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Brian McClelland Wins Wild ASCS Lone Star Feature

[b Brian McClelland Wins Wild ASCS Lone Star Feature at KSP!]

[i Lonnie Wheatley, KENNEDALE, Texas (August 28, 2009)]

Brian McClelland topped the opening leg of the Kennedale parking lot challenge by earning a much-needed victory in Friday night’s frenetic 25-lap American Sprint Car Series Lone Star Region main event at Kennedale Speedway Park.

The two-time ASCS Sooner Region champion hailing from Tulsa, OK, cashed in on Travis Rilat’s late misfortune, pacing the final handful of circuits to the checkered flag after Rilat surrendered the point with steering woes.

“This year has been the worst, we really needed this one,” a relieved McClelland commented after his second overall ASCS Regional win of the year. “In fact, we both needed it,” he stated in reference to long-time Sooner Region car owner Ronnie Davis, whom he joined forces with several weeks ago.

McClelland’s final stint at the front of the pack was his third different time to lead the wild 25-lapper after starting from the outside pole position aboard Davis’ D&L Performance Machine No. 25 Eagle.

Outgunning pole starter Skip Wilson for the lead at the drop of the green flag, McClelland reached the tail of the field in just three circuits on the tight ¼-mile clay oval, establishing what would become a recurring theme in the race.

“It seemed like it was just two or three laps and you were beating on lapped traffic again,” McClelland explained. “And those guys were racing for position too, it was tough.”

McClelland gave up the lead for the first time when Wilson took advantage of traffic on the sixth round. McClelland battled back three laps later, only to have Michael Lang’s turn one spin bring out a caution that negated the move.

McClelland wasted little time on the restart though, blasting past Wilson in turns three and four to reclaim the lead on the ninth circuit. “He left an opening and I was able to take advantage.”

With traffic an ever-present factor and cars throughout the field often bicycling at either end of the track, ninth-starter Rilat was on the move. Up to third by the time Lang spun, Rilat raced past Wilson for second on the tenth round and began putting the heat on McClelland for the point.

Finding the opening he needed, Rilat charged into the lead on the 14th circuit and appeared to be destined for victory lane until steering issues forced him to a stop in turn two on the 21st lap.

Back up front with three lapped cars between himself and Wilson on the final restart, there was no stopping McClelland from capturing his seventh career ASCS Regional win and first since teaming with Wichita Falls, TX, car owner Davis.

Wilson held on for runner-up honors, with Kolt Walker taking the show position. Eric Baldaccini climbed a half-dozen positions to snare fourth, while eighth-starter and current ASCS Lone Star points leader Kevin Ramey worked up to third and then lost a pair of positions in the final laps to round out the top five.

J.P. Bailey was sixth, with 18th-starter Brad Welborn, Matt Clevenger, Lang and Arizona’s Ben Gregg completing the top ten.

Bailey, Walker, McClelland and Clevenger topped heat race action for Friday night’s 31-car field, with Gregg winning the 15-lap “B” Main.

Scott Reneau got upside down lining up for the night’s third heat race, with Billy Melton taking a hard ride down the backstretch on the opening lap of the “B” Main. Melton walked away uninjured, while Reneau ultimately finished 13th in the “A” Main.

After contact with Chad Wilson, Topeka, KS, shoe Chris Morgan took out some of the infield signage towards turn three and four in the main event.

The ASCS Lone Star Region moves across the parking lot to Cowtown Speedway on Saturday night for the second leg of the Kennedale parking lot challenge.

ASCS Lone Star Results from Kennedale Speedway Park:

Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 45-J.P. Bailey, 2. 14-Michael Lang, 3. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 4. 69-Larry Howery, 5. 22j-John Gaston, 6. 88-Andy Rea, 7. 58-Gary Floyd, 8. 45x-Martin Edwards.

Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 45k-Kolt Walker, 2. 11-Justin Melton, 3. 65-Skip Wilson, 4. 22b-Ben Gregg, 5. 39-Marvin Lough, 6. 17w-Brad Welborn, 7. 5c-Chris Coker, 8. 87x-Billy Melton.

Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 25-Brian McClelland, 2. 87a-Andrew Marshala, 3. 29-Travis Rilat, 4. 74-Claud Estes, 5. 76-John Ricketts, 6. 71T-Shane Thompson, 7. 14b-Robert Byrom, 8. 1r-Scott Reneau.

Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 31m-Matt Clevenger, 2. 0-Chris Morgan, 3. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 4. 9-Brian Parker, 5. 20-Chad Wilson, 6. 5m-Glenn Martin. DNS: 26-Dalton Steed.

“B” Feature (15 Laps): 1. 22b-Ben Gregg, 2. 17w-Brad Welborn, 3. 1r-Scott Reneau, 4. 20-Chad Wilson, 5. 5m-Glenn Martin, 6. 9-Brian Parker, 7. 5c-Chris Coker, 8. 45x-Martin Edwards, 9. 76-John Ricketts, 10. 88-Andy Rea, 11. 71T-Shane Thompson, 12. 87x-Billy Melton. DNS: 14b-Robert Byrom, 58-Gary Floyd, 26-Dalton Steed.

“A” Feature (25 Laps): 1. 25-Brian McClelland, 2. 65-Skip Wilson, 3. 45k-Kolt Walker, 4. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 5. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 6. 45-J.P. Bailey, 7. 17w-Brad Welborn, 8. 31m-Matt Clevenger, 9. 14-Michael Lang, 10. 22b-Ben Gregg, 11. 22j-John Gaston, 12. 74e-Claud Estes, 13. 1r-Scott Reneau, 14. 29-Travis Rilat, 15. 11-Justin Melton, 16. 20-Chad Wilson, 17. 0-Chris Morgan, 18. 69-Larry Howery, 19. 39-Marvin Lough, 20. 87a-Andrew Marshala.

ASCS Lone Star Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Kevin Ramey 1,550, 2. Brad Welborn 1,460, 3. Justin Melton 1,396, 4. Matt Clevenger 1,376, 5. Claud Estes 1,365, 6. Michael Lang 1,347, 7. Eric Baldaccini 1,319, 8. Kolt Walker 1,243, 9. Scott Reneau 1,218, 10. Brian McClelland 1,186.