Sooner Region Lawton notes 2004-05-01

Rilat Reels in ASCS Sooner Region Lawton Loot LAWTON, Okla. (May 1, 2004) -- Travis Rilat is getting on a roll. With O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour action rained out Saturday night, Rilat dropped in on the American Bank of ...

Rilat Reels in ASCS Sooner Region Lawton Loot

LAWTON, Okla. (May 1, 2004) -- Travis Rilat is getting on a roll. With O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour action rained out Saturday night, Rilat dropped in on the American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region at Lawton Speedway and posted a hard-fought 30-lap feature victory, in the process foiling Danny Wood's victory lane bid in his return to the cockpit.

Rilat's triumph completed a sweep of the weekend's ASCS racing action after winning the National Tour event at 67 Texarkana Speedway on Friday night, and marked his third consecutive victory in ASCS competition dating back to the April 17 Gulf South Region event in Chatham, LA.

Rilat needed little more than a lap in Saturday night's feature to blast from his sixth starting slot into the lead, withstood a furious mid-race challenge from Garry Lee Maier, then held off Wood in the closing rounds to score a two car-length victory as the checkered flag flew over the Motor Mike-powered F&J Construction/Haulmark Trailers No. 29 Maxim.

While current ASCS Sooner Region point leader Jason Martin led the field to the green flag, it was outside front row starter Nick Smith who took command at the outset when Martin bicycled his machine in the second turn. Rilat quickly disposed of second-row starters Wood and Claud Estes as well Martin to take second on the opening round, then used the cushion through turns one and two to charge past Smith for the lead on the second lap.

With Rilat leading the way in front of Smith, Martin, fifth-starter Maier and Wood, lapped traffic came into play after only five rounds on the fast quarter-mile red clay oval. Smith had closed in on Rilat's tail tank when the first caution appeared for Michael Brown's turn four spin on the ninth round.

Keeping pace with Rilat on the restart, Smith's hopes of repeating his Sooner Region triumph at Lawton Speedway last July were dashed five rounds later when his mount coasted to a halt with mechanical gremlins, handing second to Maier, who had slipped past Martin for position on the tenth round.

Maier blasted underneath Rilat entering turn one on the restart, with Rilat ducking back underneath exiting turn two. The pair battled wheel-to-wheel down the backstretch, with Maier edging into the lead as the duo completed the 14th lap.

Maier's lead was short-lived however, as Rilat would slide back in front in turn two on the 17th circuit. Rilat fought off Maier's counter attack in the next corner, with Maier beginning to lose positions one round later with a deflating right rear tire.

As Rilat battled through heavy lapped traffic, Wood raced past Maier for third on the 20th round then overtook Martin for second three laps later. With a pair of lapped cars separating Rilat from Wood, Wood was in desperate need of a caution to mount a challenge.

That caution appeared when Wood slid into Chuck Swenson's lapped machine in turn two on the 26th lap, sending Swenson tumbling and collecting third-running Martin in the melee. Swenson walked away uninjured, while Martin rejoined the field at the tail. Maier restarted at the rear of the field as well after his crew replaced the right rear tire during the brief stoppage.

Set for a five-lap dash to the stripe, Wood made quick work of a lapped car and set his sights on Rilat. Wood reeled Rilat in with two laps to go and made several bids for the lead to no avail, as Rilat held on to post a slim victory over Wood in his debut aboard the Harvill Industries No. 44.

ASCS National Tour shoe Cody Branchcomb claimed the show position in the Berryman Products machine after starting ninth, while Danny Jennings held off National Tour ace Zach Chappell for fourth. Larry Neighbors raced from 17th to claim sixth, with defending series champion Kevin Ramey utilizing a provisional starting position to charge from 23rd to seventh. Estes, Andy Shouse and 19th-starter Sean McClelland completed the top ten.

Smith, Estes, Maier, Rilat and Jennings topped heat race action for the 34-car field, with Neighbors charging past Brian Harvill on the eighth round en route to winning the 15-lap B Main.

Sam Hafertepe, Jr.'s night came to an early conclusion following a turn two flip in the third heat race. Hafertepe was uninjured.

Results:

First Heat (10 Laps): 1. Nick Smith, 2. Danny Wood, 3. Brian Harvill, 4. Chuck Swenson, 5. Tony Bruce, Jr., 6. Barry McCord, 7. Earnest Jennings.

Second Heat (10 Laps): 1. Claud Estes, 2. Jason Martin, 3. Michael Brown, 4. Preston Peebles II, 5. Natalie Sather, 6. Kevin Ramey, 7. Jeff Leep.

Third Heat (10 Laps): 1. Garry Lee Maier, 2. Andy Shouse, 3. Cody Branchcomb, 4. Jeff Dodd, 5. Gary Owens, 6. James Shoun, 7. Sam Hafertepe, Jr.

Fourth Heat (10 Laps): 1. Travis Rilat, 2. Greg Rilat, 3. Foster Landon, 4. Sean McClelland, 5. James Fabian, 6. Derek Cottrell. Disqualified: Joe Wood, Jr. (failed to report directly to scales)

Fifth Heat (10 Laps): 1. Danny Jennings, 2. Zach Chappell, 3. Rawdy Hull, 4. Larry Neighbors, 5. J.P. Bailey, 6. Travis Scott.

B Feature (15 Laps): 1. Larry Neighbors, 2. Brian Harvill, 3. Sean McClelland, 4. Gary Owens, 5. Tony Bruce, Jr., 6. Preston Peebles II, 7. Barry McCord, 8. Natalie Sather, 9. James Shoun, 10. James Fabian, 11. Kevin Ramey, 12. J.P. Bailey, 13. Derek Cottrell, 14. Jeff Leep, 15. Joe Wood, Jr. DNS: Travis Scott, Earnest Jennings, Sam Hafertepe, Jr.

A Feature (30 Laps): 1. Travis Rilat, 2. Danny Wood, 3. Cody Branchcomb, 4. Danny Jennings, 5. Zach Chappell, 6. Larry Neighbors, 7. Kevin Ramey, 8. Claud Estes, 9. Andy Shouse, 10. Sean McClelland, 11. Garry Lee Maier, 12. Jason Martin, 13. Greg Rilat, 14. Preston Peebles II, 15. Brian Harvill, 16. Jeff Dodd, 17. Rawdy Hull, 18. Michael Brown, 19. Foster Landon, 20. Tony Bruce, Jr., 21. Chuck Swenson, 22. Gary Owens, 23. Nick Smith.

American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Jason Martin 428, 2. Andy Shouse 420, 3. Kevin Ramey 416, 4. Sean McClelland 414, 5. Danny Jennings 406, 6. Tony Bruce, Jr. 394, 7. Foster Landon 384, 8. Preston Peebles II 374, 9. Brian Harvill 372, 10. Rawdy Hull 317.

-ascs-

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Series Sprint
Drivers Preston Peebles , Larry Neighbors , Cody Branchcomb , Travis Rilat , Nick Smith , Danny Jennings , Kevin Ramey , J.P. Bailey , Andy Shouse , Sean McClelland