Roger Crockett proved he knows his way around Cottage Grove Speedway by winning all three U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. Northern Sprint Tour races at the Cottage Grove, OR track this season. The last one came Saturday, September 13th when the tour...
Roger Crockett proved he knows his way around Cottage Grove Speedway by winning all three U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. Northern Sprint Tour races at the Cottage Grove, OR track this season. The last one came Saturday, September 13th when the tour made its final appearance 2003 on the quarter-mile clay oval. The Eugene, OR based driver ran second to Jayme Barnes of Everett, WA, until Barnes suffered a flat left front tire on lap 12 after catching the inside berm the previous lap.
"The track was awesome tonight," said Crockett. "We could run anywhere we wanted." "I was sad to see Jayme's tire go flat, it would have been a closer race, and I'm glad to see him hang on for second."
Barnes took the lead from the outside front row, and soon proved he was the dominant car by opening a comfortable 10-car length lead. Crockett got by Jeff Hodgson on the second lap and by lap 6 the top two were threading slower cars.
Hodgson, of St. Albert, AB, had hometown driver Marvin Smith dogging his rear nerf bar and Friday night winner Jimmy Carter of Cloverdale, BC was moving up on Smith as the yellow flag flew for a spinning Mark Torres on lap 13.
Circling on the yellow flag, it was apparent that the left front tire on the #9X Barnes machine was definitely lacking any form of inflation.
On the restart Crockett moved to take the front spot as the two entered turn three and had the lead in turn four as Barnes dropped back. Within three laps Crockett had an easy 20 car length lead with Barnes running well and the Hodgson -- Smith battle was still in progress not far behind.
Glenn Borden, Jr. brought out the next yellow flag as he tagged the front wall exiting turn four on lap 21. With the field again grouped, Crockett had a lapped car cushion over Barnes and Barnes had two lapped cars between him and Hodgson.
As the green dropped on the restart, Smith made the pass for third as Hodgson, stuck behind slower cars was quickly shuffled back several spots. Carter moved to third a lap later and as the field opened again a spin by Colby Wiesz brought out the final yellow of the night.
With five laps to go it was Mt. Vernon, WA's Shawna Wilskey moving past Smith for 4th on the restart, with Crockett and Barnes again pulling away from the pack. As the final three laps counted down, Barnes was closing the gap on Crockett with Carter also closing the gap.
At the checkered flag Crockett, Barnes and Carter went to the podium with Wilskey and Smith filling the top five. Following Smith was Chad Hillier of Sedro Woolley, WA and Ft. Jones, CA's Dan Menne and Hodgson. Dale Smith, brother of Marvin, raced to a 9th place finish after having to tag the tail at the start for stopping on the track. Nampa, ID driver Shane Smith was 10th.
Asked how he held second, Barnes replied, "It runs good at speed. It's just when you slow that the wheel drops and starts to dig the track and wants to turn. I was really just worried about it coming off the wheel. I want to thank the Boychuk team again for providing me with a great car to run. Everything has just worked out great."
Carter commented his move from 11th to third saying, "It was a really good track tonight, at least three good grooves to run. We were as good as anyone and just wish it had been a 100 lapper. This is a great group and I just love racing with NST."
The B-Main off to rocky start when Shelton, WA driver Jay Cole bicycled in turns one and two, got sideways out of turn two and was tagged by Michael Harris who was hard on the gas. Harris did a spectacular double barrel roll on back straight to bring out the red flag. Harris was OK, but his car was out for the night.
The complete restart had Borden slightly leading or running wing to wing for the lead with D. Smith until Smith finally took the lead from Borden on lap three.
Yellows for spun cars on laps 5 & 7 slowed the action and closed up the field as the top five were stretching out around the track.
As Smith worked on opening about a 10-car length lead, Dawn-L Morrison of Morinville, AB tried, with no luck, to challenge Borden for second. Robert McNulty made a try for the final transfer spot but Cole held solid for fourth.
With three to go Smith was slowed by lapped cars, but, each time Smith was blocked it seemed Borden suffered the same fate and he could gain no ground on the leader. At line it was Smith, Borden, Morrison, and Cole going to the A-Feature with McNulty the backup car.
TJ Winningham led all 10 laps of the nights opening heat, with a very good race for second between Cole, Wilskey and Crockett providing some fine action for the fans.
Todd Zeitler won heat 2, despite a challenge by Barnes in the closing laps. Close racing mid pack for 3rd & 4th ended with Menne and Martinez making the transfer also.
Kevin Etchison led the first 7 laps of the third heat with Carter taking the lead coming out of turn four on lap eight. Etchison held on to second with M. Smith and Hodgson following.
Bryon Harvey went wire to wire in heat four over Torres, S. Smith and Hillier. Borden, Jr. and Shane Forte tangled in turn one on the last lap, with a double flip being the consequence.
Fast time of the 33-car field went to Crockett with an 11.132 second lap. Fourteen cars later, Barnes ran an identical lap.
Fast Time -- Roger Crockett -- 11.132.
Heat 1 --T.J. Winningham, Roger Crockett, Shawna Wilskey, Colby Wiesz, Jay Cole, Brad Holmes, Nathan Morelock, Scott Finley.
Heat 2 -- Todd Zeitler, Jayme Barnes, Dan Menne, Barry Martinez, Dale Smith, Melissa Yates, Michael Harris, T. Hall.
Heat 3 -- Jimmy Carter, Kevin Etchison, Marvin Smith, Jeff Hodges, Robert McNulty, Dawn-L Morrison, David Gilmore, (DNS)Randy Pierce.
Heat 4 -- Bryon Harvey, Mark Torres, Shawn Smith, Chad Hillier, Glenn Borden, Jr., Shane Forte, (DNS)Randy Van Aagten, (DNS)Randy Rogers.
Dash --Hodgson, Barnes, Crockett, M. Smith, Hillier, Wilskey.
B-Main --D. Smith, Borden, Jr., Morrison, Cole, McNulty, Holmes, Van Aagten, Gilmore, Rogers, Forte, Yates, Morelock, Finley, Hall, Harris.
A-Main -- Crockett, Barnes, Carter, Wilskey, M. Smith, Hillier, Menne, Hodgson, D. Smith, S. Smith, Morrison, Cole, Martinez, Etchison, Zeitler, Borden, Jr., Winningham, Harvey, Torres, Wiesz.