ELMA, Wash. (July 17) - He's been there 120 different times before, but the trip to Victory Lane on Friday night was anything but routine. Not only did Roger Crockett collect another win on a national scale but the Medford, Ore., resident ...
ELMA, Wash. (July 17) - He's been there 120 different times before, but the trip to Victory Lane on Friday night was anything but routine.
Not only did Roger Crockett collect another win on a national scale but the Medford, Ore., resident solidified the strength of sprint car racing in the Northwest by claiming the first night of the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters feature at the Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash.
Crockett led all 30 laps of the Fred Brownfield Memorial, named in honor of the late promoter of Grays Harbor Raceway and the man who started a sprint car tour in the Northwest in 1996, to take home the $3,000 prize.
"Everybody knows that we're here to win and not to run fifth," Crockett said after his 121st career sprint car win.
Just as significant is the stage it was on, pitting Crockett and the ASCS Northwest Region against the ASCS National Tour on its first-ever event in the Northwest.
"We're not slouches out here," said Crockett, who is the first non-National Tour member to win a Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters feature this season.
Crockett, who started the A main on the poll, battled Travis Rilat of Forney, Texas, for most of the race, including through some fits of lapped traffic. On the restart after the three cautions, Crockett would sail into a big lead only to be chased down in lapped traffic by Rilat.
Rilat was able to pull within a car-length of Crockett, but never any closer and Crockett cruised to his second career ASCS National Tour victory.
"There's some tough guys up here," Rilat said. "There's definitely a bunch of good cars up here in the Northwest. There's a lot of talent in this area. It's definitely got to be one of the toughest areas to go to."
Crockett and Rilat are both locked into Saturday's feature of the Fred Brownfield Memorial, which pays $10,092 to the winner and wraps up the Northwest Region Speedweek.
Tim Crawley of Benton, Ark., and Eunice, La., native Jason Johnson are also locked into the feature after finishing third and fourth, respectively.
"We are tickled to death to be locked in," Crawley said. "It's major. You could come back tomorrow and draw a big number, start on the back of a loaded heat and miss the show.
"They've got good racers up here."
Crockett wasn't the only Northwest Region driver to make waves.
Steven Tiner of Visalia, Calif., ran in the top four most of the night before slipping two positions after the last restart. Tiner, who started fourth and battled Crawley for third place midway through the race, misread a lapped car on the final restart and was passed for two positions before regaining his composure.
Despite dropping out of the guaranteed spot for Saturday's main event with a top four on Friday, Tiner was more than pleased with the competitiveness of the Northwest Region against some of the best racers in the country.
"I think we're representing the Northwest pretty well," said Tiner, who finished sixth. "All everybody talks about is the National ASCS deal and how tough it is."
Jared Ridge of Snohomish, Wash., shared the sentiment. Ridge, who entered the night as the Northwest Region point's leader, finished 11th.
"I would say the top four or five guys in our region can go out and run professionally, granted if they had the money behind them to do it," Ridge said.
Enumclaw, Wash., native Henry Van Dam drove from sixth to second, snagging the last transfer spot in the third B main. Van Dam then made his way from 22nd to 12th in the main event.
Fifth-place finisher Shane Stewart of Bixby, Okla., also passed 10 cars, but earns the Hard Charger award for finishing higher than Van Dam.
A pair of Northwest drivers with national ties had their good runs spoiled in the feature.
Snohomish, Wash., resident Seth Bergman, who is competing on the ASCS National Tour this season, started the feature second. However, his night came to an end on lap 15 when the brake caliper came off the car.
Burlington, Wash., native Jason Solwold, who has competed in national events at all levels for years, was in sixth place when the center of his right rear wheel broke with six laps remaining.
Solwold was 19th and Bergman finished 21st.
Saturday's race is also the final event for the Northwest Region Speedweek. Warsaw, Mo., resident Jesse Hockett, who was seventh on Friday, holds a 14- point lead over Crockett for the top spot.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters and Northwest Region results from Grays Harbor Raceway (July 17):
Heat One (10 laps): 1. 11c-Roger Crockett, 2. 13-Jesse Hockett, 3. 41-Jason Johnson, 4. 91-Gary Taylor, 5. 9j-J.J. Dishneau, 6. 21w-Vern Wheeler, 7. 15d-Dan Dunlap, 8. 7n-Chadd Noland, 9. 29v-Robby Vaughn.
