COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. (July 25) - Jason Johnson battled more than the competition Saturday night at the Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore. The Eunice, La., native faced a controversy head-on after claiming the 35- lap feature for the ...
COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. (July 25) - Jason Johnson battled more than the competition Saturday night at the Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore.
The Eunice, La., native faced a controversy head-on after claiming the 35- lap feature for the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters versus the ASCS Northwest Region.
"I'm out here to win," said Johnson, who leads the ASCS National Tour points. "I ain't out here to make friends."
Polesitter Shane Stewart of Bixby, Okla., led the first 23 laps before what he deemed a "dirty slide job" by Johnson. In the midst of heavy lapped traffic, Johnson slid by Stewart in turn two - a move that prompted Stewart's race car to jump the cushion.
"I wouldn't have ran third tonight if I wouldn't have got ran off the track," said Stewart, who finished third.
Johnson sailed into the lead and Medford, Ore., resident Roger Crockett stormed into second place. Stewart never seriously challenged for either of the top two positions, while Johnson and Crockett swapped the lead a handful of times before the top of the track took rubber with Johnson in the lead.
With Johnson in the high groove and Crockett sticking to the bottom, the duo had a battle that left both smiling afterward.
"When we got to lapped traffic, we could really make up some ground and really come out of nowhere and sneak up on him," Crockett said. "When I got by him, I should have got back up to the top. (The track) laid rubber about a lap and a half later, and that was it. It got so abrasive you had to run high."
With Johnson in front, and utilizing the high groove, Crockett was unable to make a run on the defending ASCS National Tour champion in the closing laps.
"Roger is a stout racer up here," Johnson said. "He races you clean. He slid me and I turned around and slid him back. He was just going for the victory like I was."
A driver who was able to make the bottom of the track work in the final laps was Dale Smith of Cottage Grove, Ore. While everybody was hugging the top of the track, the hometown hero drove from sixth to fourth in the final two laps after a late caution.
"Everybody bottled up on that restart, and they were doing that every start, so I just went to the bottom," said Smith, who has won seven track championships and 77 features at the Cottage Grove Speedway.
"With two laps (remaining), I figured I couldn't lose too many positions. It worked out for me."
Fellow local Kyle Miller, who hails from Eugene, Ore., had a career-best finish in an ASCS National Tour event in 14th. However, he had just as much fun watching Smith battle at the front of the field.
"I kept looking up every single caution," Miller said. "I seen him up there and I was just cheering him on. That was great to see."
Liberal, Kan., native Tony Bruce Jr. rounded out the top five.
Gary Wright of Hooks, Texas, was the Hard Charger, driving from 22nd to ninth.
Several of the top ASCS Northwest Region drivers took a hit in the points on Saturday.
Snohomish, Wash., resident Jared Ridge, who entered the night with the point's lead, spun out in the B main and failed to qualify for the feature.
Also in the B main, Steven Tiner of Visalia, Calif., who was third in points before the race, was unable to avoid Ridge and flipped.
Of the top 10 in points, only Crockett (2nd in points), Mitch Olson (4th) of Tacoma, Wash., and Randy Pierce (7th) of Meridian, Idaho, advanced to the feature.
Pierce finished 16th and Olson 18th.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters and ASCS Northwest Region results from the Cottage Grove Speedway (July 25):
Heat One (10 laps): 1. 18-Tony Bruce Jr., 2. 29-Travis Rilat, 3. 13-Jesse Hockett, 4. 88-Tim Crawley, 5. 12p-Randy Pierce, 6. 12-Jared Ridge, 7. 6m- Phillip Del Rosa, 8. 7-Darren Long.
Heat Two (10 laps): 1. 53-Jack Dover, 2. 94-Danny Wood, 3. 2-Kenneth Walker, 4. 10-Kyle Miller, 5. 23t-Colin Baker, 6. 1-Sean McClelland, 7. 94t- Steven Tiner, 8. 33v-Henry Van Dam.
Heat Three (10 laps): 1. 3d-Paul McMahan, 2. 51-Jason Solwold, 3. 11-Chad Corken, 4. 5h-Justyn Cox, 5. 25c-Chad Groves, 6. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 7. 9x- Gary Wright, 8. 81au-Gavin Punch.
Heat Four (10 laps): 1. 23-Seth Bergman, 2. 41s-Dale Smith, 3. 10h-Steven Horner, 4. 91-Gary Taylor, 5. 98m-Mitch Olson, 6. 53x-Andy Gregg, 7. 24- Theo McCarty.
"B" Feature (15 laps): 1. 98m-Mitch Olson, 2. 10-Kyle Miller, 3. 1-Sean McClelland, 4. 9x-Gary Wright, 5. 53x-Andy Gregg, 6. 23t-Colin Baker, 7. 5h- Justyn Cox, 8. 25c-Chad Groves, 9. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 10. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 11. 12-Jared Ridge, 12. 24-Theo McCarty, 13. 81au-Gavin Punch, 14. 6m-Phillip Del Rosa, 15. 91-Gary Taylor, 16. 94t-Steven Tiner.
"A" Feature (35 laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 11c-Roger Crockett, 3. 57- Shane Stewart, 4. 41s-Dale Smith, 5. 18-Tony Bruce Jr., 6. 35a-Wayne Johnson, 7. 13-Jesse Hockett, 8. 51-Jason Solwold, 9. 9x-Gary Wright, 10. 3d-Paul McMahan, 11. 53-Jack Dover, 12. 88-Tim Crawley, 13. 94-Danny Wood, 14. 10-Kyle Miller, 15. 2-Kenneth Walker, 16. 12p-Randy Pierce, 17. 29- Travis Rilat, 18. 98m-Mitch Olson, 19. 81au-Gavin Punch, 20. 1-Sean McClelland, 21. 11-Chad Corken, 22. 10h-Steven Horner, 23. 23-Seth Bergman, 24. 91-Gary Taylor.