SES: South Boston: Jason Hogan race notes

Jason Hogan Wins at South Boston for the Family 23-Year-Old Dominates SES Race to Keep in Title Hunt with Two Races Left CLEVELAND, GA (May 29, 2006) -- Stock car racing and the legendary film "The Godfather" don't have many...

Jason Hogan Wins at South Boston for the Family
23-Year-Old Dominates SES Race to Keep in Title Hunt with Two Races Left

CLEVELAND, GA (May 29, 2006) -- Stock car racing and the legendary film "The Godfather" don't have many parallels. Neither do 23-year-old Jason Hogan and infamous mob boss from that movie Don Corleone. Hogan is a budding superstar in racing, while Corleone was a mafia king.

They may not have much in common, but it's one of Corleone's lines from the hit 1972 movie that echoes loudly in the way that Hogan lives his life both at the track and at home.

Corleone said, "A man that doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."

By Corleone's words, Jason Hogan is a real man. Hogan brings his family to the racetrack each and every week and they have played an instrumental part in his career since he first sat behind the wheel years ago. His uncle and his father work on the racecars in the shop and at the track, while the rest of the family is in the pits cheering the Cleveland, GA native to victory.

The family had plenty to cheer about on Saturday night, as Hogan dominated the final 120 laps of the NASCAR Southeast Series' "Salute to Armed Forces 150" at South Boston Speedway (VA).

"I just like seeing my family happy," said Hogan. "Everyday at the shop or at the house or at the track, everyone's happy and having fun. That's what it's all about with us. That really motivates me to run good to have them all here and cheering me on. A lot of people say that you can't run well in a family racecar but my family wants me to go out there and tear the cars up if I have to. They want me to succeed and I want to succeed for them. They put so much time and money into this and they could've given it all up a long time ago, but they've stuck with me and that's why winning races like this one tonight means so much to everyone."

From the drop of the green flag on Saturday night, Hogan gave his family a thrill. He qualified third, but started sixth after the top-eight qualifiers were inverted for the start of the race. Hogan battled longtime friend and 2006 Southeast Series Championship rival JR Norris for the top spot early in the race before finally making the pass on lap 30. Hogan cruised in the top spot through the middle stages of the race as he held Norris and the rest of the Southeast Series field many car-lengths behind.

"I had a racecar that reminded me of when you're a little kid and you go to an amusement park and you get on those little cars with the rails underneath them. That's the kind of car I had tonight. I couldn't ask for the racecar to do any more than it did tonight.

"The crew put an awesome setup underneath me and they worked hard all day making it perfect. We didn't get to test here but I don't think that hurt us at all because we knew what we had to work on when we got here. When it came time to race, we were fast. We just barely missed the pole for the second time this year and the racecar was just as good as I've ever had."

Only one car had something for Hogan in the closing laps. His sizable advantage was erased with 40-laps remaining when the caution flag flew, allowing Norris one more shot at the lead. On the restart, the two ran nose-to-tail, but it took only a handful of laps before Hogan checked back out.

"It took my car about four or five laps to get running good on the restarts. The longer we ran the better it got. I was able to build up a pretty good lead and he dropped back some. It was just one of those racecars. I could drive it anywhere I wanted to drive it and I could get back in the gas anywhere and anytime I wanted to in the corners. After about five or six laps the car would just get up and go and we never looked back."

Hogan cruised to his first Southeast Series victory since taking the win in Houston, TX in 2004. Making the win even sweeter was having his entire family there in Victory Lane with him this time around.

"Someday, hopefully I'll make it to the big time and they'll just sit around in a motor coach watching me race not worrying about a thing. Honestly though I don't think they'll be happy doing that. When I left to do all the Roush Gong Show stuff, they said that if I were to make it, I better be sure to run some races with the family because this is what they love and I love making them happy."

Another thing Hogan would love for himself and his family would be to clinch the championship in the final season of the Southeast Series. Hogan is now tied with Norris for the point lead with just two races remaining on the schedule. With the series off until August 9th's event at Music City Motorplex in Nashville, TN, Hogan has plenty of time to focus on winning the title. Just don't expect him to go out to Nashville and worry about points.

"When you points race, you end up beating yourself. We did that a few years ago. We started counting points here and there and it didn't work out for us. The only time you points race is when the first or second place guy is out of the race and you know that you just have to finish the race. JR and I have raced each other hard for many years and it's going to be a good battle in these last two races. With as well prepared as his cars are, I'm going to have to work extra hard to make sure that we are just as good as he is in those last two races so we can settle this championship on the racetrack."

While Hogan's next Southeast Series race isn't until August, he'll be back behind the wheel of his #92 Super Late Model for many events this summer, including the All American Super Late Model Series race at Music City Motorplex on July 3rd.

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