Jason Hogan Finishes Second At Greenville & In Final SES Title Chase
Youngster Looking Forward To More Championship Battles Down The Road
CLEVELAND, GA (September 25, 2006) -- "Oh so close." That is how 23-year-old Jason Hogan can classify his NASCAR Southeast Series career, which came to a conclusion on Saturday night with the running of the "Rock 101 150" at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina.
After finishing second in the Southeast Series championship last year by a mere 12 points, Hogan came into the final race of the year trailing friend JR Norris by 15 points for this year's championship. Finishing second on Saturday night, Hogan came "oh so closer," coming home second in the race, and also in the final championship standings by a slim five points to Norris.
"We didn't get beat on car. We didn't get beat on motor. This just is not one of my tracks and we didn't do the thing we needed to do the most, which was win the race," said Hogan. "We had an excellent car compared to what we normally have here thought. We came up here and tested for eight hours the other day and got no better. My uncle (Jason's crew chief, Jimmy Hogan) picked his brain for about two or three nights and then he came to me and said he thought he knew what we needed to try. So we went with a different shock and spring package and the car was as good as it's ever been up here. I think this is probably the best racecar we've ever had up here. We got our brakes right and we got our car right."
Hogan's second-place run on Saturday night matched his career-best ever at the half-mile track. Hogan finished second at Greenville earlier this year as well.
"If we hadn't gotten brake-checked there on that last restart, we might have had a shot at winning the race and the point championship. That is how it goes though.
"It all comes down to JR being really good here and at Nashville and that was three-quarters of the season. We went and dominated where we are supposed to dominate at. We ran second here twice and ran third at Nashville. That is all we can do."
NASCAR is discontinuing the Elite Divisions following the 2006 season, including the Southeast Series, where Hogan has spent the last five seasons running full-time. Hogan ended his Southeast Series career with three wins while also winning the 2002 Southeast Series (then All Pro Series) Rookie of the Year title.
In the Southeast Series, Hogan never won the championship, but never finished outside the top-10 in points in each of his full-time years, including two-straight runner-up finishes.
"It's one of those deals," said Hogan. "You win some and you lose some. I wouldn't rather get beat by anyone else other than JR for it.
"When you get beat by JR and Richie (Wauters) and everyone on that team, you get beat by the best. When you beat them, you beat the best. I've been friends with JR and Richie a long time. I'm glad those guys won the thing. I wish we could have won it, but we've got plenty of wins and championships left in this team. This old boy is not giving up yet."
Hogan also concedes that he at least lost the championship on the track, which is how titles should be decided.
"That is how it needs to be done. I wouldn't want to win (the championship) with him crashing or someone else crashing or whatever. That is just how it happens and how it ended up."
Hogan is next planning to take his Super Late Model to Mobile Speedway on October 14th.