TUNICA, Miss. (July 15, 2004) - Just a few miles from Tunica's riverboat casinos, it was Tim Crawley who cashed in on early leader Travis Rilat's misfortune at Delta Bowl Speedway to become the first repeat winner through five rounds of the 12th...
TUNICA, Miss. (July 15, 2004) - Just a few miles from Tunica's riverboat casinos, it was Tim Crawley who cashed in on early leader Travis Rilat's misfortune at Delta Bowl Speedway to become the first repeat winner through five rounds of the 12th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek by topping Thursday night's 25-lap feature.
While Crawley raced to his 33rd career O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and Classic Trailers feature victory after Rilat exited on the seventh round with a broken u-joint, it was 16-year-old Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., who captured the crowd's attention by racing from 14th to second at the line.
"First off, I've got to thank Travis Rilat, if he wouldn't have broken there was no way we were gonna catch him," Crawley commented in victory lane. "We picked up a vibration over the last few laps, I'm not sure if it was in the motor or if we packed a wheel with mud, that's something we'll have to look at. Either way, we'll take it."
After racing from sixth to second in the evening's second heat race, Crawley led the field to the green flag, with Kansan Tony Bruce, Jr., slated to start to his outside. However, a faulty magneto sent Bruce pitside before action got under way, sliding fourth-starter Rilat into the front row outside slot.
Rilat jumped into the lead at the drop of the green flag and immediately checked out on the field. Rilat had established a straightaway lead over Crawley, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., and Gary Wright by the sixth round when he encountered lapped traffic. Rilat's strong run would come to an early end one lap later when forced to the pit area with a broken u-joint.
At the same time Rilat was coasting off the track, Ernie Ainsworth flipped wildly down the back straightaway, necessitating a red flag. Cody Branchcomb then suffered a broken front axle when he tangled with Steven Tiner and Tim Montgomery as everyone checked up for the red flag. There were no injuries.
Back under way, Crawley set a rapid pace aboard the Dynotech Performance No. 87 Avenger Chassis machine with Hafertepe fending off Wright for second. As Crawley reached lapped traffic at the midway point, Hafertepe closed to within three car-lengths and appeared ready to challenge for his first career ASCS National Tour victory.
Crawley made his way through traffic successfully however and slipped away, as Hafertepe, Wright and Stenhouse diced for second. Wright battled past Hafertepe for second on the 19th round, with Stenhouse following suit one lap later.
The race's final caution appeared with 22 laps in the books when sixth-runner Raymond Stull rolled to a stop in turn four with a flat right front tire, setting up a three-lap dash to the checkered flag.
With a pair of lapped cars separating Crawley from his chasers, it was Stenhouse who brought the crowd to its feet by charging past Wright and both lapped cars in turns one and two to take over second.
Stenhouse set his sights on Crawley but was unable to challenge, settling for a career best ASCS finish. Wright took the show position, wile Garry Lee Maier made a late pass of Hafertepe to snare fourth. Hafertepe rounded out the top five.
Zach Chappell charged from 19th to sixth, with Steven Tiner, A.G. Rains, Josh Howard and Toby Brown completing the top ten.
Bruce, Hafertepe, Rains and Montgomery topped heat race action for the 32-car field, with Josh Howard charging past Mike Ward in lapped traffic on the tenth round en route to winning the 12-lap B Main.
Marshall Skinner escaped injury in a wild turn one flip in the second heat race although his machine was destroyed.
Crawley holds a 12-point lead over Wright entering the final two legs of the 12th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek, with Chappell 20 points back in third and Rilat 30 points back in fourth.
Darren Stewart's Speedweek title hopes took a blow when he scratched after heat race action with driveline woes.
12th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Round 5 Results:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. Tony Bruce, Jr., 2. Steven Tiner, 3. Gary Wright, 4. Raymond Stull, 5. Stephen Chevallier, 6. Wesley Hale, 7. Skip Andrews, 8. Natalie Sather.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 2. Tim Crawley, 3. Dale Howard, 4. Michael Langston, 5. Toby Brown, 6. Jimmy Taylor, 7. Marshall Skinner. DNS: Greg Merritt.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. A.G. Rains, 2. Travis Rilat, 3. Ernie Ainsworth, 4. Cody Branchcomb, 5. Josh Baker, 6. Henry Gustavus, Jr., 7. Corey Bailey, 8. Lee Sowell.
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. Tim Montgomery, 2. Garry Lee Maier, 3. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 4. Mike Ward, 5. Josh Howard, 6. Zach Chappell, 7. Darren Stewart, 8. Terry Gray.
B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Josh Howard, 2. Mike Ward, 3. Zach Chappell, 4. Stephen Chevallier, 5. Natalie Sather, 6. Henry Gustavus, Jr., 7. Josh Baker, 8. Jimmy Taylor, 9. Wesley Hale, 10. Corey Bailey, 11. Lee Sowell, 12. Skip Andrews, 13. Terry Gray. DNS: Marshall Skinner, Darren Stewart, Greg Merritt.
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. Tim Crawley, 2. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 3. Gary Wright, 4. Garry Lee Maier, 5. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 6. Zach Chappell, 7. Steven Tiner, 8. A.G. Rains, 9. Josh Baker, 10. Toby Brown, 11. Stephen Chevallier, 12. Raymond Stull, 13. Tim Montgomery, 14. Travis Rilat, 15. Cody Branchcomb, 16. Ernie Ainsworth, 17. Mike Ward, 18. Michael Langston, 19. Tony Bruce, Jr., 20. Dale Howard.
O'Reilly ASCS National Tour Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Gary Wright 2,690, 2. Travis Rilat 2,662, 3. Zach Chappell 2,588, 4. Darren Stewart 2,551, 5. Garry Lee Maier 2,500, 6. Toby Brown 2,257, 7. A.G. Rains 2,033, 8. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 1,935, 9. Jimmy Taylor 1,879, 10. Natalie Sather 1,770, 11. Cody Branchcomb 1,658, 12. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,279, 13. Jason Martin 1,194, 14. Dale Howard 1,132, 15. Shane Stewart 1,102.
12th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Tim Crawley 714, 2. Gary Wright 702, 3. Zach Chappell 694, 4. Travis Rilat 684, 5. Garry Lee Maier 634, 6. Cody Branchcomb 626, 7. Darren Stewart 625, 8. Dale Howard 604, 9. Mike Ward 589, 10. Toby Brown 564, 11. A.G. Rains 559, 12. Tim Montgomery 556, 13. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 540, 14. Marshall Skinner 537, 15. Josh Howard 510.