From Lonnie Wheatley, COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. (July 24, 2010) – Oklahoma’s Brady Bacon put a quick stop to Jason Johnson’s three-race winning streak by charging to victory lane in Saturday night’s 35-lap Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters main event at Cottage Grove Speedway.
The 20-year-old from Broken Arrow, OK, gunned into the lead at the outset and led the entire distance on the ¼-mile clay oval, taking the $6,000 triumph with a handful of lapped cars and nearly a half-lap between himself and runner-up Seth Bergman at the checkered flag.
“That’s the way I like ‘em,” Bacon commented upon climbing from Mike and Megan Eubanks’ Wesmar-powered Tel-Star Communications No. 99 Triple-X in victory lane for the fourth time this season in Lucas Oil National competition.
Icing on the cake for Bacon was the fact that both Johnson and Shane Stewart, the two drivers who entered the night ahead of him in the $60,000 championship points chase, encountered feature troubles and posted finishes of 24th and 26th, respectively.
“I was about 100 points ahead of Jason at one time and then I got 100 behind him, the way this point system is you can gain a lot of ground or lose a lot in a hurry,” Bacon explained after shaving 62 points off the 115-point advantage Johnson had on him entering the night. Bacon also leap-frogged Stewart for second in points and sits just 53 markers behind Johnson entering next Friday night’s series debut at LA Raceway in La Monte, MO.
“Right now I’ll just take the $6,000 for tonight, there’s still a long way to go to that $60,000 at the end of the year,” Bacon commented.
Starting from the pole position, Bacon outgunned Bergman for the lead at the drop of the green flag and paced the early circuits in front of Bergman, Johnson and Stewart. Johnson slid past Bergman for second in turn two on the fifth lap, with Bacon reaching traffic the next time around.
Bacon worked the low side to perfection, putting five lapped cars between himself and Johnson by the time the caution flew after 13 laps for Matt Covington, who slowed with a cut right rear tire. While Covington rejoined the chase, Stewart ducked pitside with a broken heim in the front end and was unable to make repairs in time to rejoin the action.
While Bacon was blistering the field in the early laps, 10th-starter Jayme Barnes was the man on the move by climbing to third right behind Johnson by the time the caution flew.
With Bacon cruising out front when action resumed, Barnes battled past Johnson for second on the 16th lap only to get loose in turn two a lap later and collect the “Ragin’ Cajun”, who did a quick endo. Barnes retired for the night with front end damage, while Johnson rejoined the field at the tail after cursory repairs.
While the action was slowed another pair of times after 23 and then 30 laps, including a late spin by Johnson after losing a lap to the leader, Bacon was unchallenged as seven to eight lapped cars separated him from the runner-up duel between Bergman and Zach Chappell on each restart.
Bacon took the checkered flag with ample breathing room, while Bergman ranked as the top-finishing ASCS Northwest rep for the second night in a row with a runner-up finish aboard the Wesmar-powered Corridor Electric No. 23 Eagle.
Chappell, the 2001 series champion from Talala, OK, rebounded from a shaky Friday night outing to take show honors aboard the Wesmar-powered Legends Bar-B-Que No. 50z Maxim.
Washington’s Henry Van Dam posted a career best ASCS National finish of fourth after starting ninth in the No. 33v entry, with leading Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Kyle Hirst of Loomis, CA, advancing a half-dozen positions to round out the top five in Gary Perkins’ Shark-powered GP Development No. 6 A.R.T.
Three-time Cottage Grove Speedway track champion Billy Nutter was sixth, with Nebraska’s Jack Dover earning Hard Charger honors by racing from 20th to seventh.
Danny Wood climbed from 14th to eighth, with Jason Solwold and 16th-starting Rookie of the Year contender Dustin Morgan completing the top ten.
After utilizing a promoter’s option to start the main event for money only but no additional points, current ASCS Northwest points leader Roger Crockett was the first car one lap off the lead pace in 15th. Crockett’s night soured when a fuel line came off in heat race action. He was then unable to earn a top-three transfer position from “B” Main competition.
Nutter, Chappell, Barnes and Hirst topped Saturday night’s heat race action, with 14-year-old Trey Starks and Crawley winning the “B” Mains.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters
Cottage Grove Speedway Saturday Finale Results:
Locked in from Friday Night’s Preliminary Feature:
41-Jason Johnson, 99-Brady Bacon, 23-Seth Bergman, 57-Shane Stewart.
