McKENZIE, TN (May 25) - While Mother Nature continues to play havoc with sprint car racers across the country, several J&J Auto Racing teams reeked some havoc of their own winning feature events at Knoxville Raceway, Williams Grove Speedway, Red...
McKENZIE, TN (May 25) - While Mother Nature continues to play havoc with sprint car racers across the country, several J&J Auto Racing teams reeked some havoc of their own winning feature events at Knoxville Raceway, Williams Grove Speedway, Red River Valley Speedway, Nodak Speedway, I-30 Speedway, Baton Rouge Raceway and Delta Bowl Speedway.
WILLIAMS GROVE SPEEDWAY
Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway, a brand new race car, the first appearance of the season by his car owner, Dave Middleswarth, and a near perfect performance gave Keith Kauffman his first win of the season and his 48th career at the Grove.
"The car owner said to get a new car out, so we got one out, maybe he was right," said Kauffman who led all 25 laps in the Middleswarth #7 J&J. "We've really struggled a lot this year but I think we've got it a little bit closer now."
By virtue of his fifth quickest time trial, Kauffman lined up on the front row. Kauffman got the jump at the start, only to have a three-car crash in turn one bringing back the start. After another failed start attempt, Kauffman grabbed the lead before an accident between runner-up Mark Smith and Kauffman's Middleswarth teammate, Todd Hestor, slowed the race again.
Lance Dewease moved into the second spot on the restart in the Hamilton Motorsports #77 J&J, but Kauffman quickly moved away from him.
Dewease moved closer to Kauffman in lapped traffic but Kauffman would pull away. He held a comfortable advantage when the leaders approached heavy slower traffic with five laps remaining. Kauffman maneuvered his way through and easily scored his 290th career sprint car win.
"The car felt pretty good tonight," Kauffman said. "The guys work hard and I think we definitely figured something out tonight. Hopefully there are a few more wins left."
Kauffman will officially be inducted into the Hall of Fame on June 5 in Knoxville, Iowa. He is the only active driver to ever be inducted.
Fred Rahmer finished third Friday in the Joe Harz Racing #88h J&J giving J&J Auto Racing a podium sweep at the famous half-mile dirt oval.
RED RIVER VALLEY SPEEDWAY
Loren Langerud made it four wins in row at the Red River Valley Speedway on Friday night. Langerud raced his #56 J&J on the high groove for the WISSOTA feature event and passed race-long leader Dustin Lindquist heading towards the white flag. Lindquist was slowed by lapped traffic and Langerud made his victorious pass as he, Lindquest and a lapped car went three wide down the frontstretch. Langerud was the first one into turn one and he drove off for the win.
Travis Cram scored his first victory of the season at the famous Knoxville Raceway on Saturday night leading 19 of the 20-lap feature event in his #92 J&J sprinter.
"Wide open," claimed Cram regarding his driving style following Saturday's feature. "I love this track. It suits my style. A guy can really manhandle the car around it. It makes for a lot of fun racing."
Cram is the current points leader at Knoxville Raceway and Saturday's win was his sixth career feature win at the historic track.
Skip Jackson had a solid run in his #2J&J racing from his 16th starting position to a seventh place finish in the race that went green to checkered without a stoppage.
O'Reilly SUPR Sprint Cars
Terry Vidrine raced his #68 J&J on the outside line to storm to his first O'Reilly SUPR Sprint Car victory of the season on Saturday night at Baton Rouge Raceway. Vidrine brought the $1500 winners share back to Slaughter, Louisiana on a track that hasn't always been so kind to him. Vidrine flipped his sprinter the first night out this year at Baton Rouge Raceway so he was much happier with Saturday's results.
After starting on the outside of row one, Vidrine never looked back in the 25-lap feature that was slowed by just two cautions. When the racing stayed green it was Vidrine running the top and pulling away from pole sitter Michael Dupuy, at the wheel of the 1B J&J normally driven by Bobby Ingram. Ingram invited Dupuy to drive the car and Dupuy quickly earned the pole in his first start of the season. Dupuy started on the pole but was unable to keep up with Vidrine's pace and soon found himself trying to hold off the challenge from Butch David. David would eventually grab second with Dupuy relegated to third at the finish line ahead of Lane Whittington in the #9 J&J.
Leading Rookie of the Year contender Cassidy Lejeune finished seventh in his #5 J&J ahead of Seavy Clemmons, who was also driving a J&J.
DELTA BOWL SPEEDWAY
Mike Ward continued his domination of the sprint car division at Delta Bowl Speedway in Tunica, MS, as he led Saturday's feature flag to flag to pick up another win in his #88 J&J. Ward and Terry Gray started on the front row with Ward rocketing to the lead at the drop of the green. By the race's midpoint, Ward held almost a straight away lead over the second and third place runners. At the finish line Ward was followed by Tim Crawley, Gray, Jan Howard, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who was driving the #40r J&J.
Loren Langerud said he has seen Nodak Speedway in better condition than it was on a rainy Sunday night, but he wasn't complaining.
Langerud found his groove five laps into Sunday night's Sprint car A-Main in his #56 J&J and blew away the remainder of the field. Langerud briefly lost the lead to Mark Dobmeier, but he regained it on a restart with five laps to go.
"I've raced before when it's started to rain," said Langerud. "I've seen a lot of guys wreck and I didn't know if the track would be under me or not. When you're by the front cars or in the front, you don't know how hard you can go into the corners."
Langerud took advantage of the first of two cautions in the feature. Greg Nikitenko pulled his car to a stop on the front stretch with six laps to go, bringing out the yellow flag. Langerud went high around Dobmeier and shot around him coming out of turn two. Dobmeier broke down in the front stretch two laps later and Langerud wasn't challenged the rest of the way.
"The track has been so smooth and nice when I've raced here in the past," Langerud said. "I was surprised to see it a little choppy, but it packed in real nice."
Other strong J&J Auto Racing Finishes:
Terry Reilly came home second on Saturday night at Lake County Speedway in Madison, SD. Reilly drove the #69r Nichols Construction, Beaves Truckwash, Butlerbuilt J & J from his 10th starting position in the 15-lap event to the front, but came up one spot short of victory.
"We know we are going to be starting deep in the field most of the time due to the tough handicapping system out here," said Reilly following the race. "This car and team have performed flawlessly so far this year, and we will keep digging for another win."