Lucas Oil ASCS -- A Look Ahead...
TULSA, Okla. (September 15, 2010) -- With the initial 20 nights of competition in the books, the stretch drive for the $60,000 Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National championship essentially begins when the series takes to Lucas Oil Speedway, "The Diamond of Dirt Tracks", in Wheatland, MO, next Saturday night, September 25.
Action at Lucas Oil Speedway will mark the first of two consecutive weekends under the lights of the VERSUS television cameras, with the following weekend's Rock 'N Roll 50 at Riverside Speedway in West Memphis, AR, taped for later broadcast on VERSUS as well.
The series final televised events of 2010 will be I-30 Speedway's 23rd Annual Short Track Nationals in Little Rock, AR, the $15,000-to-win blockbuster event set for October 28-30.
And, with the $250,000 points fund hanging in the balance, there is plenty more to be settled over the final scheduled 15 nights of action.
Fifteen nights for Jason Johnson to prove that his recent run of Regional mastery can carry over to the National scene and net a second series title to go along with the one earned in 2008.
Fifteen nights for Shane Stewart to rally from a 90 point deficit to successfully defend his 2009 championship.
Fifteen nights for 20-year-old wingless convert Brady Bacon to pull off the upset championship bid.
Fifteen nights for the likes of a Jack Dover, Tim Crawley or someone else to catch a hot hand and make a potential run for that top spot.
Fifteen nights for Kyle Hirst and Matt Covington to finish out the battle for Brodix Rookie of the Year honors, with Dustin Morgan, Channin Tankersley and Justyn Cox keeping them on their toes all the way.
Fifteen nights for Zach Chappell, Tony Bruce, Jr., Danny Wood, Ricky Logan and Darren Long to slug it out for their portion of the $250,000 point fund.
Fifteen nights to settle it all. Plain and simple, October and November are gonna get hairy.
Lucas Oil Speedway (Wheatland, MO) -- September 25. The stretch drive kicks off at "The Diamond of Dirt Tracks" where Jason Johnson and Shane Stewart picked off feature wins en route to ASCS National championships in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
Riverside International Speedway (West Memphis, AR) -- October 1-2.JPostponed from April by rain, the Second Annual Rock 'N Roll 50 could be just what the doctor ordered to get Tim Crawley in the thick of the title hunt. Crawley swept both nights of the event last year. Get advance tickets for the series only 50-lapper of the year at www.tbjpromotions.com/events/?i=1112.
Devil's Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX) -- October 15-16. It's back to the hallowed clay of "Da Bowl" for the 37th edition of the Winter Nationals, an event in which Jason Johnson uncharacteristically struggled last year and surrendered the points lead to Shane Stewart. Fort Worth's Kevin Ramey is the defending Winter Nationals champion.
I-30 Speedway (Little Rock, AR) -- October 28-30. The 23rd Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires will be taped for broadcast on VERSUS for the first time. Two-time and defending STN champion Tony Bruce, Jr., tries for three in a row in the $15,000-to-win, $2,300-to-start crown jewel event. Entry forms and info are at www.i-30speedway.com/2010stnflyer.pdf.
Southern New Mexico Speedway (Las Cruces, NM) -- November 12-13. The "King of the Outlaws", Steve Kinser, will be tested by the best of the Lucas Oil ASCS in the first series event at Las Cruces since 1997. Tickets for this one are already on sale as well, check out the info at www.snmspeedway.com/.
USA Raceway (Tucson, AZ) -- November 18-20. Another $15,000 winner's share is up for grabs at the 43rd Annual Western World Championships. Sammy Swindell is the reigning Western World champ, while Brady Bacon topped the wingless ASCS Canyon Region portion worth $5,000.JA total of 133 competitors took in last year's Western World. WWC entry forms are available at www.usaraceway.net/Uploads/WesternWorldEntryForm.pdf.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Las Vegas, NV) -- November 26-27. The final bids for the series championship will be issued in the series Vegas debut with the Las Vegas Sprint Car Super Nationals presented by K&N Filters on Thanksgiving weekend. More event info is at www.lvms.com/dirt/media/news/576214.html.
Lucas Oil ASCS Notes...
Headliners -- While Jason Johnson has hogged Regional headlines in recent weeks, pushing his overall ASCS win total for 2010 to 15, "The Ragin' Cajun" has shared equal time in National headlines with Shane Stewart and Brady Bacon, who have matched his four National wins.
While Johnson, Stewart and Bacon, who have each enjoyed rare three-race win streaks, have combined for a dozen wins, a total of ten different drivers have reached victory lane through the opening 20 nights of competition. Other feature winners include Zach Chappell, who has reached victory lane twice, with single scores posted by Brian Brown, Matt Covington, Tim Crawley, Jerrod Hull, Sammy Swindell, Danny Wood.
