NASCAR AUTOZONE ELITE DIVISION, SOUTHEAST SERIES DRIVER JASON HOGAN TAKES SATURDAY NIGHT WIN AT SOUTH BOSTON SPEEDWAY SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (May 27, 2006) -- If Saturday night's Salute to Armed Forces 150 at South Boston Speedway is any ...
NASCAR AUTOZONE ELITE DIVISION, SOUTHEAST SERIES DRIVER JASON HOGAN TAKES SATURDAY NIGHT WIN AT SOUTH BOSTON SPEEDWAY
SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (May 27, 2006) -- If Saturday night's Salute to Armed Forces 150 at South Boston Speedway is any indication, the battle for this year's NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southeast Series championship is shaping up to be a great one. Thanks to his win Saturday night at the famed Virginia short track, Jason Hogan moved into a tie for the championship lead with J.R. Norris who finished second.
"We just had an awesome car tonight and it was a pleasure to drive because all the guys on this team have worked so hard to put me in the best equipment that they possibly can," Hogan said after taking the win by a scant .882 margin of victory. "To win the last Southeast Series race here at South Boston means the world to me and it's something I'll never forget -- this is a big win for me.
"We've always been real good at South Boston, but not good enough to win like we did tonight. To be in the championship race with a guy like J.R. Norris is great and I couldn't pick a better guy to be racing against."
Norris agreed that Hogan clearly had the best car.
"We were real good, but not as good as Jason," Norris said. "We were good early on but it seemed like his car got better as the race went on. We'll take second and head on down the road and get ready for the next race."
The top-five was rounded out by Gary Helton, Ricky Turner and Dusty Williams in fifth. The Top 10 was completed by defending Southeast Series champion Jeff Fultz, Josh Hamner, Eddie Stivers, Ted Mickelson and Walter Sutcliffe.
Ryan Lawler made an impressive Southeast Series debut by winning the pole with a lap of 93.246 mph, but started eighth after an eight-car inversion. It was, however, Turner beating Lawler into the first turn on the first lap to grab the early lead. The first caution flag of the race was thrown on the third lap when Justin Wakefield, who qualified third fastest despite having to change motors earlier in the afternoon, slapped the wall coming off the fourth turn which sent him to the garage for the night.
It was a familiar site on Lap 8 as Norris -- who opened the 2006 Southeast Series with a dominating win at Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway -- took the lead from Turner going into the first turn. Just 11 laps later, the second caution flag was displayed when Chip Brindle went for a harmless spin in the second turn. Hogan began to flex his muscle in the early going, taking the lead from close friend and Southeast Series driver on Lap 30 and in the process bringing Gary Helton with him for the runner-up position.
Hogan would go onto build a dominant lead by Lap 100, though his comfortable lead would be erased when the yellow flag was thrown for debris on Lap 110. On the ensuing restart, Hogan was facing a challenge from Norris in second and Helton in third.
In the end, Norris and Helton could only watch as Hogan would proceed to win his first race of the 2006 season.
The NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southeast Series returns to action August 9 at Motor City Motorplex in Nashville, Tenn. in a combination race with the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series.