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Texan tops ASCoT Opener at East Bay


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Wright Rules O'Reilly ASCoT Season Opener at East Bay



Lonnie Wheatley, TAMPA, Fla. (January 25, 2007) – East Bay Raceway Park's Ninth Annual "King of the 360's" Nationals kicked off Thursday night with three-time and defending O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National champion Gary Wright of Hooks, TX, shunning the notion of retirement by wiring the field in the 25-lap preliminary main event.




After a pair of false starts, Wright outgunned polesitter Nick Smith for the lead at the drop of the green and led the distance in the non-stop affair aboard the Wesmar-powered Richwood Construction No. 9 Maxim to set the tone for an attempt at a fourth consecutive ASCS National title.




"It was tough working traffic those last few laps, I wasn't real sure where to go so I knew the best thing to do was to just keep it on the bottom of the track," Wright commented after his 107th career O'Reilly ASCS National Tour feature win, this one over a diversified field of 73 entries on the opening night of East Bay Raceway Park's 31st Annual Winter Nationals.




Wright and Smith battled wheel-to-wheel entering the opening corner on the first start, only to have it waved off when Gene Lasker flipped entering turn one. Lasker was uninjured but done for the night.




Wright gunned into the lead on the next try only to have the yellow flag fly when Terry Gray spun entering turn three, bringing an early end to the four-time ASCS National champion's night.




The third try proved to be the charm, with Wright gunning into the lead again as Wayne Johnson, who moved into the third slot following Gray's spin after originally starting fifth, slid past Smith for second on the opening circuit.




Wright set a lightning-quick pace on the heavy 1/3-mile dirt oval, reaching traffic by the fifth circuit with Johnson, Smith and defending race winner Terry McCarl in tow. McCarl advanced another position by the tenth round, relegating Smith to fourth.




Wright worked through heavy lapped traffic the rest of the way, keeping Johnson and McCarl at bay. Wright ultimately took the checkered flag with a pair of lapped cars between himself and former ASCS National champion Johnson, who held off a strong bid from McCarl for runner-up honors. Smith was a close fourth.




Tim Shaffer rounded out the top five, with Davie Franek, Jr., Doug Emery, 17th-starter Greg Wilson, Steve Poirier and Pat Cannon completing the top ten.




Heat race wins were claimed by Johnson, Coleman Gulick, Wright, McCarl, Jamie Passmore, Shaffer and Gray, with Wilson, Lasker, Jason Martin and Foster Landon victorious in the four 12-lap "B" Mains.




New York's Justin Barger flipped in turn three on the fourth lap of the evening's opening heat race after contact from Lasker. Barger returned for "B" Main action.




Kevin Job, one of a half dozen Canadian racers in the field, dumped his mount in turn two on the opening lap of the first "B" Main and was done for the night.




Jason Johnson, 2006 O'Reilly ASCoT runner-up and winner of nine National feature events, was plagued by mechanical problems in both his heat race and "B" Main and missed the cut for the feature.




East Bay Raceway Park's "King of the 360's" Nationals, featuring the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour, continues with Friday night's preliminary event that fires off with heat races at 7:00 p.m. The top six drivers in points from the Thursday and Friday preliminary events will be locked into Saturday night's $10,000-to-win Ronald Laney Memorial.




O'Reilly ASCoT East Bay Raceway Park "King of the 360's" Nationals Preliminary Night One Results:




Heat Races (Top 16 in passing points to "A" Main; Balance to 4 "B" Mains)




Brodix Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 94-Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK), 2. 28FM-Steve Poirier (Quebec, CAN), 3. 02-Gene Lasker (Tampa, FL), 4. 4-Danny Smith (Danville, IN), 5. 01-Danny Lasoski (Higginsville, MO), 6. 1-Sean McClelland (Tulsa, OK), 7. 57c-Chris Schmelzle (Victoria, BC, CAN), 8. 93-Wayne Reutimann, Sr. (Zephyrhills, FL), 9. 32-Justin Barger (Montrose, NY), 10. b4-Eric Baldaccini (Keller, TX).




Wesmar-Shaver Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 14-Coleman Gulick (Binghamton, NY), 2. 33-Doug Emery (Nedrow, NY), 3. 00-Danny Martin, Jr. (Sarasota, FL), 4. 19T-Matt Tiffany (Daytona Beach, FL), 5. 3*-Kaley Gharst (Decatur, IL), 6. 69k-John Karklin (Freehold, NY), 7. d12-Doc Sloan (Imperial, MO), 8. 40-Mark Hery (Piqua, OH), 9. 2-Frank Beck III (Riverview, FL), 10. 41-Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA). Disqualified: 11T-T.J. Winegardner (front nose wing extended too far after finishing first).




