By Lonnie Wheatley
TULSA, Okla. (May 2, 2011) – Everyone can go ahead and break out their blue suede shoes, as the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters is set for Saturday night’s Third Annual Rock ‘N Roll 50 atop Riverside Speedway’s storied ¼-mile black gumbo clay oval.
It marks the lone stop of the year at the West Memphis, AR, oval for the nation’s most fiercely competitive touring Sprint Car series and is also the only 50-lap feature event on the ASCS National slate of events.
Fifty laps is a distance that’s been covered just two times in 614 previous ASCS National features dating back to 1992, with both of those taking place at Riverside in the previous two editions of the TBJ Promotions Rock ‘N Roll 50.
And, both previous times, it was three-time ASCS National champion Tim Crawley standing in victory lane at the end of the night with the $6,000 winner’s share and the coveted customized Gibson Guitar trophy.
Crawley will be among a loaded field of competitors Saturday night, all but eight of which will be vying to become the ninth different Lucas Oil ASCS National winner of 2011 in the ninth event of the season.
Four of Crawley’s 42 career ASCS National wins, third best in series history behind Gary Wright (127) and Jason Johnson (49), have taken place at Riverside, including three wins in four features at the Ditch over the past two years. Crawley comes off a season-best fifth-place run in the series most recent event at Little Rock’s I-30 Speedway on April 16.
Crawley is one of several top series contenders trying to break into victory lane for the first time in 2011 along with 2010 points runner-up Brady Bacon, Tony Bruce, Jr., Zach Chappell, Seth Bergman, Dustin Morgan, Danny Wood and Brodix Rookie of the Year contenders Aaron Reutzel and Logan Forler.
The eight winners in eight races thus far includes current points leader Shane Stewart, reigning Lucas Oil Sprint Car champion Jason Johnson, four-time series champion Gary Wright, Johnny Herrera, Jeff Swindell, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., Kyle Larson and Tim Kaeding.
Finishing outside the top five just once in eight main events, 2009 Lucas Oil champ Stewart of Bixby, OK, has opened up a 110-point gap over Albuquerque’s Herrera, who is taking aim at the Lucas Oil Sprint Car title as is third-ranked Jeff Swindell of Bartlett, TN. Swindell, back on the road full-time again for the first time in several years, is just six points behind Herrera.
Crawley is fourth despite using up two of his allotted provisionals already, with Gary Wright cracking the top five after a strong I-30 double. Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Bacon is currently sixth, with the rest of the top ten in driver points including Washington’s Bergman, Reutzel of Clute, TX, Liberal native Tony Bruce, Jr., and 2001 series kingpin Chappell.
While the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National series brings a contingent of heavy hitters to Riverside’s West Memphis, AR, oval on Saturday, a stout group of local competitors will be ready to defend their home turf. A.G. Rains, who has claimed a pair of National wins in the past at Riverside, topped the April 2 weekly event at Riverside over I-30 regular Cody Gardner, Wade Oliver, Dale Howard and Brad Bowden, who led 18 Lucas Oil ASCS laps at I-30 on April 16 before Gary Wright took command.
Tickets for next Saturday night’s Third Annual Rock ‘N Roll 50 are available by checking www.tbjpromotions.com.
Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters
When & Where:
Saturday night, May 7 at 7:30 p.m. – Riverside International Speedway
Riverside Speedway (West Memphis, AR) – 1/4-mile semi-banked gumbo clay oval located west of Memphis, TN, on I-55 to Exit 4 in Arkansas, then 0.3 miles south, then 0.2 miles east on Broadway, then south on Legion Road. Event information is available at www.tbjpromotions.com or by calling the track at 901-508-6200.
Lucas Oil ASCS Riverside International Speedway History:
After taking to the ¼-mile gumbo clay oval on 24 occasions from 1995 to 2005, the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series returned to West Memphis for the first time in nearly five years with Tim Crawley sweeping both nights of the Inaugural Rock ‘N Roll 50 in July 2009. After being rained out early last year, the event was reset for October with Tim Crawley taking a second consecutive Rock ‘N Roll 50 triumph after Tony Bruce, Jr., won the preliminary feature.
Riverside International Speedway ASCS National winners include: Eddie Gallagher 6, Tim Crawley 4, Terry Gray 3, Gary Wright 3, A.G. Rains 2, Pete Braswell 1, Tony Bruce, Jr. 1, Pete Butler 1, Kenny Coke 1, Chad Jones 1, Travis Rilat 1, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 1, Darren Stewart 1, Brooke Tatnell 1, Mike Ward 1.
