Texarkana race report

Shane Stewart snares O'Reilly ASCS Texarkana triumph. TEXARKANA, Ark. (May 2, 2003) - Shane Stewart outdueled his brother Darren Stewart and Gary Wright Friday night at 67 Texarkana Speedway, battling past his brother Darren for the lead on the...

Shane Stewart snares O'Reilly ASCS Texarkana triumph.

TEXARKANA, Ark. (May 2, 2003) - Shane Stewart outdueled his brother Darren Stewart and Gary Wright Friday night at 67 Texarkana Speedway, battling past his brother Darren for the lead on the 14th round en route to winning the 30-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour feature event presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers.

While Stewart became the fourth different winner in as many races for the O'Reilly ASCS National Tour this season, Wright stayed in the mix throughout with the Stewarts, ultimately claiming the runner-up position and moving atop the 2003 O'Reilly ASCS point standings.

After charging from seventh to win the fourth heat, Wright led the feature field to the green flag with Darren Stewart alongside. Wright jumped into the lead at the drop of the green flag, with Darren Stewart and fourth-starting Shane Stewart in tow. Only one lap was in the books when the red flag made its first appearance, as Chris Sweeney tumbled down the backstretch. Sweeney was uninjured but done for the evening.

Darren Stewart wasted little time racing past Wright for the lead on the restart, setting the pace until the red flag flew again three rounds later when defending ASCS Gulf South Region champion Kelly Angelette flipped in turn one. Angelette was uninjured as well.

Darren Stewart continued to pace the field on the restart, holding off Wright and Shane Stewart, who were battling for position as they shadowed the leader on the quarter-mile oval. Wright momentarily regained the lead entering turn three on the seventh round, but Darren Stewart was able to race back in front exiting the fourth turn.

Shane Stewart slipped around Wright for second on the ninth circuit and immediately began pressuring his younger sibling for the point. Shane's pressure paid off, as he slipped around Darren for the lead on the 14th round.

Shane's charge to victory lane was briefly interrupted after 22 laps when Sam Hafertepe, Jr., spun in turn one. On the ensuing restart, Travis Rilat's sixth-running mount stumbled as the green flag flew, with 2001 ASCS National champion Zach Chappell climbing a wheel and flipping on the frontstretch, sending Chappell pitside for the remainder of the race.

Shane Stewart took off on the restart in the Snyder-powered Pro Lube Center/Sander Engineering/Penske Shocks MCI and notched his first career O'Reilly ASCS National Tour victory by six car-lengths over Wright, who slipped around Darren Stewart to claim runner-up honors in the final rounds. Defending series champion Tim Crawley drove William Hope's machine to a strong fourth place finish, with Toby Brown notching his best finish of the year by rounding out the top five.

Rilat claimed sixth, with Cody Branchcomb the last car on the lead lap in seventh. Todd Johnson, the top finishing ASCS Gulf South Region competitor, earned the race's Hard Charger award by coming from 18th to finish eighth, with fellow Gulf South Region rivals Brandon Berryman and Hafertepe completing the top ten.

Darren Stewart, Crawley, Branchcomb and Wright topped heat race action for the 29-car field, with Angelette claiming B Main victory honors.

-ascs-

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Series Sprint
Drivers Darren Stewart , Cody Branchcomb , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Tim Crawley