Lonnie Wheatley, LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (August 28, 2010) – “Home field advantage” is a term generally reserved for the stick-and-ball sorts, but Tim Crawley offered up some solid evidence that home-track advantage can definitely come into play in Saturday night’s 35-lap Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters main event at I-30 Speedway.
Racing just a few short miles from his Benton, AR, home, the three-time ASCS National champion read some tricky track conditions to perfection and then battled past Brady Bacon on the 13th round en route to his first Lucas Oil ASCS National win of the year aboard Mike Ward’s McCarver-powered Boater Sports/Southern Renovations No. 88 Maxim.
“We’ve been needing this,” Crawley commented before a raucous, near capacity crowd in victory lane. “To do this here in front of all of y’all, it’s all good.”
The non-stop affair marked the second time in three events thus far in 2010 that the Lucas Oil ASCS National Sprint Cars have completed the 35-lap distance atop I-30 Speedway’s high-banked, clay oval in caution-free fashion.
Had Crawley expected another non-stop feature event? “Definitely not,” he answered.
More pressing in pre-race strategy was the precise setup that could potentially lead to victory lane over the stout 45-car field of entries.
“That was the big deal before the feature started and that’s why you keeping seeing us all coming out here looking,” Crawley explained. “It’s a crapshoot; it’s kinda like rolling the dice. We tightened the car way up so if it would have took rubber, I would have probably went backwards.”
There was no rubber though, and Crawley had the field covered for his 40th career ASCS National triumph and moved past Zach Chappell for fifth in the series $60,000 championship points chase. “We made the right guess and it worked out,” Crawley surmised.
While Crawley started the feature outside the second row, it was the Oklahoma duo of Darren Stewart and Bacon leading the way to the green flag. Bacon, a Lucas Oil ASCS winner at I-30 in June, gunned into the lead at the outset with Crawley moving past Stewart for second in the early rounds.
Crawley went to work on Bacon for the lead in short order, with Crawley sliding past Bacon for the lead in turns one and two on the eighth circuit only to have Bacon return the favor in the next pair of corners. But, with Crawley dialed in on some familiar turf as traffic came into play, it was just a matter of time before Bacon would leave an opening wide enough for Crawley to bust through.
He found that opening soon after and edged ahead upon the completion of the 13th circuit. Leaving Bacon behind to dice for second with Darren Stewart and Jason Johnson over the remaining distance, Crawley gradually slipped away in the ensuing rounds and worked with precision through heavy traffic throughout to secure the victory.
In Crawley’s wake, Bacon prevailed aboard the Wesmar-powered Tel-Star Communications No. 99 Triple-X in the intense battle for runner-up honors. Bacon held off current series points leader Johnson’s JJR Don Ott-powered Haynes No. 41 Maxim, who settled for third after finally working past Darren Stewart on the 27th circuit.
Making just his third start of the year aboard the Sparks Construction No. 91, Stewart was a close fourth, while two-time Short Track Nationals champion Tony Bruce, Jr., picked off his first top-five finish aboard the Bruce Racing No. 18 Maxim since the series last stop at I-30 in June.
Ohio’s Darren Long posted his best finish of the year by racing to sixth, with Jeff Swindell rallying from 18th to seventh. Ricky Logan was eighth, with Gary Wright and Justin Sturch completing the top ten.
Connecticut contender David Gravel finished out his first weekend of Lucas Oil ASCS National competition just one spot out of the top ten in eleventh, while reigning series champion Shane Stewart charged from 23rd to 12th after using a provisional to start the main event.
Johnson, Long, Channin Tankersley, Matt Covington and Sturch topped heat race action, with Cody Gardner and Swindell winning the twin 12-lap “B” Mains.
Jerod Roller smacked the wall exiting turn four and flipped four laps into the night’s opening heat race, while Rick Pringle got upside down as well in the second heat race. Both were uninjured but done for the night.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters
I-30 Speedway Results:
Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points to “A” Main; Balance to 2 “B” Mains):
Heat One (10 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 91-Darren Stewart, 3. 99-Brady Bacon, 4. 1g-Cody Gardner, 5. 16-Anthony Nicholson, 6. 12T-Joe Young, 7. 53x-Justin Jackson, 8. 010-Brian Roberts, 9. 5-Jerod Roller.
