The Wright Stuff Prevails in O'Reilly ASCS OKC Action OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (July 30, 2004) - Gary Wright outdueled Shane Stewart over the first half of Friday night's 30-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour...
The Wright Stuff Prevails in O'Reilly ASCS OKC Action
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (July 30, 2004) - Gary Wright outdueled Shane Stewart over the first half of Friday night's 30-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and Classic Trailers feature at State Fair Speedway before checking out in the final rounds to notch his fifth series triumph of the season.
After taking command on the 14th round, Wright raced the checkered flag with a straightaway advantage over defending series champion Travis Rilat to record his 86th career ASCS National victory and extend his series point lead to 28 markers over Rilat.
"The track was a little on the rough side tonight, but I kind of liked it, it was fun," Wright commented in victory lane. "If you hit the holes wrong it would cost you. I got by Shane when he caught the ruts there in three and four and was just lucky nobody was able to get us when we hit 'em wrong."
After charging from sixth to win the evening's second heat race, Tony Bruce, Jr., led the feature field to the green flag with Rilat alongside as Stewart and Wright gridded in the second row. Bruce jumped into the lead as the green flag flew with Stewart storming into second in the first turn. Stewart completed the first round by powering into the lead via the cushion exiting turn four, with Wright dashing underneath Bruce in turn two on the third round to move into second.
Keeping Stewart within several car lengths as lapped traffic came into play after seven rounds, Wright pulled alongside to challenge for the point on the tenth round. Stewart successfully fended off that bid and held a tenuous lead as the pair diced for the lead.
The door opened for Wright on the 14th round when Stewart caught some ruts in turn four while trying to navigate through traffic. As Stewart fought to save his writhing machine, Wright dove to the low side to take command.
Stewart fought right back, charging underneath Wright to take command two rounds later exiting turn two only to have the pass negated when the red flag flew for Zach Chappell, who tumbled over the turn two embankment. Chappell was uninjured.
Wright and Stewart led the way on the restart, with three lapped cars separating the lead duo from Bruce, Rilat, Matt Clevenger and Garry Lee Maier. After a lap 24 caution for Joel Howard's broken front end in turn two, Clevenger's strong run came to an abrupt end when he and Jason Martin tangled on the backstretch with both flipping wildly. Both drivers walked away without injury.
Wright checked out in the final rounds, racing to the checkered flag aboard the Salina-powered Southwest Express/The Shop/Richwood Construction No. 9 Maxim with a straightaway lead over Rilat, who overtook Stewart for the runner-up slot after the final restart.
After starting 11th, Maier took the show position from Stewart on the 26th round, with Stewart settling for fourth. Sean McClelland topped the American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region representatives by charging from 16th to round out the top five.
Current ASCS Sooner Region point leader Andy Shouse raced from 14th to sixth, with Nick Smith in seventh. Kevin Ramey earned Hard Charger honors by advancing from 21st to eighth, with Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores ASCS Gulf South Region regular Ray Allen Kulhanek and 18th-starter Larry Neighbors completing the top ten.
Clevenger, Bruce, Smith, Howard and Rilat topped heat race action for the 37-car field, with Foster Landon and McClelland splitting victory honors in the twin 12-lap B Mains.
A total of nearly $1,300 was raised for the Children's Miracle Network as Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores kicked off its annual fund-raising efforts with Friday night's event.
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. Matt Clevenger, 2. Shane Stewart, 3. Foster Landon, 4. Sean McClelland, 5. Darrell Fletcher, 6. Natalie Sather, 7. A.G. Rains, 8. Earnest Jennings.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Tony Bruce, Jr., 2. Barry McCord, 3. Ray Allen Kulhanek, 4. Brian McClelland, 5. Cody Branchcomb, 6. Toby Brown, 7. Tina Creswell, 8. Koby Barksdale.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. Nick Smith, 2. Gary Wright, 3. J.P. Bailey, 4. Jimmy Taylor, 5. Zach Chappell, 6. Gary Owens, 7. Kevin Ramey.
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. Joel Howard, 2. Matt Folstad, 3. Jason Martin, 4. Andy Shouse, 5. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 6. Danny Jennings, 7. Jeff Leep.
Fifth Heat (8 Laps): 1. Travis Rilat, 2. Garry Lee Maier, 3. Larry Neighbors, 4. Preston Peebles II, 5. Chris Burns, 6. David Lee Lambert, 7. Jeff Dodd.
First B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Foster Landon, 2. Jimmy Taylor, 3. Cody Branchcomb, 4. Gary Owens, 5. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 6. Kevin Ramey, 7. Danny Jennings, 8. A.G. Rains, 9. Darrell Fletcher, 10. Preston Peebles II, 11. Jeff Dodd, 12. Koby Barksdale.
Second B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Sean McClelland, 2. Larry Neighbors, 3. Zach Chappell, 4. Chris Burns, 5. Toby Brown, 6. Natalie Sather, 7. Brian McClelland, 8. Jeff Leep, 9. Tina Creswell, 10. Earnest Jennings, 11. David Lee Lambert.
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. Gary Wright, 2. Travis Rilat, 3. Garry Lee Maier, 4. Shane Stewart, 5. Sean McClelland, 6. Andy Shouse, 7. Nick Smith, 8. Kevin Ramey, 9. Ray Allen Kulhanek, 10. Larry Neighbors, 11. Cody Branchcomb, 12. J.P. Bailey, 13. Matt Folstad, 14. Tony Bruce, Jr., 15. Foster Landon, 16. Matt Clevenger, 17. Jason Martin, 18. Joel Howard, 19. Zach Chappell, 20. Barry McCord, 21. Jimmy Taylor.
O'Reilly ASCS National Tour Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Gary Wright 3,120, 2. Travis Rilat 3,092, 3. Zach Chappell 2,950, 4. Garry Lee Maier 2,859, 5. Darren Stewart 2,551, 6. Toby Brown 2,533, 7. A.G. Rains 2,303, 8. Jimmy Taylor 2,233, 9. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 2,213, 10. Natalie Sather 2,036, 11. Cody Branchcomb 1,894, 12. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,584, 13. Dale Howard 1,343, 14. Jason Martin 1,310, 15. Shane Stewart 1,244.
American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Andy Shouse 1,410, 2. Kevin Ramey 1,390, 3. Sean McClelland 1,356, 4. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,336, 5. Preston Peebles II 1,280, 6. Danny Jennings 1,212, 7. Foster Landon 1,194, 8. Jason Martin 1,098, 9. J.P. Bailey 1,087, 10. Barry McCord 1,044.