Crockett Gets First Northern Sprint Tour 2005 Speedweek Win With fans on the edge of their seats at the end of 30 laps of fast, furious and exciting racing, Roger Crockett of Eugene, OR edged out veteran Campbell, CA driver Brent Kaeding,...
Crockett Gets First Northern Sprint Tour 2005 Speedweek Win
With fans on the edge of their seats at the end of 30 laps of fast, furious and exciting racing, Roger Crockett of Eugene, OR edged out veteran Campbell, CA driver Brent Kaeding, winning the third of five Northern Sprint Tour Northwest Speedweek races. Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, OR hosted the Wednesday, July 13th race with 50 sprint cars on hand to give the fans a great night of racing.
"I sure didn't want that last yellow flag," commented Crockett after the event, even though it did present him with an open track for the last three laps of the 30 lap event. "We ran hard and the car was really handling good," said Crockett, "and once we started getting rubber down I knew we were as good as any of the rest. I could run just about anywhere I wanted."
When asked about being hampered by tight traffic several times during the race Crockett answered, "It was pretty hard to pass, especially once the track got this good and everyone was running so well. I think I found the rubber on the bottom in turn two before the rest of them and that helped." "This was one of the best tracks I've seen at Lebanon and the win gives us a lot of confidence for the rest of the week."
Earlier in the evening speculation was that it was going to be a one lane, hug the bottom racetrack. A little well placed water later in the program had things looking much better by the time the main events were scheduled to run with the surface continuing to improve throughout the program.
Kaeding took the initial lead, set a fast pace and by lap five was in traffic with Crockett closing the gap. Once through the first group of slower cars the top 8 -- 10 cars stretched out around the track, weaving through the slower cars.
By the one third mark traffic again hampered Kaeding's progress with Crockett close behind followed by Fresno, CA driver Steve Kent, Billy Nutter of Central Point, OR and Andy Forsberg of Auburn, CA forming up a close group behind the top two.
Crockett made his move for the lead on the back straight on lap 14 with his and Kaeding's car making contact in the process. As the two continued their battle, Cottage Grove, OR's Dale Smith and Kyle Hirst made contact on the front straight with Hirst, from Sacramento, CA hitting the inside wall and out for the night.
The ensuing yellow put Kaeding back to the lead on the restart, but at the end of the lap Crockett again took the lead exiting turn four. From there to the finish Crockett never wavered although Kaeding did put the pressure on several times.
Kent moved to second on lap 17, passing Kaeding going down the back chute but dropped back to third three laps later, then to 4th on lap 28 when Jonathan Allard of Chico, CA passed him and finished the race in sixth.
Nutter ran a smooth race as he; Allard and Forsberg diced for position almost the entire race. Everett, WA driver Jayme Barnes stepped into the Braeden Etchison machine for the race and by the half way mark was in the thick of the battle for a top five position. He eventually got past Kent for the 5th place spot.
Following the race the usually talkative Kaeding, with wins the first two nights to his credit, had little to say. When asked about finishing second to Crockett after beating him the night before he just commented, "It sucks. Now we'll go finish the week and try for more."
Allard was very pleased with his third place finish. "Not bad for a sixth place start, especially with this tough competition. We're going home to run with the Golden State Series this weekend but we had a good time and we will be back running with NST the night before the World of Outlaws show at Grays Harbor Raceway next month."
D. Smith with Barnes running in second place took the B-Feature event win. While Smith was out front by a very comfortable margin, a tight battle for positions two through five was being fought by Barnes, Stan Yockey of Fresno, CA, Creswell, OR rookie Dallas Zuniga and Wayne Williams of Monterey, CA.
Yockey took second on lap 6, getting past both Barnes and Zuniga on the back straight and made an unsuccessful effort to take the lead from Smith on lap ten in turn two.
After winning the C-Main, Snohomish, WA driver Gary Taylor, now racing out of Denver, CO got together with Jeff Hodgson of St. Albert, AB in the first turn the opening lap. Taylor had moved almost to mid pack before Nampa, ID driver Randy Pierce tagged the turn one wall with the charging Taylor spinning in an effort to miss Pierce's machine.
In a great race for second during the last three laps Barnes regained second as Williams and Yockey banged each other going for the finish line. Yockey took third over Williams and as the two slowed on the back straight Williams ran up on the back of the Yockey #7Y. The contact was ruled intentional and Williams was disqualified from the B-Main.
Taylor took the lead of the C-Main from Herman Klein on lap 9 and Cottage Grove rookie Danny Horner narrowly edged past Klein at the finish line for second. Klein, of Sacramento, CA had taken the lead on lap 5 from Garrett Ishii of Caruthers, CA who had dropped back to 5th as Travis Jacobson of Lake Stevens, WA moved up six spots to take fourth.
Sedro Woolley Veteran Marc Huson showed no mercy in the first heat, running hard and fast from start to finish
Heat two got off to a bang up start as Richard Brace, Jr., Duane Scott and T.J. Winningham tried to build a pyramid against the outside turn wall between turns one and two, putting all three out. After action resumed, Crockett led to the checkered.
Young 16 year old Jared Ridge racked up his first sprint car heat win by going the distance in heat three and holding off Kent in the process.
The final heat race of the night was won by inches as Rick Fauver of Everett, WA held off a charging Allard at the finish line.
Setting the A-Feature event top six starting line-up, the dash win went to Crockett with Kaeding, Nutter, Kent, Allard and Forsberg following to the flag.
The evenings fast time was set by Brent Kaeding with a 12.835 second lap.
Fast qualifier: Brent Kaeding -- 12.835.
Heat 1 (10 laps): Marc Huson, Billy Nutter, Joe Ramaker, Brent Kaeding, Dale Smith, Josh Dewitt, Shawn Rice, Randy Pierce, Herman Klein, Derek Ingalls.
Heat 2 (10 laps): Roger Crockett, Kyle Hirst, Alex Hantel, Rob Held, Wayne Williams, Gary Taylor, Chuck Gurney, Jr., T.J. Winningham, Duane Scott, Richard Brace, Jr.
Heat 3 (10 laps): Jared Ridge, Steve Kent, Brad Furr, Travis Rutz, Dallas Zuniga, Jeff Thompson, Rob McNulty, Shawn Smith, Marc Makay, Jayme Barnes.
Heat 4 (10 laps): Rick Fauver, Jonathan Allard, Henry Van Dam, Andy Forsberg, Dean Alexander, Garrett Ishii, Jeff Hodges, Stan Yockey, Barry Martinez, Bryce Fugate.
Non-Qualifier: Horner, Jacobson, Cole, Rogers, Martin, Gilmore, Zimmerly, Degaton, Petersen, Adam Main(DNS)
Dash (6 laps): Crockett, Kaeding, Nutter, Kent, Allard, Forsberg.
C-Main (10 laps): Taylor, Horner, Klein, Jacobson, Ishii, Martinez, Rogers, Cole, Zimmerly, S. Smith, Gilmore, Ingalls, Martin, McNulty, Fugate, Degaton, Peterson, Main(DNS)
B-Main (15 laps): D. Smith, Barnes, Zuniga, Yockey, Williams(DQ), Horner, Gurney, Alexander, Klein, Rice, Dewitt, Makay, Thompson, Scott, Taylor, Pierce, Winningham, Hodgson.
A-Main (25 laps): Crockett, Kaeding, Allard, Nutter, Barnes, Kent, D. Smith, Forsberg, Huson, Van Dam, Furr, Horner, Ramaker, Zuniga, Yockey, Fauver, Held, Hantel, Ridge, Hirst.