Crockett Claims ASCS Northwest Cash at Cottage Grove COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. (August 14, 2009) -- Roger Crockett and a handful of teenagers were nearly the only ones smiling Friday night, otherwise known as survival night. Crockett...
Crockett Claims ASCS Northwest Cash at Cottage Grove
COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. (August 14, 2009) -- Roger Crockett and a handful of teenagers were nearly the only ones smiling Friday night, otherwise known as survival night.
Crockett claimed his series-high fourth American Sprint Car Series Northwest Region victory of the season and the teen drivers who placed fourth through seventh each picked up career-best finishes at Cottage Grove Speedway.
"We've had a great car every one of these races and we've had a shot to win nearly every night," Crockett said. "That's why we're here. That's why we're on top (of the points) right now."
For Crockett, who has now won nine Northwest Region races in 27 events the past two seasons, it was another opportunity to set himself apart from the competition -- in more than one way.
Crockett slipped by Dale Smith of Cottage Grove, Ore., for the lead on lap four and never looked back. The three remaining cautions were the only time Smith was able to pull within reach of Crockett, who was able to drive the car anywhere on the track.
"When the car is good it allows you to be pretty maneuverable, so it's a lot easier to get through traffic when you know you can put your car wherever you need to put it," said Crockett, who is fourth in all-time 360 sprint car wins at the Cottage Grove Speedway.
"Even though it's a small track, it races a lot more than like a big track. So I think as straight as I'm able to drive the car, we have a lot more momentum than some guys that drive the car sideways. There were some laps toward the end I wasn't even lifting in (turns) three and four."
Smith, who started second and took the lead on the opening lap, was initially surprised by the early pass for the lead. Then again, he's grown accustomed to Crockett's reign on the quarter-mile track.
"I couldn't believe he was passing us because we were going good, I thought," said Smith, who has won seven track championships at the Cottage Grove Speedway.
"He was definitely faster than us in the open track. He's got something figured out."
Bend, Ore., resident Chad Groves used the high groove to sling shot himself to a third-place finish -- a career-best in ASCS action.
"I was just trying to go where they weren't and the top seemed to be where I needed to go," Groves said. "I just flat told myself when I woke up that I need to be aggressive tonight."
He wasn't the only one happy after the checkered flag.
Colin Baker of Cottage Grove, Ore., and Eugene, Ore., resident Kyle Miller rounded out the top five -- their best-ASCS finishes.
Close behind with career bests were Sacramento, Calif., resident Justyn Cox in sixth and Logan Forler of Orting, Wash., in seventh.
However, as strong of nights as the youth -- and Crockett -- had, it was a struggle for several veteran drivers trying to chase down Crockett for the Northwest Region point's title.
Visalia, Calif., resident Steven Tiner, who entered the night in third place only 34 points out of the lead, flipped in a heat race. Tiner, who was already locked into the feature, didn't start the A main and ended up with a 16th-place finish.
It wasn't much better for Jared Ridge of Snohomish, Wash., and Tacoma, Wash., native Mitch Olson. While racing for third place on lap 19 of the feature, the duo tangled and each flipped multiple times up the track in turn three.
"I kinda came out of that thing asking everybody if I got chopped or if I just stuck my nose where I shouldn't have," Ridge said. "To me, it just seemed like we were going for the same spot and neither of us came out of it all right."
Ridge, who entered the night only 20 points behind Crockett for the lead, was relegated to a 15th-place finish.
Olson, who was 98 points behind Crockett, ended up 14th.
ASCS Northwest Region Results from Cottage Grove Speedway:
Heat One (8 laps): 1. 25c-Chad Groves, 2. 94-Steven Tiner, 3. 41-Dale Smith, 4. 11-Roger Crockett, 5. 5h-Justyn Cox, 6. 12p-Randy Pierce, 7. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 8. 10-Kyle Miller, 9. 94z-Zach Zimmerly.
Heat Two (8 laps): 1. 2l-Logan Forler, 2. 53-Andy Gregg, 3. 12-Jared Ridge, 4. 23-Colin Baker, 5. 98m-Mitch Olson, 6. 68-Rob Held, 7. 6m-Phillip Del Rosa, 8. 30-Gary Davis, 9. (DNS) 5sp-Jason Cocking.
Heat Three (8 laps): 1. 11-Roger Crockett, 2. 10-Kyle Miller, 3. 41-Dale Smith, 4. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 5. 94z-Zach Zimmerly, 6. 12p-Randy Pierce, 7. 5h-Justyn Cox, 8. 25c-Chad Groves, 9. 94-Steven Tiner.
Heat Four (8 laps): 1. 98m-Mitch Olson, 2. 23-Colin Baker, 3. 12-Jared Ridge, 4. 53-Andy Gregg, 5. 2l-Logan Forler, 6. 68-Rob Held, 7. 6m-Phillip Del Rosa, 8. (DNS) 30-Gary Davis, 9. (DNS) 5sp-Jason Cocking.
"A" Feature (30 laps): 1. 11-Roger Crockett, 2. 41-Dale Smith, 3. 25c-Chad Groves, 4. 23-Colin Baker, 5. 10-Kyle Miller, 6. 5h-Justyn Cox, 7. 2l-Logan Forler, 8. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 9. 12p-Randy Pierce, 10. 53-Andy Gregg, 11. 94z-Zach Zimmerly, 12. 68-Rob Held, 13. 6m-Phillip Del Rosa, 14. 98m-Mitch Olson, 15. 12-Jared Ridge, 16. (DNS) 94-Steven Tiner, 17. (DNS) 5sp-Jason Cocking, 18. (DNS) 30-Gary Davis.
ASCS Northwest Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Roger Crockett 1,980, 2. Jared Ridge 1,930, 3. Steven Tiner 1,871, 4. Mitch Olson 1,854, 5. Henry VanDam 1,839, 6. Chad Groves 1,775, 7. Randy Pierce 1,642, 8. Justyn Cox 1,611, 9. Colin Baker 1,349, 10. Jason Solwold 1,104.