jason Martin, 3. Shane Howard, 4. J.D. Johnson, 5. A.J. Selenke, 6. Mike Peters, 7. Kevin Hulse, 8. Allan Unruh, 9. Bill Cohee, Jr.

Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. Sean McClelland, 2. Derek Drown, 3. Kevin Ramey, 4. Jake Martens, 5. Jon Freeman, 6. Barry McCord, 7. Kerry McAlister, 8. David Wheeler.

Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. C.J. Johnson, 2. Andy Shouse, 3. Tony Bruce, Jr., 4. Foster Landon, 5. Jesse Hockett, 6. Stuart Snyder, 7. Dennis Park, 8. Rick England.

B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Mike Peters, 2. Jon Freeman, 3. Chris Morgan, 4. Dennis Park, 5. Jesse Hockett, 6. A.J. Selenke, 7. Kevin Hulse, 8. David Wheeler, 9. Earnest Jennings, 10. Barry McCord, 11. Stuart Snyder, 12. Kerry McAlister, 13. Luke Cranston, 14. Allan Unruh, 15. Abe Sherwood, 16. Natalie Sather, 17. Rick England. DNS: Bill Cohee, Jr.

A Feature (25 Laps): 1. Andy Shouse, 2. Derek Drown, 3. Kevin Ramey, 4. Tony Bruce, Jr., 5. Steve King, 6. Jason Martin, 7. Mike Woodruff, 8. Preston Peebles II, 9. Jon Freeman, 10. Mike Peters, 11. Foster Landon, 12. Shane Howard, 13. J.D. Johnson, 14. Danny Jennings, 15. Garry Lee Maier, 16. Chris Morgan, 17. Jake Martens, 18. C.J. Johnson, 19. Sean McClelland, 20. Dennis Park.

American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Jason Martin 716, 2. Andy Shouse 708, 3. Kevin Ramey 700, 4. Tony Bruce, Jr. 680, 5. Sean McClelland 672, 6. Danny Jennings 660, 7. Foster Landon 656, 8. Preston Peebles II 640, 9. Brian Harvill 498, 10. Barry McCord 461.

-ascs-

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Series Sprint
Drivers Preston Peebles , Mike Woodruff , Jesse Hockett , Shane Howard , Danny Jennings , C.J. Johnson , Stuart Snyder , Kevin Ramey , Chris Morgan , Andy Shouse , Sean McClelland , David Wheeler