Brodix Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 9-Gary Wright (Hooks, TX), 2. 91-Darren Stewart (Bixby, OK), 3. 4c-Tyler Godwin (Tampa, FL), 4. 87-George Suprick (Clarks Summit, PA), 5. 17b-Brett Burdette (Milan, IN), 6. 70-Chad Kemenah (Alvada, OH), 7. 50-Stephanie Chappell (Talala, OK), 8. 32d-Stephen Darvalics (Venice, FL), 9. 11-Tyler Thompson (Cape Girardeau, MO), 10. 21v-Brent Vonk (Sioux Falls, SD), 11. 1*-Kent Buckley (Farmington, MO).




Wesmar-Shaver Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 1m-Terry McCarl (Altoona, IA), 2. 71-Wayne Reutimann, Jr. (Zephyrhills, FL), 3. 42-Paulie Milum (Sarasota, FL), 4. 36-Jason Martin (Liberal, KS), 5. 18T-Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS), 6. 20-Frank Carlsson (Oxford, FL), 7. 8m-Tim Holston (Zephyrhills, FL), 8. 35-Brad Best (Tulsa, OK), 9. 1b-Brian Maddox (Brandon, FL), 10. X-Chuck Swenson (Watertown, SD), 11. XX-Tommy Denton (Orange Park, FL).




Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 4J-Jamie Passmore (Rose, OK), 2. 28F-Davie Franek, Jr. (Wantage, NJ), 3. 3-Pat Cannon (Etters, PA), 4. 21x-Kevin Job (Campbellville, ONT), 5. 8b-Alain Bergeron (St. Pierre, QUE ,CAN), 6. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (Sunnyvale, TX), 7. 75-Jesse Hockett (Warsaw, MO), 8. 18-Ryan Roberts (Aurora, NE), 9. 34-Luke Hall (Ludlow Falls, OH), 10. 7-Lance Fassbender (Burnett, WI).




Heat Six (8 Laps): 1. 6-Tim Shaffer (Aliquippa, PA), 2. 5$-Danny Smith (Tulsa, OK), 3. 29-Travis Rilat (Forney, TX), 4. 7s-Jason Sides (Bartlett, TN), 5. 4a-Kenny Adams (Malabar, FL), 6. 42x-Sport Allen (Pinellas Park, FL), 7. 92-Matt Kurtz (Jacksonville, FL), 8. 5c-Dan Carrozza (York, PA), 9. 17bx-Ryan Bickett (Ramona, SD), 10. 0-Glenn Styres (Ohsweken, ONT).




Heat Seven (8 Laps): 1. 10-Terry Gray (Bartlett, TN), 2. 15s-Nick Smith (Broken Arrow, OK), 3. 11F-Foster Landon (Collinsville, OK), 4. w20-Greg Wilson (Benton Ridge, OH), 5. 97-Mike Brecht (Beaver Dam, OH), 6. 25x-Geoff Quackenbush (Pine Island, NY), 7. 79-Davey Sammons (Trenton, NJ), 8. 44J-Abe Sherwood (Tulsa, OK), 9. 52L-Daniel Lampron (St. Hubert, QUE, CAN). DNS: 4R-Robby Vaughn (Mt. Vernon, WA).




Pole Dash (Top 6 in Passing Points from Heat Races; Finishing Order Determines Front Three Rows of "A" Main):




Pole Dash (5 Laps): 1. 15s-Nick Smith (Broken Arrow, OK), 2. 9-Gary Wright (Hooks, TX), 3. 10-Terry Gray (Bartlett, TN), 4. 1m-Terry McCarl (Altoona, IA), 5. 94-Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK), 6. 14-Coleman Gulick (Binghamton, NY).




"B" Mains – Top 2 From Each Advance to "A" Main



First "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. w20-Greg Wilson (Benton Ridge, OH), 2. 87-George Suprick (Clarks Summit, PA), 3. 4c-Tyler Godwin (Tampa, FL), 4. 18T-Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS), 5. 32-Justin Barger (Montrose, NY), 6. 01-Danny Lasoski (Higginsville, MO), 7. 0-Glenn Styres (Ohsweken, ONT), 8. 1-Sean McClelland (Collinsville, OK), 9. 25x-Geoff Quackenbush (Pine Island, NY), 10. 34-Luke Hall (Ludlow Falls, OH), 11. 79-Davey Sammons (Trenton, NJ), 12. 41-Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA), 13. 21x-Kevin Job (Campbellville, ONT). DNS: 44J-Abe Sherwood (Tulsa, OK), 11T-T.J. Winegardner (Pierson, FL).




