McClelland the Master in ASCS Sooner Region Lawton Run OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (April 30, 2005) -- Sean McClelland solidified his series point lead by fending off Tony Bruce, Jr.'s advances for the point to capture his third American...
McClelland the Master in ASCS Sooner Region Lawton Run
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (April 30, 2005) -- Sean McClelland solidified his series point lead by fending off Tony Bruce, Jr.'s advances for the point to capture his third American Bank of Oklahoma American Sprint Car Series Sooner Region triumph of the season in Saturday night's 30-lap feature at Lawton Speedway.
McClelland slipped underneath Bruce to take command on the 14th round, then foiled Bruce's tenacious bids for a first career ASCS victory over the final rounds to snare the hard-fought victory, extending his point lead to 32 markers over eleventh place finisher Danny Jennings in the process.
"That was fun!" McClelland exclaimed in victory lane. "Tony's a good guy and a really good racer, I really like him a lot, and I knew he'd race us clean but he definitely made us work for it. Three wins in five races, wow! I'm just really excited right now."
McClelland gridded Kurt Temple's K&N Filters/Pro Shocks/Cloud Nine No. 1 J&J outside the second row in the feature, with Cody Branchcomb and Bruce leading the way to the green flag. Branchcomb gunned into the lead at the drop of the green and raced away to a half straightaway advantage over Bruce, Kevin Ramey, J.P. Bailey and McClelland before the race's only caution flew after three rounds for Eric Baldaccini, who came to a halt in turn one.
Branchcomb took off once again on the ensuing restart, while McClelland immediately raced past Bailey to claim fourth. One lap later, McClelland disposed of Ramey to claim third. Bruce then closed the gap on Branchcomb on the eighth round and took command two laps later. McClelland followed Bruce's lead and charged past Branchcomb for second after two more circuits, as Branchcomb soon faded from contention with power steering woes.
McClelland closed on Bruce's rear bumper and took quick advantage when Bruce slipped high exiting turn four on the 14th round. "We could have won that one, I made that one mistake though and let Sean get by me," Bruce commented afterward.
Bruce kept the pressure on McClelland over the remaining laps as the pair raced to a half-lap advantage over the balance of the field, pulling alongside on several occasions to no avail. Bruce made one final bid on the final round, poking his nose underneath McClelland as the pair exited turn two and charged down the backstretch.
McClelland was not to be denied his third series victory of the season however, and beat Bruce to the line by little more than a car-length. Bailey slipped past Ramey for third on the twelfth round, but Ramey returned the favor with just four laps remaining to snare the show position. Bailey claimed fourth, with Johnny Miller rounding out the top five.
Brian McClelland posted a career-best ASCS Sooner Region finish by advancing from eleventh to cross the stripe in sixth, with Sam Hafertepe, Jr., charging from 15th to finish seventh. Claud Estes took the checkered flag in eighth, with Jason Martin and 19th-starter Gavin Punch completing the top ten.
Branchcomb, Sean McClelland, Bailey and Ramey topped heat race action for the 31-car field, with Baldaccini captured his first ASCS checkered flag by winning the 15-lap B Main.
First Heat (10 Laps): 1. Cody Branchcomb, 2. David Langford, 3. Claud Estes, 4. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 5. Danny Jennings, 6. Gavin Punch, 7. Joel Howard. DNS: Landon Brown.
Second Heat (10 Laps): 1. Sean McClelland, 2. Jason Martin, 3. Andy Shouse, 4. Brian McClelland, 5. David Lee Lambert, 6. Joe Wood, Jr., 7. Robert Byrom, 8. Lee Jennings.
Third Heat (10 Laps): 1. J.P. Bailey, 2. Johnny Miller, 3. Travis Scott, 4. Zach Chappell, 5. Kerry McAlister, 6. Earnest Jennings, 7. Josh Close, 8. Derek Cottrell.
Fourth Heat (10 Laps): 1. Kevin Ramey, 2. Tony Bruce, Jr., 3. Natalie Sather, 4. Eric Baldaccini, 5. Koby Barksdale, 6. Preston Peebles II, 7. Foster Landon.
B Feature (15 Laps): 1. Eric Baldaccini, 2. David Lee Lambert, 3. Gavin Punch, 4. Kerry McAlister, 5. Lee Jennings, 6. Koby Barksdale, 7. Josh Close, 8. Joe Wood, Jr., 9. Derek Cottrell, 10. Preston Peebles II, 11. Joel Howard, 12. Foster Landon, 13. Earnest Jennings. DNS: Robert Byrom, Landon Brown.
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. Sean McClelland, 2. Tony Bruce, Jr., 3. Kevin Ramey, 4. J.P. Bailey, 5. Johnny Miller, 6. Brian McClelland, 7. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 8. Claud Estes, 9. Jason Martin, 10. Gavin Punch, 11. Danny Jennings, 12. Zach Chappell, 13. Andy Shouse, 14. David Langford, 15. Natalie Sather, 16. Cody Branchcomb, 17. Travis Scott, 18. David Lee Lambert, 19. Eric Baldaccini, 20. Kerry McAlister.
American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Sean McClelland 740, 2. Danny Jennings 708, 3. Cody Branchcomb 674, 4. Kerry McAlister 610, 5. J.P. Bailey 593, 6. Brian McClelland 591, 7. Preston Peebles II 583, 8. Foster Landon 542, 9. Andy Shouse 532, 10. Joel Howard 528.