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With eight different winners through the opening ten O'Reilly ASCoT National events of 2008, Saturday's card marks the first series stop atop the high-banked, 1/3-mile Lake Ozark Speedway dirt oval since 2005.
Four-time and reigning series champion Gary Wright of Hooks, TX, leads the contingent of 13 full-time ASCoT competitors into Saturday's event, which should include forty or more entries as the series takes on the Winged Outlaw Warriors for the second time in three weeks.
Vying for an unprecedented fifth consecutive series title, Wright holds a 50-point advantage on the strength of top-ten runs in all ten feature events thus far in 2008, including his 120th career series feature win in the Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals finale on March 15.
Wright enters the event ahead of Oklahoma City native Wayne Johnson, the 2000 ASCS National champion. Johnson, a third-place finisher in last year's points, is still vying for his first series win of 2008.
Just eight more points back in third is Eunice, Louisiana's Jason Johnson, the only driver to capture more than one ASCoT feature win in 2008. Johnson picked off East Bay Raceway Park's $10,000 top prize on February 2 and since has added wins at Oklahoma City's State Fair Speedway Spring Nationals finale on March 22 and then at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO, on April 19.
Back on Tour full-time for the first time in several years, 1992 National champion Garry Lee Maier of Cimarron, KS, is off to a strong start by sitting fourth in points, with 2001 National champion Zach Chappell of Talala, OK, just eight points behind him in fifth.
Forney, TX, ace Travis Rilat, the 2003 ASCS National champ, is sixth in points, just ahead of Tennessee's Jason Sides, with 2006 Rookie of the Year Nick Smith of Broken Arrow, OK, tenth in points after his first National win of the season this past weekend.
Twenty-year-old Eric Baldaccini of Keller, TX, enters Saturday's event ranked eighth and tops amongst the Brodix Rookie of the Year crop that also includes Nebraska's Don Droud, Jr. (ninth), Oklahoma's Kenneth Walker (11th) and Gary Taylor (12th), and Texas racers Kathryne Minter (13th) and Chris Tarrant (16th).
Three-time Winged Outlaw Warriors champion Randy Martin of California, MO, leads a healthy contingent of WOW forces into Saturday night's showdown.
This weekend marks the third of four consecutive weekends of racing action for the O'Reilly ASCoT National series. The series wraps up the pivotal month-long stretch of action at Oklahoma City's State Fair Speedway and then Devil's Bowl Speedway near Dallas, TX, on May 9-10.
O’Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour (ASCoT)
When & Where:
Saturday night, May 3 – Lake Ozark Speedway (7:00 p.m.)
Lake Ozark Speedway (Eldon, MO) – 1/3-mile high-banked dirt oval located south of Eldon on US 54 to SR 52, then 0.1 mile east on SR 52, then 0.5 mile north on Twiggy Lane (frontage road). For more information, contact the track at 573-392-9977.
O’Reilly ASCoT Lake Ozark Speedway History:
The O'Reilly ASCoT National series returns to Lake Ozark Speedway for the first time since 2005, when Missouri hero Jesse Hockett completed a sweep of the Lake Ozark Nationals while Gary Wright exited via the hook.
Lake Ozark Speedway ASCS National winners include: Jesse Hockett 2, Shane Stewart 2.
Lake Ozark Speedway O'Reilly ASCoT Race-by-race Winners: Shane Stewart (9/4/04), Shane Stewart (9/5/04), Jesse Hockett (9/3/05), Jesse Hockett (9/4/05).
Current O’Reilly ASCoT Points (After 10 of 42 Nights):
Top Fifteen: 1. Gary Wright (Hooks, TX) 1,131, 2. Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK) 1,081, 3. Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA) 1,073, 4. Garry Lee Maier (Cimarron, KS) 997, 5. Zach Chappell (Talala, OK) 989, 6. Travis Rilat (Forney, TX) 950, 7. Jason Sides (Bartlett, TN) 888, 8. Eric Baldaccini (Keller, TX) 860, 9. Don Droud, Jr. (Lincoln, NE) 827, 10. Nick Smith (Broken Arrow, OK) 822, 11. Kenneth Walker (Sapulpa, OK) 782, 12. Gary Taylor (Sapulpa, OK) 699, 13. Kathryne Minter (Bedford, TX) 673, 14. Jack Dover (Springfield, NE) 613, 15. Brian Brown (Grain Valley, MO) 593.
2008 O’Reilly ASCoT Feature Winners:
Jason Johnson 3, Kenny Adams 1, Tony Bruce, Jr. 1, Danny Lasoski 1, Terry McCarl 1, Nick Smith 1, Skip Wilson 1, Gary Wright 1.
The O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series is currently slated for 42 nights of racing action at 22 different tracks throughout a dozen different states, with more than $1,000,000 in purse money and point fund to be distributed during the 2008 season.
The nation's most prominent Sprint Car sanctioning body with 14 different Regions throughout the United States in addition to the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series, the American Sprint Car Series' (ASCS) 17th year of activity will include approximately 250 nights of racing at more than 100 different race tracks throughout 28 different states and Canada.
Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.