Crockett Takes Win In Northern Sprint Tour Visit to Willamette Speedway Late in the year attrition had a lower than normal car count of 22 cars on hand, but the battle for the lead was race long at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, OR on September...
Crockett Takes Win In Northern Sprint Tour Visit to Willamette Speedway
Late in the year attrition had a lower than normal car count of 22 cars on hand, but the battle for the lead was race long at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, OR on September 10th, with Eugene, OR driver Roger Crockett holding off a determined Dale Smith to take the win in the 30 lap feature event.
Smith, of Cottage Grove, OR, seldom trailed more than a couple of car lengths but could never muster the momentum or find the opening to make a pass, even with the leaders held up by slower cars.
Crockett and Smith, followed by Smith's brother Marvin and Jimmy Trulli of Placerville, CA raced nose to tail several laps with M. Smith coming on to challenge brother Dale in the closing laps for the second place spot.
After a yellow flag and a false start slowed the start of the race, the top four were immediately in a battle for the lead until Cottage Grove driver Brendan Boyce's lap two try to get low under Jeff Thompson of Harrisburg, OR in turn four had contact folding Boyce's front end and sending him into a flip, bringing out the red flag.
Dallas Zuniga of Creswell, OR, unable to stop, made contact with Boyce damaging both top and front wings but he was able to continue after a trip to the work area. Also flipping in turn four was Portland's Steve Veltman who tagged the wall when he went high to miss the wreck. Both Boyce and Veltman were through for the night.
With action again underway it was Crockett and D. Smith off at a pace that put them into slower cars by lap ten. Smith and Trulli followed farther back as Marysville, WA's Nick Evans battled with T. J. Winningham of Gold Hill, OR for fifth place.
Contact between Bandon, OR's Bryce Fugate and Shawn Smith of Nampa, ID on lap 16 sent Smith to the pits, done for the night.
After the restart, the field started to stretch out except for the battle for the lead, the continuing battle for 5th between Evans and Winningham and the continuing march forward of Billy Nutter. Nutter, of Central Point, OR had started in 11th place, was now in 7th place and would end the evening with a very respectable 5th place finish.
Contact in turn two on lap 22 between Evans and Winningham left both cars with damage and had Winningham spinning. Both cars continued on the restart, but Winningham exited to the pits four laps later.
After a failed effort to pass D. Smith in turn three on the lap 22 restart, M. Smith made a last ditch effort again going to the white flag as D. Smith was also trying to go low under Crockett in turns three and four. While no passes were made, the action was wheel rubbin' close as the fans cheered a first, second and third for Oregon cars.
In racing action earlier in the evening, Thompson cruised to victory in the first heat with almost a quarter lap lead over Zuniga at the checkered flag. Evans took third.
Heat two saw some great close racing between Boyce and D. Smith for second place with Smith getting the spot on lap seven. Smith moved to within a car length of leader Randy Rogers but came up short as Rogers took the win.
As the battle for second went nose to tail between Randy Van Aagten and Winningham in the final heat, Brad Holmes was running away from the competition and taking the checkers with a half lap lead over the field.
Fast time of the evening went to Roger Crockett on a track that got better and faster as the evening wore on. Crocket's fastest lap was 12.656 seconds on the three-tenths mile oval.
Three cars were lost early in the evening with Rick Fauver of Everett, WA losing his engine in hot laps and Shelton, WA driver Jay Cole losing an engine in time trials.
Fast Time -- Roger Crockett -- 12.656.
Heat 1 -- Jeff Thompson, Dallas Zuniga, Nick Evans, Billy Nutter, Roger Crockett, Randy Pierce, Danny Horner(DNS).
Heat 2 -- Randy Rogers, Dale Smith, Brendan Boyce, Henry Van Dam, Marvin Smith, Dawn-L Morrison, Steve Veltman.
Heat 3 -- Brad Holmes, Randy Van Aagten, T.J. Winningham, Shawn Smith, Jimmy Trulli, Jay Cole(DNS), Bryce Fugate(DNS), Rick Fauver(DNS).
Dash -- Trulli, D. Smith, Crockett, M. Smith, Winningham, Evans.
A-Main -- Crockett, D. Smith, M. Smith, Trulli, Nutter, Evans, Rogers, Thompson, Morrison, Van Dam, Fugate, Pierce, Holmes, Zuniga, S. Smith, Winningham, Van Aagten, Boyce, Veltman.