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Skip Wilson scores “HOT” win in Inaugural ASCS Lone Star Event

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Skip Wilson scores “HOT” win in Inaugural ASCS Lone Star Event


by Lonnie Wheatley


Skip Wilson inked his name into the record books as the first American Sprint Car Series Lone Star Region feature winner by topping the series’ inaugural 25-lap main event Friday night at Heart O’ Texas Speedway.


The veteran shoe hailing from Mesquite, TX, withstood a mid-race bid from Brian McClelland before ultimately taking the checkered flag six car-lengths ahead of Kevin Ramey, who emerged atop a wild scramble for runner-up honors after starting eleventh.


Wilson found the new Heart O’ Texas Speedway configuration, which consists of significantly more banking than in the past along with new clay, to his liking. “I never really could run around the top here, not the way we could tonight,” Wilson explained afterward. “Now, there’s something to hold you up there and you can really get around this place.”


Originally slated to start inside the second row, Wilson shuffled to the front row outside after original front row starter Justin Melton looped it in turn two on the first start and collected Justin Spoerl and Sam Hafertepe, Jr., sending all three machines to the pits for good.


Wilson took quick advantage aboard J.B. Cook’s Speed Specialties-powered Brookhollow Rental Co. No. 65 Avenger, outgunning pole starter Claud Estes for the early lead. Estes tailed the leader for a handful of laps before second row starter McClelland raced into second on the sixth circuit and set his sights on the leader.


With a pair of lapped cars in the mix, McClelland closed in on Wilson’s tail tank on the tenth round. But, Wilson nimbly maneuvered through traffic and began to slip away from McClelland and company on the 12th circuit.


“A time or two I thought somebody might be there, but I was afraid to look down to see,” Wilson commented. “After I got a couple of lapped cars in there, I felt a little bit safer.”


Wilson, who captured his first ASCS win by topping a National feature at Paris, TX, last year, slipped away in the ensuing laps as a torrid battle for the runner-up spot developed between McClelland, Estes and Ramey, who had surged forward from the sixth row.


Ramey finally wrestled the runner-up slot away from fellow two-time ASCS Sooner Region champ McClelland on the 23rd circuit and tried to reel in the leader. Ramey ran out of laps though, falling just a handful of car-lengths short as the checkered flag flew on his first night in a new Maxim.


McClelland settled for the show position in front of Estes, with Matt Clevenger rounding out the top five.


Brad Welborn climbed ten positions from his 16th starting slot to finish sixth, with Gavin Punch in seventh. Eric Baldaccini matched Welborn’s charge by racing from 18th to eighth, with Gulf South championship contender Channin Tankersley rebounding from an early spin to finish ninth. After racing from tenth to win the 15-lap “B” Main, Michael Lang advanced from 17th to complete the top ten.


Clevenger, McClelland, Justin Melton and Punch topped heat race action for the 30-car field, while John Ricketts paced the opening nine circuits of the “B” Main before Michael Lang took command.


The ASCS Lone Star Region completes its inaugural weekend of competition with Saturday night’s card at Cowtown Speedway in Kennedale, TX, which is slated to get under way at 7:00 p.m.


ASCS Lone Star Region Results from Heart O’ Texas Speedway:


Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 31m-Matt Clevenger, 2. 74e-Claud Estes, 3. 71-Channin Tankersley, 4. 14e-Justin Spoerl, 5. 76-John Ricketts, 6. 12-Shawn Mize, 7. 67-Rodney Henderson, 8. 26-Dalton Steed.


Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 87-Brian McClelland, 2. 65-Skip Wilson, 3. 45k-Kolt Walker, 4. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 5. 20-Terry Monroe, 6. 5m-Glenn Martin, 7. 14b-Robert Byrom, 8. 20x-Chad Wilson.


Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 11-Justin Melton, 2. 87x-Billy Melton, 3. 74-Brandon Corn, 4. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 5. 77-Colt Treharn, 6. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 7. 14-Michael Lang.


Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 81au-Gavin Punch, 2. 45-J.P. Bailey, 3. 69h-Larry Howery, 4. 17w-Brad Welborn, 5. 17-Bruce Griffith, Jr., 6. 9-Brian Parker, 7. 25-Robert Sellers.


“B” Feature (15 Laps): 1. 14-Michael Lang, 2. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 3. 76-John Ricketts, 4. 25-Robert Sellers, 5. 20-Terry Monroe, 6. 67-Rodney Henderson, 7. 9-Brian Parker, 8. 77-Colt Treharn, 9. 26-Dalton Steed, 10. 5m-Glenn Martin, 11. 17-Bruce Griffith, Jr., 12. 12-Shawn Mize, 13. 20x-Chad Wilson, 14. 14b-Robert Byrom.


“A” Feature (25 Laps): 1. 65-Skip Wilson, 2. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 3. 87-Brian McClelland, 4. 74e-Claud Estes, 5. 31m-Matt Clevenger, 6. 17w-Brad Welborn, 7. 81au-Gavin Punch, 8. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 9. 71-Channin Tankersley, 10. 14-Michael Lang, 11. 25-Robert Sellers, 12. 45-J.P. Bailey, 13. 74-Brandon Corn, 14. 87x-Billy Melton, 15. 69h-Larry Howery, 16. 76-John Ricketts, 17. 45k-Kolt Walker, 18. 11-Justin Melton, 19. 14e-Justin Spoerl, 20. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr.


ASCS Lone Star Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Skip Wilson 150, 2. Kevin Ramey 146, 3. Brian McClelland 144, 4. Claud Estes 142, 5. Matt Clevenger 140, 6. Brad Welborn 138, 7. Gavin Punch 136, 8. Eric Baldaccini 134, 9. Channin Tankersley 132, 10. Michael Lang 130.

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