Second "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 02-Gene Lasker (Tampa, FL), 2. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (Sunnyvale, TX), 3. 29-Travis Rilat (Forney, TX), 4. 71-Wayne Reutimann, Jr. (Zephyrhills, FL), 5. 3*-Kaley Gharst (Decatur, IL), 6. 20-Frank Carlsson (Oxford, FL), 7. 57c-Chris Schmelzle, 8. 8m-Tim Holston (Zephyrhills, FL), 9. 2-Frank Beck III (Riverview, FL), 10. 93-Wayne Reutimann, Sr. (Zephyrhills, FL), 11. 40-Mark Hery (Piqua, OH), 12. 17bx-Ryan Bickett (Ramona, SD), 13. 21v-Brent Vonk (Sioux Falls, SD). DNS: 1*-Kent Buckley (Farmington, MO).




Third "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 36-Jason Martin (Liberal, KS), 2. 42-Paulie Milum (Sarasota, FL), 3. 7s-Jason Sides (Bartlett, TN), 4. 42x-Sport Allen (Pinellas Park, FL), 5. X-Chuck Swenson (Watertown, SD), 6. 69k-John Karklin (Freehold, NY), 7. 8b-Alain Bergeron (St. Piere, QUE, CAN), 8. 50-Stephanie Chappell (Talala, OK), 9. 18-Ryan Roberts (Aurora, NE), 10. 11-Tyler Thompson (Cape Girardeau, MO), 11. 52L-Daniel Lampron (St. Hubert, QUE, CAN), 12. 32d-Stephen Darvalics (Venice, FL), 13. d12-Doc Sloan (Imperial, MO), 14. XX-Tommy Denton (Orange Park, FL).




Fourth "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 11F-Foster Landon (Collinsville, OK), 2. 70-Chad Kemenah (Alvada, OH), 3. 4a-Kenny Adams (Malabar, FL), 4. 75-Jesse Hockett (Warsaw, MO), 5. 97-Mike Brecht (Beaver Dam, OH), 6. 17b-Brett Burdette (Milan, IN), 7. 1b-Brian Maddox (Brandon, FL), 8. 92-Matt Kurtz (Jacksonville, FL), 9. 35-Brad Best (Tulsa, OK), 10. 7-Lance Fassbender (Burnett, WI), 11. 5R-Danny Smith (Tulsa, OK), 12. 5c-Dan Carrozza (York, PA). DNS: B4-Eric Baldaccini (Keller, TX), 4R-Robby Vaughn (Mt. Vernon, WA).




O'Reilly ASCoT "A" Main Event:




"A" Feature (25 Laps): 1. 9-Gary Wright (Hooks, TX), 2. 94-Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK), 3. 1m-Terry McCarl (Altoona, IA), 4. 15s-Nick Smith (Broken Arrow, OK), 5. 6-Tim Shaffer (Aliquippa, PA), 6. 28F-Davie Franek, Jr. (Wantage, NJ), 7. 33-Doug Emery (Nedrow, NY), 8. w20-Greg Wilson (Benton Ridge, OH), 9. 28FM-Steve Poirier (Quebec, CAN), 10. 3-Pat Cannon (Etters, PA), 11. 00-Danny Martin, Jr. (Sarasota, FL), 12. 4-Danny Smith (Danville, IN), 13. 4J-Jamie Passmore (Rose, OK), 14. 91-Darren Stewart (Bixby, OK), 15. 36-Jason Martin (Liberal, KS), 16. 70-Chad Kemenah (Alvada, OH), 17. 11F-Foster Landon (Collinsville, OK), 18. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (Sunnyvale, TX), 19. 75-Jesse Hockett (Warsaw, MO), 20. 19T-Matt Tiffany (Daytona Beach, OK), 21. 87-George Suprick (Clarks Summit, PA), 22. 42-Paulie Milum (Sarasota, FL), 23. 14-Coleman Gulick (Binghamton, NY), 24. 10-Terry Gray (Bartlett, TN), 25. 02-Gene Lasker (Tampa, FL).




Lap Leaders: Gary Wright 1-25.




Note: Jesse Hockett utilized a provisional starting position for the "A" Main.




O'Reilly ASCoT Points (Top Ten): 1. Gary Wright 50, 2. Wayne Johnson 48, 3. Terry McCarl 47, 4. Nick Smith 46, 5. Tim Shaffer 45, 6. Davie Franek, Jr. 44, 7. Doug Emery 43, 8. Greg Wilson 42, 9. Steve Poirier 41, 10. Pat Cannon 40.

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