NST Willamette Speedway report 2001-09-14

Rio Linda, CA's young hotshoe driver, Roger Crockett, put the icing on the 2001 hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour Championship cake by setting fast time and then taking thefeature event win at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, OR on Friday,...

Rio Linda, CA's young hotshoe driver, Roger Crockett, put the icing on the 2001 hy-per-lube Northern Sprint Tour Championship cake by setting fast time and then taking thefeature event win at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, OR on Friday, September 14.

Telling announcer Fred Rannard at one point "I'm so excited I didn't know what to say", Crockett went on to say that this championship had to be one of the best highlights of his career so far. "I really like the country, I've got a great car owner, the tracks are great and the competition is hard."

Taking the lead from his dash won pole position, Crockett opened a 10-15 car length lead in the early laps as Jason Solwold, who took second from Dale Smith as they exited turn four on the second lap gave chase with Smith close behind. By the 7th lap the leaders were into traffic and Crockett's lead had vanished.

For the next 10 laps the top three threaded their way through slower cars giving the fans a great show. Although Solwold challenged in the turns, the way past the leader was not to be found. Smith found his challenge on Solwold hampered when defending champion Shawna Wilskey, who had started 14th, slid high in turns one and two on lap 8 letting Crockett and Solwold slip past but not Smith. For the next 10 laps Smith looked for a way past Wilskey to no avail. His luck changed when the yellow flew on lap 18 and he made the pass on the restart.

With an open track, Crockett was again off and running, but this time Solwold was holding him to about a 5 car length lead as the field strung out. With in 5 laps, the leaders were again into the slower cars and the top three were running nose to tail.

On lap 26 Solwold lost second to Smith but after trading the position a couple of times regained it again the next lap. Smith then lost third on the white flag lap when Chad Hillier, who had dropped from his outside front start to 4th on the opening lap slipped by.

At the stripe it was Crockett, Solwold, Hillier, Smith and Jeff Thompson filling the top five.

Jayme Barnes sat in 6th followed by Barry Martinez, who picked up 4 positions, Marvin Smith, up 5 spots, with Joe Ramaker and Jeremy Cooper making the top 10.

Jayme Barnes took the B-main point position after Brandon Harkness spun in turn 4 on the second lap while leading. Three laps later turn four bit Mike Sather with a spin while he was running a strong second place. Harkness came back to finish 10th, but Sather's meeting with the inside wall ended his nights action.

Barnes maintained a comfortable lead over Jeremy Cooper and the rest of the field as several cars were working up through traffic. Jay Cole picked up 5spots to take third at the checkered flag with Rick Smith close behind after moving up six spots.

Scott Adams and Kevin Journey had a battle for position going until Adams came to a stop on the front straight on lap 13 as the yellow flew for a spun Bryon Harvey in turn two.

After several laps of dicing with Cal Herdson and Richie Peterson, Tony Menard came on hard the final laps in an unsuccessful challenge of Rick Smith for the final transfer position.

Heat race action saw Bill Nutter take the first run of the night in his first NST outing of the year. Going wire to wire, Nutter had some serious challenges from Martinez but held for the win. D. Smith came on strong the last two laps but had to settle for third with Crockett getting the final A-main transfer spot.

Heat two had the only red flag of the night, when second fast timer Scott Aumen jumped the wheel of the non accelerating car of Jim Cress and flipped going into the first turn. Aumen then collected Journey who had no where to go. Journey continued, but Aumen's night was over.

John Tharp took the lead on the restart and never looked back with Jeff Thompson in second. Rick Fauver made a white flag lap back straight pass on Donny fry to take third.

Montana's Joe Ramaker mad his first race on the Lebanon track a good one as he went wire to wire to win the third heat. Gary Taylor lost second to Hillier and then third to Solwold as his car lost power, but he was able to hold off Peterson for fourth to make the A-main.

The night's final heat had Shawna Wilskey taking the lead over Kevin Etchison at the green, but at the end of lap 2 it was Etchison in front as the came onto the front straight. As Etchison held the lead, a broken rod brought the Steve Veltman car to a halt in turn three on lap 8 to set up a restart that had Wilskey returning the turn four pass and taking the win. M. Smith and Jay Harkness followed to make the feature event.

In the dash it was Crockett checking out, Hillier trailing and D. Smith, Solwold, J. Harkness and Thompson trading some positions before finishing in that order.

Fast time for the evening went to Crockett with a 12.517 second lap. <pre>

SUMMARY Fast Time - Roger Crockett - 12.517

Heat 1 - Bill Nutter, Barry Martinez, Dale Smith, Roger Crockett, Brandon Harkness, Cal Herdson, Scott Adams, Gus Cooper, Kevin Smith.

Heat 2 - John Tharp, Jeff Thompson, Rick Fauver, Donny Fry, Jay Cole, Kevin Journey, Rich Kelley, Jim Cress, Scott Aumen.

Heat 3 - Joe Ramaker, Chad Hillier, Jason Solwold, Gary Taylor, Richie Peterson, Mike Sather, Tony Menard, Mark Hinkle, Bryon Harvey.

Heat 4 - Shawna Wilskey, Kevin Etchison, Marvin Smith, Jay R. Harkness, Jeremy Cooper, Jayme Barnes, Melissa Yates, Shane Forte, Steve Veltman, Rick Smith.

Dash - Crockett, Hillier, D. Smith, Solwold, J. Harkness, Thompson.

B-Main - Barnes, J. Cooper, Cole, R. Smith, Menard, Herdson, Hinkle, Peterson, K. Smith, B. Harkness, Journey, G. Cooper, Josh Edson, Kelley, Yates, Harvey, Forte, Adams, Sather.

A-Main - Crockett, Solwold, Hillier, D. Smith, Thompson, Barnes, Martinez, M. Smith, Ramaker, J. Cooper, J. Harkness, Fauver, Nutter, Taylor, Fry, Cole, Etchison, Wilskey, R. Smith, Tharp.


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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Shawna Wilskey , Gary Taylor , Roger Crockett