From Lonnie Wheatley
EAGLE, Neb. (June 11, 2010) – Danny Wood celebrated yet another 29th birthday in grand fashion by breaking back into Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters victory lane after topping Friday night’s tumultuous 25-lap Eagle Nationals preliminary main event in the series debut atop the 1/3-mile Eagle Raceway.
The Norman, OK, driver scooted underneath Jack Dover for the lead on the second round and stayed ahead of the mayhem that ensued behind him over the remaining distance to secure his ninth career ASCS National feature win and first aboard Mike Hammers’ Fisher-powered H&H Enterprises/State Wide Services No. 94 Maxim.
“These guys give me great equipment and I’m glad we were finally able to produce a win for them,” Wood commented afterward. “Hopefully we can carry this momentum forward and put this team up there where it belongs.”
After winning the night’s opening heat race for the 43-car field, Wood raced into the lead on the second circuit when Eagle ace Dover nearly got upside down in turn one on a lap two restart.
Dover kept the heat on throughout and made one last charge for the lead on the final circuit, only to take a wild ride in turn two that set up a green-white-checkered run to the stripe.
“It’s bittersweet, you want everyone to come out and have fun and be safe, hopefully those guys are alright,” Wood commented about Dover and Ricky Logan, who were both transported to a local hospital for observation after separate incidents during the main event.
Following Dover’s last-lap crash, Wood raced to the checkered flag in front of Travis Rilat and Zach Chappell, with Jason Johnson picking off the fourth and final lock-in position to Saturday night’s Eagle Nationals finale after fourth-runner Brady Bacon slowed with a cut tire in the final pair of laps while running fourth.
“It doesn’t get any sweeter than this, we wanted to win on a night like tonight, I just turned 29 years old ya know,” the veteran shoe kidded after finishing off his birthday with a feature win.
Rilat shook off the effects of several recent DNF’s by claiming runner-up honors in the Shark-powered F&J Construction No. 29 Triple X, explaining that, “I probably could have drove the car a lot harder, but we just had to play it smart and get locked in for tomorrow night and make up some of the ground we’ve lost over the last few weeks.”
Chappell posted his second podium finish in a row by crossing the stripe third in David Chappell’s Wesmar-powered Legend’s Bar-B-Que No. 50z Maxim. “I feel like I’m getting older, I told myself to just calm down and put it in the trailer on all four and here we are on the podium, so we’re happy,” the 28-year-old past ASCS National champion explained after the rough and tumble affair.
After winning a “B” Main, 2008 series champion Jason Johnson rallied from 17th to fourth in the Don Ott-powered Haynes/Pope Transportation No. 41 Maxim, with ASCS Midwest contender Eric Lutz posting his best career National finish by rounding out the top five in the Bruns-powered Dell Rapids Chevrolet No. 5 Maxim.
Washington’s Austen Wheatley survived a pair of early incidents to rank as the top finishing Brodix Rookie of the Year contender of the night by finishing sixth after starting 16th, while Tony Bruce, Jr., climbed from 23rd to seventh after using his second provisional of the year.
Billy Alley crossed the stripe in eighth, Bacon limped home ninth to maintain a 46-point lead over Jason Johnson in the $60,000 championship points race and Gary Wright completed the top ten as the first car a lap off the lead pace.
The feature got off to a shaky start when 16-year-old rookie contender Justyn Cox got upside down in turn two on the initial start and collected several other cars after gridding the field fifth following his first ASCS National heat race win.
The red lights flashed again on the second lap when pole starter and leading Rookie contender Kyle Hirst biked it and went for a wild ride in turn three while running second.
After Matt Covington knocked down the front end after nearly dumping it in turn one two laps later, reigning series champion Shane Stewart flipped in turn one with Scott Winters following suit on lap seven. Tim Crawley got upside down in turn two on the restart after being collected by a spinner, with Ricky Logan tumbling in turn four on the tenth lap.
Fifteen caution-free laps followed until Dover’s wild ride in turn two after the white flag had flown.
Wood, Cox, Dover, Mark Pace and Stewart topped heat race action, with Johnson and Logan winning the twin 12-lap “B” Mains.
After four incident-free heat races, Jeff Lowery turned over in turn two on the opening lap of the fifth and final heat race with rookie shoe Channin Tankersley flipping in turn four before the field could shut down, ultimately setting the tone for the night’s feature event.
The Eagle Nationals conclude on Saturday night, with racing action to go green at 7:00 p.m.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters
Eagle Nationals Preliminary
Eagle Raceway Friday Results:
Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points to “A” Main; Balance to 2 “B” Mains):
Heat One (10 Laps): 1. 94-Danny Wood, 2. 23w-Scott Winters, 3. 14s-Bobby Mincer, 4. 41-Jason Johnson, 5. 3g-Darren Long, 6. 95-Matt Covington, 7. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 8. 77-John Klabunde, 9. 78-Joe Miller.