Heat Two (10 laps): 1. 88-Tim Crawley, 2. 08-Steve Vague, 3. 3d-Paul McMahan, 4. 0j-Jay Cole, 5. 1-Sean McClelland, 6. 94z-Zach Zimmerly, 7. 6- Jayme Barnes, 8. 76-Shawn Rice, 9. 5h-Justyn Cox.
Heat Three (10 laps): 1. 98m-Mitch Olson, 2. 94t-Steven Tiner 3. 9p-Jared Peterson, 4. 2-Mike Melwicks, 5. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 6. 4-Nick Engberg, 7. 6m-Phillip Del Rosa, 8. 15c-Cody Anderlini, 9. 26-Travis Rutz.
Heat Four (10 laps): 1. 51-Jason Solwold, 2. 72-Glenn Borden Jr., 3. 12- Jared Ridge, 4. 57-Shane Stewart, 5. 25c-Chad Groves, 6. 7a-J.J. Hickle, 7. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 8. 11-Chad Corken.
Heat Five (10 laps): 1. 18-Tony Bruce Jr., 2. 9x-Gary Wright, 3. 2-Kenneth Walker, 4. 35a-Wayne Johnson, 5. 7-Darren Long, 6. 23t-Colin Baker, 7. 18t- Travis Jacobson, 8. 96x-Mack Brown.
Heat Six (10 laps): 1. 7k-Danny Kirkpatrick, 2. 29-Travis Rilat, 3. 23-Seth Bergman, 4. 12p-Randy Pierce, 5. 15j-Jeff Dunlap, 6. 53-Jack Dover, 7. 94- Danny Wood, 8. F1-Ricky Fauver.
First "B" Feature (12 laps): 1. 1-Sean McClelland, 2. 0j-Jay Cole, 3. 7a- J.J. Hickle 4. 08-Steve Vague, 5. 26-Travis Rutz, 6. 94-Danny Wood, 7. 44w- Austen Wheatley, 8. 2m-Mike Melwicks, 9. 18t-Travis Jacobson, 10. 15c-Cody Anderlini, 11. 6m-Phillip Del Rosa, 12. (DNS) 7n-Chadd Noland.
Second "B" Feature (12 laps): 1. 7-Darren Long, 2. 53-Jack Dover, 3. 72- Glenn Borden Jr., 4. 35a-Wayne Johnson, 5. 94z-Zach Zimmerly, 6. 76-Shawn Rice, 7. 12p-Randy Pierce, 8. 21w-Vern Wheeler, 9. 5h-Justyn Cox, 10. 4- Nick Engberg, 11. 96x-Mack Brown, 12. 11-Chad Corken.
Third "B" Feature (12 laps): 1. 2-Kenneth Walker, 2. 33v-Henry Van Dam 3. 9p-Jared Peterson, 4. 6-Jayme Barnes, 5. 25c-Chad Groves, 6. 9j-J.J. Dishneau, 7. 23t-Colin Baker, 8. 15d-Dan Dunlap, 9. 15j-Jeff Dunlap, 10. 29v-Robby Vaughn, 11. (DNS) F1-Ricky Fauver.
"A" Feature (30 laps): 1. 11c-Roger Crockett, 2. 29-Travis Rilat, 3. 88-Tim Crawley, 4. 41-Jason Johnson, 5. 57-Shane Stewart, 6. 94t-Steven Tiner, 7. 13-Jesse Hockett, 8. 18-Tony Bruce Jr., 9. 9x-Gary Wright, 10. 3d-Paul McMahan, 11. 12-Jared Ridge, 12. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 13. 1-Sean McClelland, 14. 53-Jack Dover, 15. 94-Danny Wood, 16. 2-Kenneth Walker, 17. 11-Chad Corken, 18. 0j-Jay Cole, 19. 51-Jason Solwold, 20. 7k-Danny Kirkpatrick, 21. 23-Seth Bergman, 22. 7-Darren Long, 23. 98m-Mitch Olson, 24. 91-Gary Taylor.