Heat Two (10 Laps): 1. 3g-Darren Long, 2. 10a-Ricky Logan, 3. 93-Dustin Morgan, 4. 01-Jeremy Newkirk, 5. 8x-Chris Williams, 6. 5k-Jerry Kamer, 7. 7h-Lewis Jenkins, Jr., 8. 38-Rick Pringle, 9. 40-Ernie Ainsworth.
Heat Three (10 Laps): 1. 71-Channin Tankersley, 2. 88-Tim Crawley, 3. 89g-David Gravel, 4. 94-Danny Wood, 5. 14-Jordon Mallett, 6. 26-Marshall Skinner, 7. 57-Shane Stewart, 8. 6-Kyle Hirst, 9. 26s-Jon Stinson.
Heat Four (10 Laps): 1. 95-Matt Covington, 2. 8z-Zach Pringle, 3. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 4. 9x-Gary Wright, 5. 0-Andy McElhannon, 6. 2m-Bryce Vowan, 7. 50z-Zach Chappell, 8. 58-Wade Oliver, 9. 44c-Ronny Howard.
Heat Five (10 Laps): 1. 9-Justin Sturch, 2. 1-Sean McClelland, 3. 1x-Gary Taylor, 4. 90-Jeff Swindell, 5. 3-A.G. Rains, 6. 5h-Justyn Cox, 7. 9h-Derek Hagar, 8. 7-Jan Howard. DNS: 53-Jack Dover.
“B” Mains (Top 3 From Each Advance to “A” Main):
First “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 1g-Cody Gardner, 2. 89g-David Gravel, 3. 50z-Zach Chappell, 4. 26-Marshall Skinner, 5. 14-Jordon Mallett, 6. 8x-Chris Williams, 7. 2m-Bryce Vowan, 8. 26s-Jon Stinson, 9. 6-Kyle Hirst, 10. 7h-Lewis Jenkins, Jr., 11. 53x-Justin Jackson, 12. 010-Brian Roberts, 13. 01-Jeremy Newkirk, 14. 53-Jack Dover. DNS: 5-Jerod Roller.
Second “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 90-Jeff Swindell, 2. 94-Danny Wood, 3. 12T-Joe Young, 4. 57-Shane Stewart, 5. 5h-Justyn Cox, 6. 16-Anthony Nicholson, 7. 7-Jan Howard, 8. 9h-Derek Hagar, 9. 40-Ernie Ainsworth, 10. 0-Andy McElhannon, 11. 5k-Jerry Kamer, 12. 44c-Ronny Howard, 13. 58-Wade Oliver. DNS: 38-Rick Pringle.
I-30 Speedway “A” Main:
“A” Feature (35 Laps): 1. 88-Tim Crawley, 2. 99-Brady Bacon, 3. 41-Jason Johnson, 4. 91-Darren Stewart, 5. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 6. 3g-Darren Long, 7. 90-Jeff Swindell, 8. 10a-Ricky Logan, 9. 9x-Gary Wright, 10. 9-Justin Sturch, 11. 89g-David Gravel, 12. 57-Shane Stewart, 13. 1-Sean McClelland, 14. 93-Dustin Morgan, 15. 3-A.G. Rains, 16. 50z-Zach Chappell, 17. 8z-Zach Pringle, 18. 1x-Gary Taylor, 19. 95-Matt Covington, 20. 12T-Joe Young, 21. 94-Danny Wood, 22. 71-Channin Tankersley, 23. 1g-Cody Gardner, 24. 53-Jack Dover.
Lap Leaders: Brady Bacon 1-12, Tim Crawley 13-35.
Note: Shane Stewart and Jack Dover both utilized their mid-season bonus full-point provisionals to start the main event; both have two partial-points provisionals remaining.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Points (Top 20): 1. Jason Johnson 2,281, 2. Brady Bacon 2,209, 3. Shane Stewart 2,191, 4. Jack Dover 2,056, 5. Tim Crawley 2,049, 6. Zach Chappell 2,028, 7. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,999, 8. Kyle Hirst 1,924, 9. Danny Wood 1,899, 10. Ricky Logan 1,859, 11. Matt Covington 1,785, 12. Darren Long 1,642, 13. Dustin Morgan 1,638, 14. Channin Tankersley 1,570, 15. Justyn Cox 1,513, 16. Austen Wheatley 1,344, 17. Gary Wright 1,322, 18. Travis Rilat 1,152, 19. Andrew Marshala 823, 20. Brian Brown 752.