Crockett Gets First 2004 Northern Sprint Tour Win Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, OR sent their fans home with satisfied minds after giving them an action packed Sunday night of sprint car racing that saw defending champion Roger...
Crockett Gets First 2004 Northern Sprint Tour Win
Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, OR sent their fans home with satisfied minds after giving them an action packed Sunday night of sprint car racing that saw defending champion Roger Crockett of Eugene, OR beat a 38-car field to take his first NST win of 2004.
Rick Fauver of Everett, WA grabbed the lead on lap two of the 30-lap feature event, getting by pole sitter Chris Schmelzle of Victoria, BC and set a pace that had him nudging last place within five laps. Slowed little by the traffic, Fauver's closest competition was Jeff Hodgson of Edmonton, AB who pushed Schmelzle back a spot on lap three.
The only yellow flag of the race flew on lap 10 when Lake Stevens, WA driver Travis Hawthorne, running mid-pack, slid off turn one and closed the field.
On the restart, it was Crockett moving past Hodgson for second with Nutter into third, close up from his 7th place starting spot.
Having lost his motor the evening before, Fauver's borrowed engine again had him setting a blistering pace around the quarter mile clay oval with Crockett doing good to just hold his distance.
Moving into the fray with Hodgson was 13th place starter Dale Smith of Cottage Grove, and Saturday night's second place finisher, Jayme Barnes of Everett, WA and Auburn, CA's Richard Brace, Jr.
At mid-point, the top 8 -- 10 cars were weaving through slower traffic and Nutter who had lost a spot to Hodgson was putting heavy pressure on to regain the spot.
Going into turn four on lap-22, Fauver spun low on the track as Crockett and Nutter sped past along with several lapped cars. Recovering quickly, Fauver was off like a bullet and into a wheel-to-wheel run with Hodgson for third place.
With five to go the race for second had Nutter, Fauver, Hodgson Barnes and Smith going wing-to-wing for positing behind Crockett. Fauver tagged the front straight wall but recovered with no loss of position and little momentum.
With two to go, Crockett was safe but spots two through five were up for grabs. At the line the finish read Crockett, Nutter, Fauver, Hodgson, Barnes and Smith for the top six.
"I thought I was collected", said Crockett when asked about Fauver's spin. "I got on the brakes quick enough to miss Rick and get by. The crew gave me a great car and I've had success here before so I knew I had a good chance for a win".
"Boy, I am having a good time!" That was Nutter's first statement when asked for post race comments. "We had to change engines after last night and this is actually the ASCS engine we were going to use next year."
"I thought I got bumped from behind", stated Fauver after the race, "but we found out we lost a hose on the radiator and I spun in my own water. Then it was just run as hard as I could as I didn't know what position I was in." " I have to thank Glenn Borden or loaning me a motor and the crew for their hard work getting it in in time to race."
A loose wheel over the fence produced a scary moment in the opening lap of the B-Main but all proved to be OK and Nutter took the event win by holding off a determined Travis Hawthorne.
Dallas Zuniga, of Creswell, OR and Hawthorne made contact in turn four sending Zuniga's right front tire and wheel high over the safety fence and into a scattering crowd. A quick response by the safety crew determined only minor bumps and bruises and the action was under way about 15 minutes after the accident.
Nutter maintained the point position from flag to flag, opening a 10-car lead until traffic gave Hawthorne a chance to close just past the mid-point. When the yellow flew on lap lap-13, Hawthorne made sure Nutter was not getting away on the restart as Placerville, CA hot shoe Jimmy Trulli, Barnes, Henry Van Dam of Enumclaw, WA and Medford, OR driver Zeitler were putting the push on from the rear.
The Van Dam, Ellis, Zeitler action throughout the race provided to the fans some great racing as the trio spent most of the race battling the last transfer spot behind the top four with Van Dam ending up in the spot.
Zeitler took the 6-lap C-main, with Chris Adams getting the final move to the B-Main event.
Kevin Etchison took the lead in the opening heat, but faded toward the back with his motor smoking badly. Crockett took the front spot on lap five and went to the win.
Heat two belonged to Morrison as she dominated all ten laps in a good job of holding off the competition. Barry Martinez of Lynnwood, WA was second.
In the third heat, Nick Evans of Marysville, WA had command from the opening flag, finishing a quarter lap ahead of second place Brad Holmes of Cosmopolis, WA.
The fourth and final heat saw Mark MacKay take the win with Fauver in second.
The trophy dash winner was Schmelzle over Jeff Thompson, Fauver, Hodgson, Crockett and Martinez.
Fast Time for the night went to Crockett with a 10.931 second lap.
Fast Time -- Roger Crockett -- 10.931.
Heat 1 -- Roger Crockett, TJ Winningham, Kevin Etchison, Dale Smith, Billy Nutter, Todd Zeitler, Randy Van Aagten, Bryce Fugate, Jayme Barnes, Paul Zimmerly.
Heat 2 -- Dawn-L Morrison, Barry Martinez, Jeff Thompson, Chris Schmelzle, Shawn Rice, Randy Pierce, Mark Torres, Brandon Johnson, Jimmy Trulli, Steve Veltman (DNS).
Heat 3 -- Nick Evans, Brad Holmes, Richard Brace, Jr., Jeff Hodgson, Travis Hawthorne, Henry Van Dam, Ron Ellis, Bob Brooke, Tony Thomas.
Heat 4 -- Mark MacKay, Rick Fauver, Jay Cole, Marvin Smith, Dallas Zuniga, Glenn Borden, Jr., David Gilmore, Chris Adams, Alex Hantel.
Dash -- Schmelzle, Thompson, Fauver, Hodgson, Crockett and Martinez.
C-Main -- Zeitler, Adams, Thomas, Pierce, Zimmerly(DNS).
B-Main -- Nutter, Hawthorne, Barnes, Trulli, Van Dam, Zeitler, Fugate, Ellis, Rice, Zuniga, Gilmore, Van Aagten, Torres, Johnson, Hantel, Brooke, Borden, Adams.
A-Main -- Crockett, Nutter, Fauver, Hodgson, Barnes, D. Smith, Brace, Jr., M. Smith, Winningham, Evans, Schmelzle, Trulli, Van Dam, Hawthorne, Martinez, Cole, Fugate, Morrison, Holmes, Thompson.