By Lonnie Wheatley
TULSA, Okla. (May 31, 2011) – It’s back to action for the nation’s most fiercely competitive touring Sprint Car series as the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National series takes to Little Rock’s I-30 Speedway this Saturday night.
Saturday’s $6,000-to-win tilt marks the first action for the Lucas Oil National series since a two-day Little Rock card in mid-April in which Jeff Swindell debuted his Roush/Yates Ford powered entry with a win and then Gary Wright snapped a victory drought with his 127th career National win.
Through the initial eight nights of Lucas Oil Sprint Car action in 20111, there have been an equal number of winners. In addition to Swindell and Wright, other winners thus far include Jason Johnson, Shane Stewart, Johnny Herrera, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., Tim Kaeding and Kyle Larson.
Absent from that list of winners is Brady Bacon, who topped I-30 Speedway’s June event last year. That marked Bacon’s third consecutive win after sweeping the previous weekend’s Steve King Memorial in Jetmore, KS.
While he didn’t sweep this year’s King event, Bacon did pick up his first win of the year by topping the Sunday night finale in Jetmore. With the Kansas event just a Regional card in 2011, Bacon will still be looking for his first National triumph on Saturday as will local hero Tim Crawley.
Hailing from nearby Benton, AR, three-time National Crawley earned one of his three 2010 wins atop I-30 clay in September.
Entering the weekend with perhaps the hottest hand is Hooks, TX, ace Gary Wright. Since winning the April 16 National card at I-30, “The Texan” has added three more Regional wins including two in Gulf South action this past weekend.
Also being inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame this weekend, Wright has won five of eight events aboard his own familiar No. 9 entry in 2011.
Entering Saturday’s card atop the point charts is Bixby, OK, native Shane Stewart, who looks to add a second title to the one earned in 2009. Stewart is 110 points ahead of Albuquerque’s Johnny Herrera, with Swindell of Bartlett, TN, just six more points back in fourth.
Although shut out of the win column, Crawley holds fourth in points with Wright up to fifth after his strong April weekend at I-30. The balance of the top ten includes Bacon (Broken Arrow, OK), Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA), Tony Bruce, Jr., (Liberal, KS), Zach Chappell (Talala, OK) and Logan Forler (Eatonville, WA). Other full-time Lucas Oil Sprint Car contenders just outside the top ten include Tulsa’s Dustin Morgan, Danny Wood (Norman, OK) and reigning series champion Jason Johnson, who is still in the thick of the owner championship points chase.
Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters
When & Where:
Saturday night, June 4 at 7:30 p.m. – I-30 Speedway
I-30 Speedway (Little Rock, AR) – ¼-mile high-banked clay oval located seven miles southwest of Little Rock off I-30 Exit 126 (Alexander Rd.), then south to frontage road, then east. For more information, contact the track at 501-455-4567 or check http://www.i-30speedway.com/.
Lucas Oil ASCS I-30 Speedway History:
A staple of the ASCS National Series, I-30 Speedway hosted the first official ASCS National event on May 15, 1993, with Memphis shoe Mike Ward dropping in on victory lane. Since that time, 21 different drivers have posted at least one ASCS National win in the 52 events contested at I-30.
Gary Wright has enjoyed the most success at I-30 with 13 triumphs, including one in the April 16 event that snapped a National victory drought that dated back to October of 2009 for “The Texan”.
Last year there were five different winners in as many Lucas Oil Sprint Car features at I-30 Speedway until Brad Sweet made it two wins in as many nights with a $15,000 triumph in the track’s 23rd Annual Short Track Nationals.
Two of last year’s features ran off in non-stop, 35-lap fashion, including a Zach Chappell triumph on April 10 and a Tim Crawley win on August 28. Others winners at I-30 last year included Brady Bacon (June 5) and then Sam Hafertepe, Jr., (October 28) on the opening night of the Short Track Nationals.
Jeff Swindell won this April’s preliminary feature before Wright rediscovered his winning ways atop I-30 clay.
I-30 Speedway Lucas Oil ASCS National winners include: Gary Wright 13, Tim Crawley 5, Garry Lee Maier 4, Terry Gray 3, Jason Johnson 3, Wayne Johnson 3, Mike Ward 3, Tony Bruce, Jr. 2, Travis Rilat 2, Shane Stewart 2, Brad Sweet 2, Brady Bacon 1, Pete Butler 1, Zach Chappell 1, Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 1, Ricky Logan 1, Jason Meyers 1, Eric Sandage 1, Tim Shaffer 1, Nick Smith 1, Jeff Swindell 1.
I-30 Speedway Lucas Oil ASCS Race-by-Race Winners: Mike Ward (5/15/93), Tim Crawley (6/24/93), Terry Gray (7/17/93), Garry Lee Maier (6/18/94), Garry Lee Maier (8/13/94), Terry Gray (5/20/95), Ricky Logan (6/24/95), Gary Wright (7/15/95), Mike Ward (5/18/96), Garry Lee Maier (6/15/96), Garry Lee Maier (8/3/96), Mike Ward (5/17/97), Gary Wright (6/14/97), Wayne Johnson (9/26/97), Wayne Johnson (9/27/97), Gary Wright (5/16/98), Terry Gray (6/13/98), Eric Sandage (8/25/01), Pete Butler (6/22/02), Gary Wright (7/13/02), Gary Wright (9/21/02), Gary Wright (6/21/03), Tim Crawley (7/12/03), Shane Stewart (9/6/03), Gary Wright (6/5/04), Travis Rilat (7/10/04), Gary Wright (8/28/04), Tim Crawley (6/11/05), Gary Wright (7/9/05), Travis Rilat (10/1/05), Jason Johnson (7/29/06), Jason Johnson (4/28/07), Gary Wright (7/14/07), Shane Stewart (10/25/07), Tim Shaffer (10/26/07), Jason Meyers (10/27/07), Nick Smith (4/26/08), Gary Wright (7/12/08), Gary Wright (10/23/08), Tim Crawley (10/24/08), Tony Bruce, Jr. (10/25/08), Wayne Johnson (11/5/09), Jason Johnson (11/6/09), Tony Bruce, Jr. (11/7/09), Zach Chappell (4/10/10), Brady Bacon (6/5/10), Tim Crawley (8/28/10), Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (10/28/10), Brad Sweet (10/29/10), Brad Sweet (10/30/10), Jeff Swindell (4/15/11), Gary Wright (4/16/11).
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 10 – Eagle Raceway (Eagle, NE)
June 11 – Eagle Raceway (Eagle, NE)
July 9 – I-90 Speedway (Hartford, SD)
July 15 – Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, WA)
July 16 – Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, WA) – VERSUS
July 22 – Cottage Grove Speedway (Cottage Grove, OR) – VERSUS
July 23 – Cottage Grove Speedway (Cottage Grove, OR) – VERSUS
July 29 – Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA)
July 30 – Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA)
August 4/6 – 21st Annual ASCS Knoxville Nationals (Knoxville, IA)
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 nine one-hour shows broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on the VERSUS Network and MavTV.
The full schedule according to www.motorsportshour.com is as follows:
Thunderbowl Raceway (Feb. 9) – 4/23/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
Kings Speedway (Feb. 12) – 5/7/11 @ 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
Eagle Raceway (June 10) – 9/11/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
Eagle Raceway (June 11) – 9/18/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
Grays Harbor Raceway (July 16) – 10/30/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
Cottage Grove Speedway (July 22) – 11/6/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
Cottage Grove Speedway (July 23) – TBA
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.