Northwest Region Medford results 2008-07-14

Allard wins scorcher of a battle at NW Speed Week opener in Medford MEDFORD, Ore. -- The third try was indeed a charm Monday night for Jonathan Allard. The ASCS Northwest Speed Week kicked off with its first of six straight nights of racing...

Allard wins scorcher of a battle at NW Speed Week opener in Medford

MEDFORD, Ore. -- The third try was indeed a charm Monday night for Jonathan Allard.

The ASCS Northwest Speed Week kicked off with its first of six straight nights of racing Monday at Southern Oregon Speedway, and Allard found himself in victory lane following a thrilling duel with Jayme Barnes.

Allard took the lead for the third time unofficially -- but first time officially -- on lap 26 of the 30-lap feature at the racy 1/3-mile clay oval, and took the win over Barnes, Brock Lemley, Kyle Hirst and Dan Menne to pocket the $1,500 top prize.

Twice Allard passed Barnes for the lead, only to have a yellow on the same lap negate the move.

"It does feel good," Allard said of winning after placing second in Medford twice. "It was a great race track tonight. I had to work for it a couple of times. I didn't think I should have been put back behind, but it meant a good show for the fans.

"That's racing," Allard added. "You've got to take your lumps. You have to keep your composure."

Kyle Miller took the initial lead, as behind him Barnes and Allard moved up from their fourth and fifth starting positions.

As Miller went high to lap a car on lap 10, Barnes went even higher to grab the lead off turn four. Barnes quickly built up a lead, but lost the advantage when he nearly spun coming off turn two a couple of laps later after close racing with a lapped car.

"The lapped cars want to race you harder than they should," Barnes said. "But I understand. I wouldn't want to lose a lap, either."

On a day when the high temperature reached 102 degrees, the bobble opened the door for a hot three-way battle for the lead between Miller, Barnes and Allard.

Miller took the lead on lap 13, but on lap 14 Barnes went low in turn one. As Barnes slid up the track, that forced Miller over the turn two berm. Miller caught the wall and coasted to a stop in turn three, bringing out the yellow.

"I got pushed into the wall," Miller said. "It knocked the driveline out. I was disappointed to see Jayme make that move so early. If it was the last lap, I would have understood."

Despite the setback, Miller was smiling due to the great lead battle he was a part of.

"That was intense," he said. "That was a lot of fun. I'm not complaining. That was a big confidence boost."

Barnes felt bad about for pushing Miller up.

"I bumped the 10 car," Barnes acknowledged. "I probably forced my lane a bit."

When the yellow came out, Barnes was put back in front of Allard.

Once the green flew again, Allard was all over Barnes, trying every move possible to get in front. Allard again made it past, but a yellow for Danny Lasoski's stopped car in turn three on lap 20 again negated the pass.

Lasoski, the former World of Outlaw champion who is racing Knoxville Raceway on a weekly basis this year, is driving Speed Week for the Doyle Harley-Davidson team, which won the week last year with Shane Stewart behind the wheel.

Even Barnes was surprised to be the leader under both yellows.

"I figured I should have been second both times," he said. "After the last yellow, I was just hoping for traffic."

Allard, meanwhile, knew he had the car and the time to get back around Barnes a third time.

"I just had to get the momentum and get a run on him," Allard said. "He was quick on the bottom. But I had my car working great."

On lap 26 Allard got by, and this time there was no yellow, allowing the California driver to win the battle of the Dirt Cup champions. Allard's winning margin was 1.337 seconds.

Barnes settled for second.

"Our car just was not very good," Barnes said. "It was a little bit loose. Allard just got by me. We were cruising, just trying to finish second after that."

The four 10-lap heat races were won by Allard, Jared Peterson, Miller and Marc Mackay. The top 16 in points after the heat races transferred to the 20-car feature, with the top two finishers in both of the B-Main events filling out the field. Transferring from the B-Mains were Rob Held, Mike Melwicks, Chadd Noland and Jared Ridge. There were 37 cars signed in on the night.

One of the drivers unable to make the feature event was Seth Bergman, who started the week as the ASCS Northwest points leader by four markers over Henry Van Dam.

Van Dam made the A-main, but flipped in the first turn on the opening lap. He was able to rejoin the race, finishing ninth after a spin.

Monday's race marked the 11th consecutive year Speed Week has started in Medford. It was also the first ASCS-sanctioned race ever in the state of Oregon.

Speed Week resumes Tuesday night at Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore. Hot laps will begin at approximately 5:45 p.m., with racing at 6:45. One of the drivers expected to join the tour in Cottage Grove is former World of Outlaw regular Jason Solwold.

Racing on Wednesday will take place at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Ore. The tour finishes its Oregon swing Thursday night at Sunset Speedway in Banks, Ore.

The week concludes with the two-night Evergreen State Sprint Challenge at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash. on Friday and Saturday.

ASCS Northwest Region 2008 Northwest Speed Week results
Night #1: Monday, July 14 at Southern Oregon Speedway in Medford, Ore.

Heat 1
1. Jonathan Allard
2. Roger Crockett
3. Brock Lemley
4. Christian Stover
5. Henry Van Dam
6. Brendan Boyce
7. Todd Zeitler
8. Jimmy Trulli
9. Jay Cole
10. Ricky Wright Jr. (DQ'd)

Heat 2
1. Jared Peterson
2. Jayme Barnes
3. Randy Rodgers
4. Dan Dunlap
5. JJ Dishneau
6. Vern Wheeler
7. Shane Forte
8. Steve Vague
9. Steve Horner

Heat 3
1. Kyle Miller
2. Dan Menne
3. Danny Lasoski
4. Mike Melwicks
5. Jared Ridge
6. Charlie Cash
7. Ryan Gomes
8. Ted Baker
9. Dave Hibbard

Heat 4
1. Marc Mackay
2. Chad Groves
3. Kyle Hirst
4. Rob Held
5. Chadd Noland
6. Seth Bergman
7. T.J. Winningham
8. Phillip Del Rosa
9. Travis Rutz

B-Main #1 (12 laps)
1. Rob Held
2. Mike Melwicks
3. Shane Forte
4. Charlie Cash
5. Brendan Boyce
6. Steve Vague
7. Ted Baker
8. Jay Cole
9. Ryan Gomes
10. Dave Hibbard
11. Ricky Wright Jr.

B-Main #2 (12 laps)
1. Chadd Noland
2. Jared Ridge
3. Vern Wheeler
4. Seth Bergman
5. Travis Rutz
6. Jimmy Trulli
7. Todd Zeitler
8. T.J. Winningham
9. Phillip Del Rosa
10. Steve Horner.

A-Main (30 laps, 20 cars):
1. Jonathan Allard
2. Jayme Barnes
3. Brock Lemley
4. Kyle Hirst
5. Dan Menne
6. Roger Crockett
7. Randy Rodgers
8. Rob Held
9. Henry Van Dam
10. Chad Groves
11. Chadd Noland
12. Jared Ridge
13. Marc Mackay
14. Christian Stover
15. Jared Peterson
16. JJ Dishneau
17. Dan Dunlap
18. Danny Lasoski
19. Mike Melwicks
20. Kyle Miller

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Danny Lasoski , Jonathan Allard , Shane Stewart , Steve Horne , Kyle Hirst , Roger Crockett