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Zach Chappell Topples ASCS Sooners at Creek County

[i Lonnie Wheatley, SAPULPA, Okla. (September 19, 2009)]

Zach Chappell picked off his second overall American Sprint Car Series feature win of the year at the exact same place he posted his first triumph by topping Saturday night’s 25-lap American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region main event at Creek County Speedway.

Chappell, who also topped the Creek County leg of ASCS Speedweek in June, gunned into the lead at the outset and held off the advances of Sean McClelland atop a heavy ¼-mile clay oval to post his 12th career win in ASCS competition.

“I love this track, absolutely love it!” Chappell exclaimed as he pulled into victory lane. “Turns three and four was tough tonight, I thought I might turn it over every time I got in there. I started running the bottom of one and two just so I could rest a little.”

Starting from the front row outside aboard the family-owned Legend’s Bar-B-Q and Steak Joint No. 50z Maxim, the former ASCS National champion survived a pair of nullified starts before gunning into the lead.

After J.P. Bailey’s turn three flip on the second lap, the next 20 circuits ran off in non-stop fashion. With traffic becoming a factor in short order, McClelland closed in on Chappell on several occasions.

“If traffic would have fallen just right, I think we could have made a move on him,” McClelland commented.

Chappell held steady though and after one last caution for debris in turn three with just four laps to go, the Talala, OK, was flawless in his final charge to victory lane.

Lucas Oil Sprint Car contender McClelland settled for runner-up honors, commenting that, “I’m just happy to finish one near the front, now we’re ready for Lucas Oil Speedway next week.”

Rebounding from an opening-lap heat race skirmish to race into the redraw, Matt Covington avoided a pair of early incidents to move from seventh to third and held the show position throughout.

Donnie Ray Crawford earned the Estes Brothers Racing Hard Charger award by slicing through the field from 18th to claim fourth, while Joe Wood, Jr., escaped the night with a 30-point advantage over Covington in the championship chase by rounding out the top five.

Two-time series champ Brian McClelland was sixth, while Brady Bacon rebounded from an early trip to the work area to snare seventh. Sent tailback after spinning from the pole position, Michael Lang raced back up to eighth, while Kyle Bellm bounced back from a heat race turn over in turn two to race from 21st to ninth. Nick Smith completed the top ten.

The initial attempt to start the main event was waved off when Sherman Davis did all but flip in turn four, ultimately coming to a stop as cars scattered. On the second try, Lang looped it in turn two and Kenneth Walker flipped without injury. Davis rejoined the fray briefly after the Walker tumble with Lang tagging the tail as well.

Bailey, Walker and Forrest Sutherland won Saturday night’s heat races. While Bailey and Walker both got upside down in the main, Sutherland retired to the pit area after the Bailey ride with undisclosed woes.

Mechanical issues forced Chris Lloyd to scratch for the night, while an ailing engine forced Dustin Morgan to scratch from the main event.

American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region Results from Creek County Speedway:

Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 45-J.P. Bailey, 2. 14-Michael Lang, 3. 72-Sherman Davis, 4. 25-Brian McClelland, 5. 15s-Nick Smith, 6. 80-Brett Thompson, 7. 52-Frank Sudduth, 8. 14k-Kyle Bellm.

Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 2-Kenneth Walker, 2. 1-Sean McClelland, 3. 95-Matt Covington, 4. 21s-Michelle Decker, 5. 04-Brad Graham, 6. 93-Dustin Morgan, 7. 94w-Waylon Weaver. DNS: 28-Chris Lloyd.

Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 85s-Forrest Sutherland, 2. 22-Koby Barksdale, 3. 50z-Zach Chappell, 4. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 5. 99-Brady Bacon, 6. 55-Donnie Ray Crawford, 7. 010-Brian Roberts.

“A” Feature (25 Laps): 1. 50z-Zach Chappell, 2. 1-Sean McClelland, 3. 95-Matt Covington, 4. 55-Donnie Ray Crawford, 5. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 6. 25-Brian McClelland, 7. 99-Brady Bacon, 8. 14-Michael Lang, 9. 14k-Kyle Bellm, 10. 15s-Nick Smith, 11. 04-Brad Graham, 12. 52-Frank Sudduth, 13. 80-Brett Thompson, 14. 94w-Waylon Weaver, 15. 21s-Michelle Decker, 16. 22-Koby Barksdale, 17. 72-Sherman Davis, 18. 85s-Forrest Sutherland, 19. 45-J.P. Bailey, 20. 2-Kenneth Walker, 21. 010-Brian Roberts. DNS: 93-Dustin Morgan, 28-Chris Lloyd.

American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Joe Wood, Jr. 1,380, 2. Matt Covington 1,350, 3. Donnie Ray Crawford 1,237, 4. Kyle Bellm 1,142, 5. Brad Graham 1,071, 6. (tie) Brady Bacon and Forrest Sutherland 958, 8. Chris Lloyd 938, 9. Brian McClelland 936, 10. Nick Smith 929.