Riverside International Speedway Lucas Oil ASCS Race-by-Race Winners: Terry Gray (7/8/95), Eddie Gallagher (7/20/96), Pete Braswell (9/14/96), Gary Wright (6/21/97), Brooke Tatnell (9/13/97), Mike Ward (6/20/98), Terry Gray (9/19/98), Chad Jones (6/19/99), Pete Butler (7/24/99), Terry Gray (9/18/99), Kenny Coke (6/24/00), Travis Rilat (7/15/00), Gary Wright (9/16/00), Eddie Gallagher (6/9/01), A.G. Rains (7/14/01), Tim Crawley (9/15/01), Eddie Gallagher (6/1/02), Eddie Gallagher (9/14/02), Eddie Gallagher (5/31/03), Gary Wright (7/19/03), Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (7/17/04), Eddie Gallagher (9/11/04), Darren Stewart (6/4/05), A.G. Rains (9/10/05), Tim Crawley (7/3/09), Tim Crawley (7/4/09), Tony Bruce, Jr. (10/1/10), Tim Crawley (10/2/10).
Current 2011 Points:
Top 15 Driver Points: 1. Shane Stewart (Bixby, OK) 1,072, 2. Johnny Herrera (Albuquerque, NM) 962, 3. Jeff Swindell (Bartlett, TN) 956, 4. Tim Crawley (Benton, AR) 890, 5. Gary Wright (Hooks, TX) 881, 6. Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, OK) 854, 7. Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA) 844, 8. Aaron Reutzel (Clute, TX) 793, 9. Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS) 790, 10. Zach Chappell (Talala, OK) 745, 11. Logan Forler (Eatonville, WA) 707, 12. Dustin Morgan (Tulsa, OK) 690, 13. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (Sunnyvale, TX) 544, 14. Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA) 518, 15. Danny Wood (Norman, OK) 454.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Owner Points (Top 15): 1. Paul Silva #57 – 1,072, 2. Jason Johnson Racing #41 – 1,070, 3. Herrera/Main #45x – 962, 4. Swindell Group #28 – 956, 5. Mike Ward #88 – 890, 6. Bacon/Tel-Star #99 – 854, 7. Petersen Motorsports #23 844, 8. Kenny Reutzel #87 – 793, 9. Bruce Racing #18 – 790, 10. Cooper/Sperry #01/51 – 774, 11. Randy Washburn #0 – 745, 12. Steve Forler #2L – 707, 13. M&M Motorsports #2 – 690 14. Sam Hafertepe #15 – 544, 15. Danny Wood #81 – 454.
Brodix Rookie of the Year Points: 1. Aaron Reutzel (Clute, TX) 793, 2. Logan Forler (Eatonville, WA) 707, 3. Justin Carver (Millington, TN) 325.
2011 Feature Winners:
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Series: Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 1, Johnny Herrera 1, Jason Johnson 1, Tim Kaeding 1, Kyle Larson 1, Shane Stewart 1, Jeff Swindell 1, Gary Wright 1.
Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters – A Look Ahead:
June 4 – I-30 Speedway (Little Rock, AR)
June 10 – Eagle Raceway (Eagle, NE) – VERSUS
June 11 – Eagle Raceway (Eagle, NE) – VERSUS
Lucas Oil ASCS on the Web:
Those unable to catch all the action in person can listen to every Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters live at www.racinboys.com.
Official results, championship point updates, photos and race notes will be available at www.ascsracing.com.
Lucas Oil ASCS on TV:
The Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters will be featured in ten one-hour shows broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on the VERSUS Network and MavTV.
The full schedule of events to be aired on VERSUS and broadcast dates will be released soon.
The events from Thunderbowl Raceway, Kings Speedway and USA Raceway will be aired as follows;
Thunderbowl Raceway (Feb. 9) – 4/23/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
Kings Speedway (Feb. 12) – 5/1/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
USA Raceway (Feb. 18) – 5/29/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
USA Raceway (Feb. 19) – 6/5/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
The Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters is currently slated for 37 nights of racing action at 15 different tracks throughout the nation, with the country’s top Sprint Car drivers set to battle it out for their share of the $250,000 points fund.
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.