Jason Hogan Does All He Can, Finishes Second In SES Finale, Points 23-Year-Old Earns Pole, Finishes Second, Comes Up Just 12 Short Of Title CLEVELAND, GA (October 31, 2005) -- It would be very easy for 23-year-old Jason Hogan to hang his head...
Jason Hogan Does All He Can, Finishes Second In SES Finale, Points
23-Year-Old Earns Pole, Finishes Second, Comes Up Just 12 Short Of Title
CLEVELAND, GA (October 31, 2005) -- It would be very easy for 23-year-old Jason Hogan to hang his head after Saturday night's NASCAR Southeast Series finale at Montgomery Motor Speedway. Hogan won the Bud Pole Award and finished second in the event, but despite all of that, he finished second in the championship standings to Jeff Fultz by a mere 12 points.
However, Hogan knows that he and his Hogan Motorsports team did all they could, short of a miracle, to try and grab the series title over the final part of the season. In fact, Hogan's pole was his second in the final three races, and his second-place finish in Montgomery on Saturday night was Hogan's third-straight runner-up finish.
In fact, over the final three races and those three second-place runs, Hogan jumped from fifth to second and a championship contender before the year ended.
Therefore, Hogan left the track on Saturday night with his head held high.
"I'm not upset, but I'm not happy. Actually, I'm impressed, to tell you the truth," said Hogan. "We are the only team that finished in the top five this year without a win. I'm not saying we couldn't have or shouldn't have won a race, because there were three or four races we could have won and circumstances took us out, but I'm pleased to run second.
"As long as Jeff Fultz has been in this deal; to run second to him, you are running second to a top team and a top driver. You are not running second to junk. There is nothing to hang our head about. They say you have to lose one before you can win one. We've lost ours now, hopefully we can win one."
Hogan had the car to beat on Saturday night. However, the team had to overcome a number of problems just to get the runner-up finish.
"We had a great car in qualifying and it showed," added Hogan. "We then had a tire going down. I rode around with it for about 30 laps, but we had to come in. We had to take our tires around lap 100 when everyone else got to take theres around lap 150. That is really what hurt us the most. We were able to make it back up to the front with the leaders, though.
"If we would have had another caution, I might have been able to get the win by laying the bumper to Gary, but Gary is a great racer and that isn't how I'd want to win the race. Hey, we finished the year with three-straight second-place finishes, so there isn't much more I could ask for."
In fact, coupled with Fultz's problems and eventual 15th-place finish, Hogan wasn't sure if he'd won the title or not, even just as the race ended.
"At first, they came on the radio and said that we'd lost it by two points. Then they said we'd won it by a couple of points. Finally, they came back and said that we finished second by 12 points.
"We proved at the end of the year that we are on top of our game. We had an awesome year. We had good racecars everywhere we went. We just need to get some pieces to fall in place and we can pick up a bunch of wins here pretty soon."
Hogan will now focus on several special events to conclude the year. Next up, he'll head back to one of his favorite tracks, Music City Motorplex (Nashville, TN), searching for the All American 400 title.
"We are going for broke up there," said Hogan, who finished third in the All American last year. "We are taking our new car and our newest engine and we are going up there to go for the win. That is one race that I really want to win and I think we will have a good shot. Heck, I just need to finish two spots better now."