Stewart Snares COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Round Four at Tri-State POCOLA, Okla. (July 13, 2004) - Darren Stewart hasn't forgotten the fast way around Tri-State Speedway as he topped the Tri-State leg of ASCS Speedweek for the second ...
Stewart Snares COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Round Four at Tri-State
POCOLA, Okla. (July 13, 2004) - Darren Stewart hasn't forgotten the fast way around Tri-State Speedway as he topped the Tri-State leg of ASCS Speedweek for the second consecutive year, becoming the fourth different winner in as many nights of the 12th Annual COMP Cams American Sprint Car Series Speedweek on Tuesday night.
Stewart fought off several strong bids from COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Round Three winner Tim Montgomery before checking out in the final rounds of the 25-lapper to capture his third O'Reilly ASCS National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and Classic Trailers feature victory of the season.
"I don't know if it's the Oklahoma luck, or if it's just that I've got a good group of guys behind me with Bobby (Sparks)," Stewart commented after his second Tri-State Speedway win in a row. "He's one of the best guys you can have working on your car and he just seems to get it dialed in every time we come here. It was the easiest car I think I've ever had to drive."
Stewart made a dramatic charge from fifth to win the evening's third heat race, earning the pole position for the main event with first heat race winner Mike Ward alongside. Stewart jumped into the lead at the drop of the green flag and immediately established a ten car-length advantage over Ward and Montgomery, while fourth-starter Cody Branchcomb fell to mid-pack after a quick 360-degree turn four spin on the second round.
Stewart's near-straightaway advantage was erased after six rounds when the yellow flag flew for Sean McClelland's turn four spin. On the ensuing restart, Montgomery dashed past Ward for second and set his sights on the leader.
Stewart held a six car-length edge at the midway point when Montgomery began to close the gap. With Stewart working the low line, Montgomery worked midway up the track and was challenging for the point when the caution flew after 15 rounds for Jan Howard, who spun to a stop exiting turn four with front end damage.
Montgomery pressured Stewart for the point for several rounds after the caution. Stewart fought off the challenge then pulled away to a comfortable victory aboard the Ostrich-powered Sparks Construction No. 91 Eagle over the final five rounds.
"I knew he (Montgomery) was there, especially after the restart," Stewart commented. "I kind of had to change my line a little bit. Tim's a really good driver, he was fast last night and I knew he'd probably give me a challenge tonight starting right behind me. I knew if I could run smooth for 25 laps, hopefully we'd come out ahead and it all worked out for the best."
Montgomery settled for second behind Stewart, with Ward fighting off Travis Rilat over the final rounds to secure the show position. Rilat claimed fourth after starting 11th, with Toby Brown making a late pass of Garry Lee Maier to round out the top five.
Maier crossed the stripe sixth in front of Jason Martin and Jamie Passmore, with Zach Chappell picking up Hard Charger honors by racing from 17th to ninth. Current series point leader Gary Wright completed the top ten.
Ward, Montgomery and Stewart were heat race winners, with Chappell battling past early leader Sam Hafertepe, Jr., to win the 12-lap B Main.
After finishing eleventh, Tim Crawley escaped the evening with a two-point lead over Rilat through four rounds of the 12th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek, with Wright, Chappell and Stewart all within 14 points of the lead.
12th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Round 4 Results:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. Mike Ward, 2. Jason Martin, 3. Travis Rilat, 4. Cody Branchcomb, 5. A.G. Rains, 6. Sean McClelland, 7. Natalie Sather, 8. Josh Howard, 9. Tony Bruce, Jr.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Tim Montgomery, 2. Garry Lee Maier, 3. Jamie Passmore, 4. Marshall Skinner, 5. Dale Howard, 6. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 7. Josh Baker, 8. Jimmy Taylor. DNS: Terry Gray.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. Darren Stewart, 2. Gary Wright, 3. Toby Brown, 4. Tim Crawley, 5. Jan Howard, 6. Zach Chappell, 7. Larry Neighbors, 8. Ronny Howard. DNS: Kelly Angelette.
B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Zach Chappell, 2. Larry Neighbors, 3. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 4. Tony Bruce, Jr., 5. Natalie Sather, 6. Ronny Howard, 7. Kelly Angelette, 8. Josh Howard, 9. Josh Baker, 10. Jimmy Taylor. DNS: Terry Gray.
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. Darren Stewart, 2. Tim Montgomery, 3. Mike Ward, 4. Travis Rilat, 5. Toby Brown, 6. Garry Lee Maier, 7. Jason Martin, 8. Jamie Passmore, 9. Zach Chappell, 10. Gary Wright, 11. Tim Crawley, 12. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 13. Dale Howard, 14. Cody Branchcomb, 15. Sean McClelland, 16. Marshall Skinner, 17. Larry Neighbors, 18. Tony Bruce, Jr., 19. Natalie Sather, 20. A.G. Rains, 21. Jan Howard.
O'Reilly ASCS National Tour Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Gary Wright 2,546, 2. Travis Rilat 2,540, 3. Darren Stewart 2,476, 4. Zach Chappell 2,450, 5. Garry Lee Maier 2,358, 6. Toby Brown 2,127, 7. A.G. Rains 1,899, 8. Jimmy Taylor 1,804, 9. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 1,795, 10. Natalie Sather 1,695, 11. Cody Branchcomb 1,538, 12. Jason Martin 1,194, 13. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,167, 14. Shane Stewart 1,102, 15. Dale Howard 1,022.
12th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Tim Crawley 564, 2. Travis Rilat 562, 3. Gary Wright 558, 3. Zach Chappell 556, 5. Darren Stewart 550, 6. Cody Branchcomb 506, 7. Dale Howard 494, 8. Garry Lee Maier 492, 9. (tie) Jamie Passmore and Mike Ward 473, 11. Marshall Skinner 462, 12. Jan Howard 441, 13. Toby Brown 434, 14. Tim Montgomery 432, 15. A.G. Rains 425.