By Lonnie Wheatley, Tim Alwyn photo
MESQUITE, Texas (October 16, 2010) – The lanky 20-year-old from Springfield, NE, had been tantalizingly close to Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters victory lane on several occasions in 2010, only to be denied before the checkered flag flew.
Jack Dover changed that on Saturday night though, rallying into the lead on the 14th round in heavy traffic and then fending off a late charge from Jason Johnson in the 30-lapper to etch his name into the record books as the winner of the 37th Annual Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals.
“I was waiting for this moment, I knew we were gonna get it real soon,” the 6’-5” driver of the Shaver-powered 3D Auto Transport/Home Pride No. 53 Eagle explained after the $6,000 triumph. “Hopefully it continues for the rest of the year.”
After locking into the Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals finale with a third-place finish in Friday night’s preliminary feature event behind Johnson and Johnny Herrera, Dover started Saturday’s finale inside the second row with Friday’s fourth-place finisher Brady Bacon leading the way to the green flag.
Bacon gunned into the lead at the outset with Saturday’s top passing points earner Brian Brown charging past Herrera for second on the opening circuit before a quick caution flew for Ricky Logan, who came to a stop off the top of turn two.
With Bacon running the low line in Mike and Megan Eubanks’ Wesmar-powered Tel-Star Communications No. 99 Triple-X, Brown pressured on the high side for several laps until Johnson took over second on the fifth circuit.
Reaching the tail of the field on the eighth round, Bacon held a slight edge over a lead pack that soon numbered eight with the likes of Johnson, Brown, Dover, Herrera, Wayne Johnson, Shane Stewart and defending Winter Nationals champion Kevin Ramey all in the mix.
After shuffling Brown back to fourth on the eleventh lap, Dover executed what proved to be the race winning pass two laps later when he moved to the low side exiting turn four and made it a three-wide race for the lead with Bacon and Johnson down the frontstretch upon the completion of the 13th lap.
Dover won the race into turn one and powered off of turn two with the lead over Johnson and Bacon, who lost two positions in the flurry of action. Two laps later, the red lights lit up when Stewart and Ramey got together entering turn three with Ramey getting upside down. Ramey was uninjured but done for the night while the reigning Lucas Oil ASCS National champion rejoined the chase at the rear.
Back under way, Dover was flawless on the low side as 2007 Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals champion Jason Johnson gave chase in the JJR Don Ott-powered Haynes No. 41 Maxim.
While Dover held a lead of several car-lengths, lapped traffic came into play once again in the final circuits. Dover timed traffic adeptly and was able to repel one last Johnson charge off the top of turns three and four on the final circuit to take his third career ASCS National triumph and first since May of 2009 by four car-lengths.
“I was trying to time the lapped cars and set up the pass on the high side of three and four, it worked out,” Dover explained.
Current Lucas Oil ASCS National points leader Johnson settled for runner-up honors, with Bacon taking the show position. Herrera crossed the stripe fourth in the JHR No. 45x Maxim, with Wayne Johnson’s first weekend back in action since a July injuring culminating with a fifth-place finish aboard the Fisher-powered No. 77x entry.
Brown crossed the stripe in sixth, with Tim Crawley racing from 16th to seventh. Brodix Rookie of the Year contenders Matt Covington and Kyle Hirst were eighth and ninth, respectively, with Michael Dupuy advancing from 19th to complete the top ten. Stewart rebounded from the mid-race incident with Ramey to salvage an eleventh-place finish.
Stewart, Don Young, Covington, Claud Estes, Crawley and Brown topped Saturday night’s heat race action, with Eric Baldaccini, Logan and Dupuy winning the “B” Mains.
Sammy Swindell got into Brandon Berryman’s left rear tire entering turn three on the opening lap of the night’s first heat race and flipped. Swindell was uninjured, but scratched for the rest of the night.
A total of 57 different Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National competitors took part in the 37th edition of the Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters
37th Annual Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals Championship Finale Results:
Locked in from Friday Night’s Preliminary Feature:
41-Jason Johnson, 45x-Johnny Herrera, 53-Jack Dover, 99-Brady Bacon.