Heat Two (10 Laps): 1. 5h-Justyn Cox, 2. 57b-Mike Boston, 3. 88-Tim Crawley, 4. 9x-Gary Wright, 5. 23-Terry Holliman, 6. 93-Dustin Morgan, 7. 4-Jordan Boston, 8. 82-Jason Danley, 9. 17-Gage Dorr.
Heat Three (10 Laps): 1. 53-Jack Dover, 2. 6-Kyle Hirst, 3. 0-Jake Martens, 4. 22-Billy Alley, 5. 87a-Andrew Marshala, 6. 6b-Nick Bryan, 7. 44-Doug Lovegrove, 8. 21x-Ryan Kitchen, 9. 71T-Tige Jensen.
Heat Four (10 Laps): 1. 31-Mark Pace, 2. 29-Travis Rilat, 3. 50z-Zach Chappell, 4. 99-Brady Bacon, 5. 12-Tyler Drueke, 6. 21-Brian Brown, 7. 14g-Gene Ackland, 8. 1w-Chad Meyer.
Heat Five (10 Laps): 1. 57-Shane Stewart, 2. 5-Eric Lutz, 3. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 4. 10a-Ricky Logan, 5. 23r-Tadd Holliman, 6. 23s-Stuart Snyder, 7. 71-Channin Tankersley, 8. 45-Jeff Lowery.
“B” Mains (Top 3 From Each Advance to “A” Main):
First “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 14s-Bobby Mincer, 3. 23s-Stuart Snyder, 4. 95-Matt Covington, 5. 14g-Gene Ackland, 6. 23-Terry Holliman, 7. 4-Jordan Boston, 8. 87a-Andrew Marshala, 9. 82-Jason Danley, 10. 1w-Chad Meyer, 11. 3g-Darren Long, 12. 78-Joe Miller. DNS: 45-Jeff Lowery, 21x-Ryan Kitchen.
Second “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 10a-Ricky Logan, 2. 9x-Gary Wright, 3. 23r-Tadd Holliman, 4. 93-Dustin Morgan, 5. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 6. 12-Tyler Drueke, 7. 44-Doug Lovegrove, 8. 6b-Nick Bryan, 9. 77-John Klabunde, 10. 71T-Tige Jensen. DNS: 21-Brian Brown, 71-Channin Tankersley, 17-Gage Dorr.
Eagle Nationals Preliminary “A” Main Event:
“A” Feature (25 Laps): 1. 94-Danny Wood, 2. 29-Travis Rilat, 3. 50z-Zach Chappell, 4. 41-Jason Johnson, 5. 5-Eric Lutz, 6. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 7. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 8. 22-Billy Alley, 9. 99-Brady Bacon, 10. 9x-Gary Wright, 11. 14s-Bobby Mincer, 12. 23r-Tadd Holliman, 13. 23s-Stuart Snyder, 19x-Gary Wright, 11. 14s-Bobby Mincer, 12. 23r-Tadd Holliman, 13. 23s-Stuart Snyder, 14. 0-Jake Martens, 15. 53-Jack Dover, 16. 10a-Ricky Logan, 17. 57b-Mike Boston, 18. 88-Tim Crawley, 19. 23w-Scott Winters, 20. 57-Shane Stewart, 21. 95-Matt Covington, 22. 31-Mark Pace, 23. 6-Kyle Hirst, 24. 5h-Justyn Cox.
Lap Leaders: Jack Dover 1, Danny Wood 2-25.
Note: Tony Bruce, Jr., and Matt Covington both utilized provisionals to start the “A” Main. It was Bruce’s second of the year and Covington’s first.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Points (Top 20): 1. Brady Bacon 905, 2. Jason Johnson 859, 3. Tony Bruce, Jr. 815, 4. Shane Stewart 803, 5. Tim Crawley 802, 6. Danny Wood 798, 7. Jack Dover 758, 8. Zach Chappell 756, 9. Kyle Hirst 747, 10. Matt Covington 726, 11. Travis Rilat 689, 12. Gary Wright 679, 13. Ricky Logan 668, 14. Darren Long 619, 15. Austen Wheatley 579, 16. Justyn Cox 569, 17. Dustin Morgan 568, 18. Channin Tankersley 564, 19. Johnny Herrera 501, 20. Andrew Marshala 498.
ASCS Midwest Points (Top Ten): 1. Jack Dover 662, 2. Billy Alley 615, 3. Eric Lutz 554, 4. Jason Danley 535, 5. Doug Lovegrove 488, 6. Chad Humston 472, 7. Ryan Roberts 470, 8. Gage Dorr 416, 9. John Klabunde 391, 10. Dylan Peterson 359.