Cajun Cooks in COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Round Four TULSA, Okla. (June 7, 2005) -- Teenagers Cody Branchcomb and Sam Hafertepe, Jr., both threw their hat into the mix for a career first O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National...
Cajun Cooks in COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Round Four
TULSA, Okla. (June 7, 2005) -- Teenagers Cody Branchcomb and Sam Hafertepe, Jr., both threw their hat into the mix for a career first O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores feature victory in Tuesday night's 30-lap feature at Tulsa Speedway, but in the end it was Louisiana native Jason Johnson taking the checkered flag to become the fourth different winner in as many rounds of the 13th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek.
Running fifth at the midway point, Johnson then found the fast way around the 3/8-mile clay oval and blasted into the lead on the 20th round en route to capturing his third career ASCS Speedweek triumph and tenth career O'Reilly ASCS National Tour victory.
"We've been racing a lot this year, running several nights a week in Pennsylvania and that definitely helps to keep me sharper," Johnson commented from victory lane. "I kept watching those guys sliding around in front of me and kept looking for the best place to run, the top kept coming in better as the race went along and the car hooked up great."
While Johnson gridded the feature field inside the third row, it was Branchcomb leading the field to the green flag with Hafertepe alongside. The initial attempt to start the race was waved off when Roger Crockett and Toby Brown tangled entering turn three with both flipping wildly. Both drivers walked away uninjured, although Brown's mount suffered extensive damage while Crockett surrendered the COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek points lead.
Branchcomb jumped into the lead on the ensuing restart, with Hafertepe and third-starter Jamie Passmore engaging in a spirited battle for second. Branchcomb weathered three more minor cautions over the opening eight rounds, with Hafertepe and Passmore swapping the runner-up slot several times along the way.
Following the lap eight interruption, the rim-riding Hafertepe turned up the heat on Branchcomb, who was working the bottom of the track. Nipping at their heels were Passmore and American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region point leader Sean McClelland, who were racing side-by-side for third position with Johnson in their wake.
As Hafertepe challenged Branchcomb for the point through each corner, Johnson overtook McClelland for fourth on the 16th circuit. Hafertepe began to slip off the lead pace the next time around with Passmore taking over second. A lap later, Johnson slashed past both Hafertepe and Passmore to take over second and set his sights on Branchcomb.
Johnson wasted little time, powering off the top of turn two to race past Branchomb for the lead on the 20th lap. Johnson slipped away from his rivals over the final ten rounds to secure the victory aboard Lanny Row's The Shop Diesel Service No. 41 Eagle.
Branchcomb settled for a career best ASCS National Tour runner-up finish, with McClelland snaring the show position. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., crossed the stripe fourth, with Passmore rounding out the top five.
After starting 12th, defending O'Reilly ASCS National Tour champion Gary Wright gained a pair of positions over the race's final ten rounds to claim sixth, with Darren Stewart moving atop the COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek point charts by crossing the stripe seventh. Hafertepe faded to eighth at the line, with fourth-starter Terry McCarl and Jan Howard completing the top ten.
Branchcomb, Hafertepe, Passmore, McCarl and Johnson topped heat race action for the 36-car field, with Crockett and Dale Howard splitting victory honors in the twin "B" Mains.
The second "B" Main was red-flagged briefly for a wild five-car tangle in turn three that eliminated Jimmy Taylor, Steven Tiner, Jake Martens and Mike Sitzmann, Jr., for the night. There were no injuries.
Action for the 13th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek resumes Thursday night at Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, TX, with the final two rounds slated for Texarkana 67 Speedway on Friday night and Little Rock's I-30 Speedway on Saturday night.
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. Cody Branchcomb, 2. Natalie Sather, 3. Gary Wright, 4. Toby Brown, 5. Dustin Lindquist, 6. Tim Crawley, 7. Gavin Punch, 8. Roy Larkin.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 2. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 3. Mike Ward, 4. Lee Sowell, 5. Marshall Skinner, 6. Jimmy Taylor, 7. Mike Sitzmann, Jr.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. Jamie Passmore, 2. Darren Stewart, 3. Roger Crockett, 4. Dale Howard, 5. Nick Smith, 6. Steven Tiner, 7. Dex Eaton.
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. Terry McCarl, 2. Sean McClelland, 3. Zach Chappell, 4. Jesse Hockett, 5. Brian McClelland, 6. Joel Howard, 7. Dara Morrow.
Fifth Heat (8 Laps): 1. Jason Johnson, 2. Jan Howard, 3. J.P. Bailey, 4. Tony Bruce, Jr., 5. Danny Wood, 6. Jake Martens, 7. Foster Landon.
First B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Roger Crockett, 2. Nick Smith, 3. Lee Sowell, 4. Dustin Lindquist, 5. Danny Wood, 6. Tony Bruce, Jr., 7. Tim Crawley, 8. Joel Howard, 9. Dex Eaton, 10. Foster Landon, 11. Gavin Punch.
Second B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Dale Howard, 2. Jesse Hockett, 3. J.P. Bailey, 4. Marshall Skinner, 5. Brian McClelland, 6. Dara Morrow, 7. Jimmy Taylor, 8. Steven Tiner, 9. Jake Martens, 10. Mike Sitzmann, Jr. DNS: Roy Larkin.
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. Jason Johnson, 2. Cody Branchcomb, 3. Sean McClelland, 4. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 5. Jamie Passmore, 6. Gary Wright, 7. Darren Stewart, 8. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 9. Terry McCarl, 10. Jan Howard, 11. Zach Chappell, 12. Dale Howard, 13. Tim Crawley, 14. Mike Ward, 15. Nick Smith, 16. Natalie Sather, 17. Lee Sowell, 18. Tony Bruce, Jr., 19. Jesse Hockett, 20. J.P. Bailey, 21. Toby Brown, 22. Roger Crockett.
O'Reilly ASCS National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores Points (Top Ten): 1. Gary Wright 1,534, 2. Darren Stewart 1,512, 3. Jan Howard 1,445, 4. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,375, 5. Jake Martens 1,357, 6. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 1,341, 7. Toby Brown 1,305, 8. A.G. Rains 1,147, 9. Lee Sowell 1,047, 10. Jimmy Taylor 955.
13th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Speedweek Points (Top Ten -- Through Round Four of Seven Events): 1. Darren Stewart 556, 2. Gary Wright 554, 3. (tie) Tim Crawley and Jan Howard 542, 5. Roger Crockett 538, 6. Dale Howard 516, 7. (tie) Sam Hafertepe, Jr., and Tony Bruce, Jr. 500, 9. Toby Brown 488, 10. Steven Tiner 481.