By Lonnie Wheatley
TULSA, Okla. (March 28, 2011) – After kicking off the 2011 season on the opening weekend of March, the Smiley’s Racing Products ASCS Gulf South Region resumes action with a pair of events this weekend in Waco, TX and Lufkin, TX.
On Friday night, the ASCS Gulf South forces take to Waco’s high-banked, ¼-mile Heart O’ Texas Speedway for a $3,000-to-win affair before moving on to Lufkin’s Speedarama Raceway for a $2,000-to-win tilt on Saturday night.
The ASCS Gulf South Region opened the 2011 season with Sunnyvale, TX, shoe Sam Hafertepe, Jr., besting a 37-car field at Beaumont’s Golden Triangle Raceway Park on March 4. Hafertepe reached the checkered flag in front of Wayne Johnson, Sean McClelland, Brady Bacon and Kevin Ramey in the season opener, with the next night’s card at Highlands’ Battleground Speedway rained out.
With defending ASCS Gulf South champion Ray Allen Kulhanek starting the 2011 season much the way the 2010 championship effort began by missing the opening feature cut, the top-finishing potential ASCS Gulf South contender being Michael McNeil in eighth, with other top series contenders including Chris Sweeney, Greg Rilat, Tommy Bryant, Wes Miller, John Pate, two-time series champ Brandon Berryman, Bruce Crockett, Jimmy Brooks and Channin Tankersley.
The Heart O’ Texas clay oval has been an unpredictable venue in recent years, with nine different winners in as many different events dating back to 2007. Brandon Berryman topped last May’s Gulf South stop at HOT, with Ray Allen Kulhanek prevailing in the Gulf South vs. Lone Star Regional shootout in July.
Heart O’ Texas Speedway has hosted 15 overall ASCS Regional events since 2004 with eleven different drivers posting wins. Past ASCS Sooner and ASCS Lone Star champion has collected four wins at HOT, most recently in September of 2007. Berryman is the only other driver to post multiple HOT scores with Regional clash triumphs in 2007 and then last year.
The semi-banked, ¼-mile Speedarama Raceway clay oval was a part of the ASCS Gulf South Region schedule for the first time in 2010 and offered up three different winners in as many events including Tommy Bryant, Jason Johnson and Andy Shouse.
Friday’s action at Heart O’ Texas Speedway goes green at 8:00 p.m., with Saturday’s card at Speedarama Raceway firing off at 7:00 p.m.
The high-banked, 1/4-mile Heart O’ Texas Speedway clay oval is located in Waco, TX, off I-35 Exit 343, then 0.6 miles north on east frontage road. For more information, contact the track at 254-829-2294.
Speedarama Raceway is located east of Lufkin, TX, on SR 103, just one mile east of Loop 287. For more information, contact the track at 936-328-7571.
The Smiley’s Racing Products ASCS Gulf South Region is slated for 26 nights of racing action at ten different tracks throughout Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi in 2011.
Past ASCS Regional Feature Winners at Heart O’ Texas Speedway:
7/23/10 – Ray Allen Kulhanek (Gulf South vs. Lone Star)
5/14/10 – Brandon Berryman (Gulf South)
4/16/10 – Wayne Johnson (Lone Star)
7/31/09 – Tommy Bryant (Gulf South vs. Lone Star)
6/5/09 – Trey Robb (Gulf South)
4/3/09 – Skip Wilson (Lone Star)
8/22/08 – Greg Rilat (Gulf South)
5/25/08 – Ryan Hall (Gulf South)
9/14/07 – Kevin Ramey (Sooner)
8/31/07 – Brandon Berryman (Gulf South vs. Sooner)
9/15/06 – Kevin Ramey (Gulf South)
7/21/06 – Jason Johnson (Gulf South vs. Sooner Region)
10/15/04 – Kevin Ramey (Gulf South)
9/17/04 – Kevin Ramey (Gulf South)
6/18/04 – Claud Estes (Gulf South)
Past ASCS Gulf South Region Feature Winners at Speedarama Raceway:
9/5/10 – Andy Shouse
5/30/10 – Tommy Bryant
4/24/10 – Jason Johnson
The 2011 season marks the 20th year of sanctioning Sprint Car racing for the American Sprint Car Series, with approximately 200 nights of competition at tracks throughout the nation and into Canada. Anchored by the Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters, ASCS also consists of ten different Regions throughout the nation.
Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.