From Lonnie Wheatley
JACKSON, MN — (August 19, 2011) — The Albuquerque shoe took full advantage of a second start to the race to battle into the early lead and then paced the final 19 circuits aboard the Wesmar-powered Mesilla Valley Transport/Champion Oil No. 45x Maxim for his fourth career ASCS National triumph.
With the score, Herrera locked himself into Saturday night’s $6,000-to-win 33rd Annual Jackson Nationals championship main event along with Jason Johnson, Brady Bacon and Jake Peters, who made a last corner move around Bryan Dobesh for the fourth and final lock-in.
With Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s Dobesh and Herrera leading the way to the green flag, it was actually third-starter Jason Johnson charging into the lead on the low side exiting turn four upon what appeared to be the completion of the first lap only to have the red flag fly when leading Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Aaron Reutzel flipped in turn four to nullify the start.
“I had a plan to get to the bottom but I got trapped on the outside the first time and Jason about had both of us,” Herrera explained afterward. The veteran shoe wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. “The next time I turned that guy loose and let him go and got to the bottom and never got off it again.”
Which is precisely how he did it, ducking to the low side of the track in turns one and two behind Dobesh and then battling into the lead in turns three and four when Dobesh ran the middle of the track on the second lap.
From that point on, Herrera was untouchable in the Lucas Oil ASCS National debut atop the high-banked, ½-mile Jackson Speedway dirt oval. Herrera gradually slipped away from the field, holding a half straightaway lead over second row starters Brady Bacon and Johnson, who both worked by Dobesh in the initial five rounds, by the time he reached traffic at the midway point.
“When I got to lapped traffic there, I just started pacing myself and trying to keep straight and save the tire,” Herrera explained.
Herrera maintained his advantage and then found clear track when a final caution flew for Bill Boles with just four laps remaining. “After that restart I had clean track, I ran pretty hard then just to try to stretch it out.”
Herrera breezed to the checkered flag without challenge, while reigning Lucas Oil Sprint Car champion Johnson slipped past Bacon on the 18th round to snare runner-up honors in the Don Ott-powered Haynes/Pope Transportation No. 41 Maxim.
Bacon settled for the show position in the Wesmar-powered Fatheadz Eyewear No. 99 Triple-X, while sixth-starter Jake Peters dove underneath Dobesh in the final pair of corners to snare fourth in his No. 57x entry.
Dobesh rounded out the top five just ahead of current Lucas Oil Sprint Car points leader Shane Stewart, with Jeff Swindell, Tony Bruce, Jr., Gary Wright and Gregg Bakker completing the top ten.
Dobesh, Herrera, Swindell, Bacon and Johnson topped heat race action for Friday night’s 40-car field, with Lou Kennedy, Jr., and Tim Crawley winning the twin “B” Mains.
Zach Chappell tagged the turn four wall while pursuing a transfer position in the first “B” Main. Jessica Zemken and Jason Eckard tangled while battling for the lead in the second “B” Main, with Zemken returning to action as Eckard went pitside. Skylar Prochaska flipped in turn four in the second “B” Main as well.
Scott Winters held down the fifth position in the “A” Main until pulling pitside during the lap 16 caution for Boles.
The 33rd Annual Jackson Nationals presented by Brodix concludes Saturday night at Jackson Speedway, with racing action set to go green at 7:30 p.m.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters
Loren Woodke Memorial – Jackson Nationals presented by Brodix Preliminary
Jackson Speedway (Jackson, MN)
Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points to “A” Main; Balance to Two “B” Mains):
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 2-Bryan Dobesh, 2. 57-Shane Stewart, 3. 9-Gary Wright, 4. 11x-Gregg Bakker, 5. 09-Matt Juhl, 6. 5m-Troy Manteufel, 7. 0-Zach Chappell, 8. 97-Alan Gilbertson.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 2. 29-Troy Schmidtke, 3. 32-Nate Eakin, 4. 05-Bill Boles, 5. 2h-Jason Eckard, 6. 1w-Eric Shulz, 7. 612-Isaac Schreurs, 8. 20g-Chris Graf.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 28-Jeff Swindell, 2. 23w-Scott Winters, 3. 57x-Jake Peters, 4. 19-Danny Heskin, 5. 75c-Casey Heser, 6. 35-Skylar Prochaska, 7. 5T-Mark Toews, 8. 6g-Bryan Gossel.
Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 99-Brady Bacon, 2. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 3. 93-Shawn Van Wyhe, 4. 4-Jordan Boston, 5. 23-Seth Bergman, 6. 1z-Jessica Zemken, 7. 88-Tim Crawley. DNS: 22x-Greg Gunderson.
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 3. 4j-Lee Grosz, 4. 21k-Lou Kennedy, Jr., 5. 20k-Thomas Kennedy, 6. 53-Jack Dover, 7. 10-Justin Jacobsma, 8. 27-Jody Rosenboom.
“B” Mains (Top 3 from Each Advance to “A” Main):
First “B” Feature (10 Laps): 1. 21k-Lou Kennedy, Jr., 2. 32-Nate Eakin, 3. 20k-Thomas Kennedy, 4. 53-Jack Dover, 5. 5T-Mark Toews, 6. 23-Seth Bergman, 7. 97-Alan Gilbertson, 8. 19-Danny Heskin, 9. 1w-Eric Schulz, 10. 0-Zach Chappell, 11. 27-Jody Rosenboom. DNS: 6g-Bryan Gossel.
Second “B” Feature (10 Laps): 1. 88-Tim Crawley, 2. 20g-Chris Graf, 3. 09-Matt Juhl, 4. 75c-Casey Heser, 5. 1z-Jessica Zemken, 6. 5m-Troy Manteufel, 7. 10-Justin Jacobsma, 8. 612-Isaac Schreurs, 9. 93-Shawn Van Wyhe, 10. 35-Skylar Prochaska, 11. 2h-Jason Eckard. DNS: 22x-Greg Gunderson.
Loren Woodke Memorial “A” Main:
“A” Feature (20 Laps): 1. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 2. 41-Jason Johnson, 3. 99-Brady Bacon, 4. 57x-Jake Peters, 5. 2-Bryan Dobesh, 6. 57-Shane Stewart, 7. 28-Jeff Swindell, 8. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 9. 9-Gary Wright, 10. 11x-Gregg Bakker, 11. 4j-Lee Grosz, 12. 20g-Chris Graf, 13. 88-Tim Crawley, 14. 21k-Lou Kennedy, Jr., 15. 09-Matt Juhl, 16. 20k-Thomas Kennedy, 17. 4-Jordan Boston, 18. 32-Nate Eakin, 19. 23-Seth Bergman, 20. 29-Troy Schmidtke, 21. 05-Bill Boles, 22. 23w-Scott Winters, 23. 87-Aaron Reutzel.
Lap Leaders: Bryan Dobesh 1, Johnny Herrera 2-20.
Note: Seth Bergman used his first provisional of the year to start the main event. Zach Chappell declined to use his final provisional.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Driver Points (Top 15): 1. Shane Stewart 2,038, 2. Johnny Herrera 1,924 3. Jeff Swindell 1,841 4. Brady Bacon 1,813, 5. Gary Wright 1,750, 6. Tim Crawley 1,706, 7. Seth Bergman 1,646, 8. Aaron Reutzel 1,619, 9. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,566, 10. Jason Johnson 1,516, 11. Zach Chappell 1,402, 12. Wayne Johnson 1,196, 13. Logan Forler 1,091, 14. Dustin Morgan 877, 15. Tim Kaeding 776.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Owner Points (Top 15): 1. Jason Johnson Racing #41 – 2,068, 2. Paul Silva #57 – 2,038, 3. Herrera/Main #45x – 1,924, 4. Swindell Group #28 – 1,841, 5. Bacon/Tel-Star #99 – 1,813, 6. Mike Ward #88 – 1,706, 7. Petersen Motorsports #23 1,646, 8. Kenny Reutzel #87 – 1,619, 9. Bruce Racing #18 – 1,566, 10. Randy Washburn #0 – 1,402, 11. Bryan Sundby #38 – 1,196, 12. Gary Wright # 9 – 1,154, 13. Steve Forler #2L – 1,091, 14. M&M Motorsports #2 – 877, 15. Cooper/Sperry #01/51 – 872.
Speedway Motors ASCS Midwest Points (Top 10): 1. Jack Dover 1,636, 2. Wayne Johnson 1,344, 3. Bryan Gossel 1,319, 4. Lee Grosz 1,261, 5. Jordan Boston 1,223, 6. Brian Brown 1,102, 7. Billy Alley 1,071, 8. Don Droud, Jr. 910, 9. Jeff Osborn 868, 10. Ryan Anderson 855.