Northwest Region Shelton preview

Crockett Leads Way into ASCS Northwest Finale at Yakima Shawn Miller, SHELTON, Wash. (September 21, 2009) -- Little by little, Roger Crockett is checking off his to-do list. A week after picking up his first track championship...

Crockett Leads Way into ASCS Northwest Finale at Yakima

Shawn Miller, SHELTON, Wash. (September 21, 2009) -- Little by little, Roger Crockett is checking off his to-do list.

A week after picking up his first track championship since 1995, Crockett will be attempting to secure his first American Sprint Car Series Northwest Region title this weekend at the Yakima Dirt Track in Yakima, Wash.

Last weekend, Crockett won the Sprint Car championship at the Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore. -- his first since claiming the Eugene Speedway title in 1995. Crockett enters the Northwest Region's final events of the season -- Friday and Saturday -- with a 60-point advantage over Jared Ridge of Snohomish, Wash.

"We have a little bit of leeway," Crockett said. "Until the main event, I'm not going to be too concerned with being conservative.

"It's a pretty good track for us. Generally, we do pretty well. It's pretty darn fast when it's wet."

This season has been the best in a stellar career for the 28-year-old driver from Medford, Ore. Crockett has won 22 features, including four Northwest Region races and a Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters main event.

While Crockett isn't new to winning, he is searching for that first ASCS title to add to a long list of accomplishments.

"The ASCS thing ... It's really cool going to all the different tracks, having the national deal here," said Crockett, who has also won four Northern Sprint Tour, the lone Northwest Sprint Challenge Series and a California Sprint Car Civil War Series championship.

"I think it's definitely going to be right up there, if we can pull it off, with the championships I've won."

Last year in the inaugural season of the Northwest Region, Crockett finished third in the points -- only 14 behind Ridge for second and 44 back from winner Jayme Barnes of Marysville, Wash.

Crockett has been the most consistent of the Northwest Region drivers this season. He's the only racer to have won multiple events and more importantly, Crockett is the lone driver to compete in every feature.

Meanwhile, Ridge earned his first career victory in a Northwest Region race on June 26 and has missed only one feature after he wrecked in the B main.

"Roger, Jared and many others have had a great battle for the coveted Northwest Region championship the past two seasons," Northwest Region Director Greg Burgess said. "It is exciting for the point's title to come down to the final weekend again. There is a lot on the line and I think all of the drivers are going to put on an amazing show."

While the battle atop the points likely won't be decided until the final feature, Justyn Cox of Sacramento, Calif., has all but wrapped up the Northwest Region Rookie of the Year.

Cox enters the final weekend with a 266-point lead over Cottage Grove, Ore., resident Colin Baker. Assuming Cox shows up for at least one of the races, he'll win Rookie of the Year.

"It means a lot to me," Cox said. "I'm just very excited to get Rookie of the Year. It's a big deal for me knowing that I did okay as a rookie."

More than ok.

Cox, who is seventh in the points, has a top-10 finish in each of his last four ASCS races. He also picked up his first career victory by winning the ASCS Rocky Mountain Region event on Aug. 21 at Casper Speedway in Casper, Wyo.

"It gave us a little bit of a power boost," he said. "It pretty much taught us that we're fast enough to win."

The Northwest Region guy who has been fast enough to win most of the season but unable to cross the finish line first is Steven Tiner of Visalia, Calif.

Tiner, who is third in the points, leads the Hard Charger standings with 47 cars passed in features this season. Enumclaw, Wash., resident Henry Van Dam is second with 43, followed by Ridge (39), Crockett (37) and Chad Groves (37) of Bend, Ore.

A lot will be decided this weekend at the 3/8th mile track, which added approximately $25,000 of clay in the offseason.

This weekend's races, held at the Central Washington State Fairgrounds, will also help kickoff the Central Washington State Fair from Sept. 25 to Oct. 4.

A $12 ticket to the fair grants access to the races. Reserved seats are available for $16.

Fair gates open at 11 a.m. with racing scheduled to begin at approximately 6 p.m. each night.

-credit: ascs

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Justyn Cox , Roger Crockett