Heat Races (Top 12 in Passing Points to “A” Main; Balance to 3 “B” Mains):
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 57-Shane Stewart, 2. 6-Kyle Hirst, 3. 45k-Kolt Walker, 4. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 5. 14-Michael Lang, 6. 22-Koby Barksdale, 7. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 8. 31-Brandon Berryman, 9. 1-Sammy Swindell.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 7-Don Young, 2. 27-Andy Shouse, 3. 10a-Ricky Logan, 4. 3x-Michael Dupuy, 5. 20s-Sheldon Barksdale, 6. 58-Gary Floyd, 7. 5c-Chris Coker, 8. 6s-Justin Spoerl, 9. 3s-John Carney II.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 95-Matt Covington, 2. 1j-Danny Jennings, 3. 14e-Tommy Bryant, 4. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 5. 165-Haley Arnold, 6. 45-Martin Edwards, 7. 22k-Kevin Barksdale, 8. 24-David Gailley. DNS: 74x-Joshua Hodges.
Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 74e-Claud Estes, 2. 94-Danny Wood, 3. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 4. 10-George White, 5. 51s-Beau Smith, 6. 87x-Strike Hill, 7. 5m-Miranda Arnold, 8. 22a-Dan Adkins.
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 88-Tim Crawley, 2. 71-Channin Tankersley, 3. 77x-Wayne Johnson, 4. 9x-Gary Wright, 5. 29-Larry Long, 6. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 7. 30-Brandon Corn, 8. 51w-Wes Miller.
Heat Six (8 Laps): 1. 21-Brian Brown, 2. 50z-Zach Chappell, 3. 0c-Preston Peebles II, 4. 97b-Aaron Berryhill, 5. 93-Dustin Morgan, 6. 3g-Darren Long, 7. 45p-J.P. Bailey, 8. 5-Jerod Roller.
“B” Mains (Top 2 From Each Advance to “A” Main):
First “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 2. 45k-Kolt Walker, 3. 94-Danny Wood, 4. 45-Martin Edwards, 5. 3g-Darren Long, 6. 29-Larry Long, 7. 14e-Tommy Bryant, 8. 20s-Sheldon Barksdale, 9. 5-Jerod Roller, 10. 165-Haley Arnold, 11. 5c-Chris Coker. DNS: 6s-Justin Spoerl, 1-Sammy Swindell.
Second “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 10a-Ricky Logan, 2. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 3. 14-Michael Lang, 4. 50z-Zach Chappell, 5. 22-Koby Barksdale, 6. 45p-J.P. Bailey, 7. 30-Brandon Corn, 8. 24-David Gailley, 9. 58-Gary Floyd, 10. 51w-Wes Miller, 11. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 12. 9x-Gary Wright. DNS: 3s-John Carney II.
Third “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 3x-Michael Dupuy, 2. 97b-Aaron Berryhill, 3. 0c-Preston Peebles II, 4. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 5. 93-Dustin Morgan, 6. 87x-Strike Hill, 7. 74x-Joshua Hodges, 8. 51s-Beau Smith, 9. 5m-Miranda Arnold, 10. 10-George White, 11. 31-Brandon Berryman, 12. 22a-Dan Adkins, 13. 22k-Kevin Barksdale.
37th Annual Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals Championship “A” Main:
“A” Feature (30 Laps): 1. 53-Jack Dover, 2. 41-Jason Johnson, 3. 99-Brady Bacon, 4. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 5. 77x-Wayne Johnson, 6. 21-Brian Brown, 7. 88-Tim Crawley, 8. 95-Matt Covington, 9. 6-Kyle Hirst, 10. 3x-Michael Dupuy, 11. 57-Shane Stewart, 12. 94-Danny Wood, 13. 50z-Zach Chappell, 14. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 15. 27-Andy Shouse, 16. 1j-Danny Jennings, 17. 10a-Ricky Logan, 18. 97b-Aaron Berryhill, 19. 74e-Claud Estes, 20. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 21. 71-Channin Tankersley, 22. 7-Don Young, 23. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 24. 45k-Kolt Walker.
Lap Leaders: Brady Bacon 1-13, Jack Dover 14-30.
Note: Zach Chappell and Danny Wood both utilized their fourth and final provisionals of the year to start the main event.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Points (Top 20): 1. Jason Johnson 2,919, 2. Brady Bacon 2,847, 3. Shane Stewart 2,780, 4. Tim Crawley 2,643, 5. Jack Dover 2,622, 6. Tony Bruce, Jr. 2,573, 7. Zach Chappell 2,504, 8. Kyle Hirst 2,397, 9. Danny Wood 2,379, 10. Ricky Logan 2,364, 11. Matt Covington 2,268, 12. Darren Long 2,103, 13. Dustin Morgan 2,095, 14. Channin Tankersley 2,019, 15. Gary Wright 1,690, 16. Justyn Cox 1,513, 17. Austen Wheatley 1,344, 18. Brian Brown 1,290, 19. Travis Rilat 1,152, 20. Johnny Herrera 873.