McKENZIE, TN - Terry Gray, Lance Dewease, and Donnie Crawford returned to victory lane last weekend in J&J Auto Racing sprint cars. Terry Gray dominated the USCS weekend in Missouri winning both Friday and Saturday night. Dewease continued his...
McKENZIE, TN - Terry Gray, Lance Dewease, and Donnie Crawford returned to victory lane last weekend in J&J Auto Racing sprint cars. Terry Gray dominated the USCS weekend in Missouri winning both Friday and Saturday night. Dewease continued his title chase at Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA) by winning the feature ahead of a J&J parade in the top five, and Donnie Crawford won a championship in grand style at Tulsa Speedway.
Terry Gray showed up at Malden Speedway with his #10 J&J on a mission as he won every race he started in the two-night program. On Friday night, he charged past 2000 USCS national champion Kenny Adams to win the 25-lap USCS "Salute to American Freedom Night" main event at Malden Speedway Friday night. In the process, Gray stopped Adams USCS win streak at six in a row and collected series President, Pete Walton's $1100 bounty on the 2000 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame "Driver of the Year." The victory in the main event was worth $2000 and with a clean sweep including a heat race and Airflow Research "Power Dash" win netted him $3200 for a night's work.
Gray kicked off Saturday with a win in the Whowon.com North vs. South Shootout after starting in the fourth position. A complete program was run following the special race and Gray immediately was again a force winning his heat race and then captured the feature event for his ninth USCS victory of the season.
"We had a really good weekend," said Gray. "I've been driving Jack Elam's (J&J Auto Racing) cars for a long time and the 2001 car has been super strong. I don't know if they've changed a whole lot, or they simply fit my driving style more, but we've been better this year than we have for quite some time."
"You see a lot of guys winning races in these cars this year and the loyal J&J guys will all probably tell you that once you work with these cars for a while, it seems that adapting the car to the racetrack comes a little quicker. I'm tickled to death with how this car is performing. I wish I was going to the racetrack tonight."
Williams Grove Speedway
Lance Dewease started 11th in Joe Harz's #88h J&J and methodically worked his way through the pack and took the runner-up spot from Todd Hestor, who drives the Middleswarth #7M J&J, on the 11th circuit and took the lead one lap later. Dewease opened a commanding lead en route to his sixth victory of the season, which was worth $3000.
Dewease also took over first place on the Grove's list of all-time sprint car feature winners with his 48th career triumph. Fred Rahmer with 47 wins, Don Kreitz with 46 and Keith Kauffman with 45 now trail Dewease, who also increased his lead in the Cindy Rowe Auto Glass point standings.
Behind Dewease the competition for top five finishes was terrific as Hestor matched his best effort of the season by finishing second. Greg Hodnett, who was the only non-J&J car in the top five, won a spirited duel with Fred Rahmer (Hamilton #77 J&J) to claim third and Keith Kauffman, who started 19th in the Middleswarth #7 J&J, finished fifth.
Dewease, who is featured in the latest issue of Open Wheel Magazine, will hope to win his second National Open this weekend and keep four-time track champion Fred Rahmer behind him in the points chase.
Donnie Crawford was closing in on a championship at Tulsa Speedway and last Saturday, he finished the job in style by claiming his third feature win of the season. The victory secured Crawford his record setting 14th career track championship. "We were real fortunate today," said Crawford, following the win in JR Hillenburg's #1 J&J. "Darren (Stewart) did a great job and Sean McClelland could have won it. "I did not think I could get there. I was a victim of circumstances because two or three people were unfortunate."
Crawford moved inside of McClelland in turn two of lap 10 to take the lead only to give it back to McClelland a lap later in traffic. Darren Stewart (Stewart #9 J&J)was battling Crawford for second during the middle stages of the race, but rode up on the backstretch guard rail and was finished for the night. McClelland led till lap 14 when Crawford again went inside for the lead. McClelland chased Crawford the final 5 laps for second ahead of third place Kenneth Walker.
Andy Hillenburg has a consistent weekend in the #2 Luxaire J&J at Nebraska Raceway Park. In the three-night program, he finished second, third and fourth.
Even though a J&J car didn't win the feature event at Lincoln Speedway on Saturday night, there were some solid contenders as five J&J's finished in the top seven: Lance Dewease #88h (3rd), Fred Rahmer #77 (4th) Keith Kauffman #7 (5th), Todd Hestor #7m (6th), and Craig Keel #9 (7th).