The Deficit -- Brady Bacon trails Jason Johnson by 72 points in the $60,000 title chase entering the September 25 card at Lucas Oil Speedway, with Shane Stewart 90 markers off Johnson's lead pace. With a 25-point differential between a first and fifth-place feature finish, a 40-point differential between first and tenth-place and a 64-point differential between first and 24th, just one bad night or two for Johnson can shake things up in short order.
Provisional Watch -- Jason Johnson is the only driver among the top ten in points with his full complement of provisionals remaining, including two full-pointers. Bacon has one full-point and two partial point provisionals remaining, while Stewart has just two partial-point provisionals remaining.
On the Mend -- Prior to the August 27-28 events at Tri-City Speedway and I-30 Speedway, Nebraska's Jack Dover was the only driver among the top ten other than Johnson to have not used a provisional thus far in 2010. But, still on the mend from injuries suffered in TNT action at Nebraska Raceway Park's I-80 Speedway on August 16, discretion dictated a pair of "start-and-park" nights for the 20-year-old.JWhile both full-point provisionals were used, point-race damage was minimized and Dover remains fourth by just seven markers over Tim Crawley. Dover is back up to speed, as evidenced by a September 4 win at Eagle Raceway and near last-lap pass of Brian Brown in this past Friday night's ASCS Midwest debut at Central Missouri Speedway.
300 -- Zach Chappell's next Lucas Oil ASCS National feature start will mark his 300th career ASCS National feature event. The 2001 series champion will join a select group of drivers that includes Gary Wright, Travis Rilat (317), Tim Crawley (312) and Garry Lee Maier (308). Just 28 years old, the Talala, OK, racer will be the youngest to reach the 300 mark.
400 -- On the topic of landmarks, Gary Wright is just two feature starts shy of 400 career ASCS National feature starts after a ninth-place run in his 398th career start, which took place at I-30 Speedway on August 28. "The Texan" has picked off at least two ASCS National feature wins for 16 consecutive years from 1994 through 2009. While he has topped three Regional features this year, a National win has eluded his grasp thus far in 2010.
310 -- The number of drivers to compete in at least one night of Lucas Oil ASCS National competition thus far in 2010.
52.1 -- The number of competitors per Lucas Oil ASCS National event thus far in 2010.
15 -- The number of drivers that have competed in every Lucas Oil ASCS National event thus far in 2010, including Jason Johnson, Brady Bacon, Shane Stewart, Jack Dover, Tim Crawley, Zach Chappell, Tony Bruce, Jr., Kyle Hirst, Danny Wood, Ricky Logan, Matt Covington, Darren Long, Dustin Morgan, Channin Tankersley and Justyn Cox. Washington's Austen Wheatley has taken in all but the recent Tri-City Speedway / I-30 Speedway weekend, with Gary Wright missing out on the five-race North by Northwest Tour through South Dakota, Washington and Oregon.
5 -- The number of drivers to start 19 of a possible 19 Lucas Oil ASCS National features so far in 2010 including Jason Johnson, Shane Stewart, Tony Bruce, Jr., Jack Dover and Danny Wood. Johnson is the only one to do it without the use of a provisional, Stewart, Dover and Wood have all used two provisionals and Bruce, Jr., finishes out the year with no provisionals remaining after using up his fourth and final one at Tri-City Speedway on August 27.
40 -- The longest active streak of consecutive Lucas Oil ASCS National feature starts, shared by Jason Johnson, Shane Stewart and Danny Wood.JGary Wright holds the record at 200 feature starts in a row, a streak that ended at the 2009 edition of the ASCS Knoxville Nationals. Zach Chappell is the only other driver to start 100 or more in a row, starting 101 from 2002 to 2005.
131 -- The longest active streak of Lucas Oil ASCS National events competed in, a mark held by Jason Johnson. Gary Wright's record streak of 228 consecutive nights of ASCS National competition ended when the No. 9x was absent from Hartford, South Dakota's I-90 Speedway pit area on July 10.
Rookies -- California's Kyle Hirst holds a 139-point advantage over Oklahoma's Matt Covington in the Brodix Rookie of the Year chase. Oklahoma's Dustin Morgan, Texas' Channin Tankersley and California's Justyn Cox have all been in action at each event thus far in 2010 as well. Kyle Hirst is expected to be back in the GP Development No. 6 at Lucas Oil Speedway after spending a couple of "off" weekends aboard the Van Dyke No. 5h typically piloted by the 16-year-old Cox.