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Rilat Rules East Bay “King of the 360’s” Opener

 

Lonnie Wheatley, GIBSONTON, Fla. (January 26, 2006) – Texan Travis Rilat triumphed in the opening night of East Bay Raceway Park’s Eighth Annual “King of the 360’s” Nationals, racing into the lead on the fifth round en route to topping the season-opening 25-lap feature for the O’Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores.

 

With a record field of 81 entries filling the pit area, Rilat gridded the feature field outside the front row.  But it was polesitter Terry McCarl, who accumulated the most points through heat and qualifying race action, gunning into the lead at the drop of the green flag.

 

As McCarl set the early pace, third-starter Josh Higday charged past Rilat for second on the opening round, only to have Rilat return the favor the next time around.  Rilat quickly reeled McCarl in and began pressuring him for the point.

 

Rilat looked both high and low before making a move to the low side stick as the 2003 ASCS National champion raced into the lead exiting turn four upon the completion of the fifth round.  Rilat wasted little time establishing a healthy straightaway advantage over McCarl by the time the race’s first caution flew at the midway point for Higday, who surrendered fifth position when he coasted to a stop in turn one.

 

With four lapped cars separating himself from McCarl on the ensuing restart, Rilat once again left the pack in his wake, leaving McCarl to fend off Tim Montgomery and 13th-starter Jason Sides for the runner-up position.

 

After Zach Chappell’s turn three contact with the wall after 17 laps, McCarl had one more shot at Rilat following the race’s third and final caution after 21 rounds when Mike Brecht stopped in turn two.

 

There was no match for Rilat on this night however, as he stretched out a ten car-length advantage over the final four lap dash to the checkered flag to score his 19th career O’Reilly ASCS National Tour victory aboard the Motor Mike-powered F&J Construction/Haulmark Trailers No. 29 Maxim.

 

McCarl settled for second aboard Mark Burch’s No. 1m WolfWeld machine, while Sides’ strong run culminated with a third place showing.  Montgomery crossed the stripe fourth, with Greg Wilson rounding out the top five.

 

Two-time and defending ASCS National champion Gary Wright charged from 18th to snare sixth, with Tim Shaffer, Wayne Johnson, Scott Winters and 15th-starter Jan Howard completing the top ten.

 

Dustin Lindquist, Tony Bruce, Jr., Shaffer, Bryan Howland, Johnny Anderson, Darren Stewart, Jason Martin, Wilson and McCarl topped heat race action, with Danny Smith, Jesse Hockett, Jessica Zemken and Steven King winning the Last Chance races.

 

Higday, Winters, Johnson and Rilat aced Qualifying Race action, with Chappell and Wright splitting victory honors in the twin “B” Mains.

 

Donnie Maxwell and Sean Walden flipped in heat race action, with David Kountz flipping in his Last Chance race.  Matt Tiffany was the evening’s fourth and final flip victim when he went for a wild turn three ride in the first “B” Main.  There were no injuries.

 

The second preliminary night of East Bay Raceway Park’s Eighth Annual “King of the 360’s” unfolds Friday night, with combined points from both preliminary nights determining lineups for Saturday night’s $10,000-to-win Ronald Laney Memorial.

 

 
 
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

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