Heat Races (Top 12 in Passing Points to “A” Main; Balance to 2 “B” Mains):
Heat One (10 Laps): 1. 6n-Billy Nutter, 2. 71-Channin Tankersley, 3. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 4. 39c-Jason Solwold, 5. 10a-Ricky Logan, 6. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 7. 5h-Justyn Cox, 8. 2L-Logan Forler.
Heat Two (10 Laps): 1. 50z-Zach Chappell, 2. 08-Steve Vague, 3. 11w-Shane Broers, 4. 55-Trey Starks, 5. 19-T.J. Hartman, 6. 5d-Josh DeWitt, 7. 10-Kyle Miller, 8. 57x-Billy Butler.
Heat Three (10 Laps): 1. 7n-Jayme Barnes, 2. 93-Dustin Morgan, 3. 95-Matt Covington, 4. 88-Tim Crawley, 5. 22-Garen Linder, 6. 96-Mack Brown, 7. 11-Roger Crockett, 8. 3g-Darren Long.
Heat Four (10 Laps): 1. 6-Kyle Hirst, 2. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 3. 94-Danny Wood, 4. 94T-Steven Tiner, 5. 53-Jack Dover, 6. 98m-Mitch Olson, 7. 88x-Brent Hoover, 8. 26-Sammy Wright.
“B” Mains (Top 3 From Each Advance to “A” Main):
First “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 55-Trey Starks, 2. 94T-Steven Tiner, 3. 10a-Ricky Logan, 4. 98m-Mitch Olson, 5. 11-Roger Crockett, 6. 10-Kyle Miller, 7. 5d-Josh DeWitt, 8. 88x-Brent Hoover, 9. 22-Garen Linder. DNS: 3g-Darren Long.
Second “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 88-Tim Crawley, 2. 53-Jack Dover, 3. 19-T.J. Hartman, 4. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 5. 5h-Justyn Cox, 6. 2L-Logan Forler, 7. 57x-Billy Butler, 8. 96-Mack Brown, 9. 26-Sammy Wright, 10. 11w-Shane Broers.
Cottage Grove Speedway Championship “A” Main:
“A” Feature (35 Laps): 1. 99-Brady Bacon, 2. 23-Seth Bergman, 3. 50z-Zach Chappell, 4. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 5. 6-Kyle Hirst, 6. 6n-Billy Nutter, 7. 53-Jack Dover, 8. 94-Danny Wood, 9. 39c-Jason Solwold, 10. 93-Dustin Morgan, 11. 88-Tim Crawley, 12. 71-Channin Tankersley, 13. 95-Matt Covington, 14. 10a-Ricky Logan, 15. 11-Roger Crockett, 16. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 17. 08-Steve Vague, 18. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 19. 94T-Steven Tiner, 20. 5h-Justyn Cox, 21. 55-Trey Starks, 22. 98m-Mitch Olson, 23. 19-T.J. Hartman, 24. 41-Jason Johnson, 25. 7n-Jayme Barnes, 26. 57-Shane Stewart.
Lap Leaders: Brady Bacon 1-35.
Note: Austen Wheatley and Justyn Cox both utilized their first provisionals of the year to start the main event. Roger Crockett and Mitch Olson both utilized Promoter’s Option Provisionals to start the main event for added money only, no additional points.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Points (Top 20): 1. Jason Johnson 1,791, 2. Brady Bacon 1,738, 3. Shane Stewart 1,716, 4. Jack Dover 1,656, 5. Tim Crawley 1,561, 6. Zach Chappell 1,560, 7. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,550, 8. Danny Wood 1,532, 9. Kyle Hirst 1,507, 10. Ricky Logan 1,445, 11. Matt Covington 1,390, 12. Channin Tankersley 1,217, 13. Darren Long 1,211, 14. Dustin Morgan 1,190, 15. (tie) Austen Wheatley and Travis Rilat 1,152, 17. Justyn Cox 1,150, 18. Gary Wright 911, 19. Andrew Marshala 823, 20. Johnny Herrera 501.
ASCS Northwest Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Roger Crockett 1,550, 2. Jason Solwold 1,530, 3. Mitch Olson 1,440, 4. Seth Bergman 1,437, 5. Jayme Barnes 1,412, 6. Henry Van Dam 1,388, 7. Trey Starks 1,217, 8. Garen Linder 1,162, 9. T.J. Hartman 1,147, 10. Steven Tiner 1,138.