From Lonnie Wheatley
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (April 15, 2011) – A Roush/Yates Ford-powered entry parked in Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National victory lane for the first time ever as Jeff Swindell wired the field in Friday night’s 30-lap preliminary main event atop the high-banked, ¼-mile I-30 Speedway clay oval.
Swindell gunned into the lead at the outset from the front row outside starting position and held off several challengers along the way for his second career ASCS National triumph and first since the 2002 edition of the ASCS Knoxville Nationals, becoming the seventh different winner in as many Lucas Oil Sprint Car features thus far in 2011.
“How can you dislike that Ford debut tonight, that thing purrs like a kitten and has some stomp down the straightaways,” Swindell explained of the first night with Roush/Yates Ford power under the bonnet.
With the triumph, Swindell locked himself into Saturday night’s $6,000-to-win main event at I-30 Speedway along with runner-up Shane Stewart, third-place Gary Wright and fourth-runner Sam Hafertepe, Jr.
While Swindell gridded the feature field outside the front row, it was Jerrod Hull leading the way to the green flag aboard the Donnie Cooper No. 01 mount. Swindell raced into the lead ahead of Hull on the opening round as fifth-starter Gary Wright, back in his familiar No. 9 entry, moved up to third.
After a quick caution four laps in for a Dustin Morgan spin that collected and sent Aaron Reutzel pitside, Swindell set a quick pace that found him in traffic just ahead of Hull and Wright within a handful of laps.
“We got in traffic so quick, I tried to slow down a little just to stay out of it,” Swindell explained.
But, with Hull and Wright on his heels, Swindell maneuvered through traffic and kept his challengers at bay with Wright slipping around Hull for second on the 17th circuit, just two laps before Morgan looped it in turn two.
Under the ensuing caution, Hull surrendered the third position when his right rear tire deflated, allowing sixth-starter Shane Stewart to move up to third. The yellow flag flew again two laps later when Jason Johnson, who had rallied from 17th, tangled with A.G. Rains in turn four while making a move for fifth.
Wright, vying for his first ASCS National win since October of 2009, pressured Swindell on the start only to see a final red flag fly just five laps shy of the checkered when Derek Hagar turned over in turn two.
When Wright slipped high exiting turn two on the restart, Swindell dashed away and Stewart charged by into second. Swindell raced on to the stripe in the Davis Paint & Drywall No. 28 Maxim, while current Lucas Oil Sprint Car points leader Stewart took runner-up honors in Paul Silva’s Wesmar-powered Rockstar Energy Drink No. 57 A.R.T.
Wright took the show position in his No. 9 Maxim, while 13th starter Sam Hafertepe, Jr., overcame a two-position penalty in the Fisher-powered Lone Star Speedway No. 15h Maxim for jumping a mid-race restart to take the fourth and final lock-in position away from Seth Bergman in the final circuits.
Bergman rounded out the top five in the Wesmar-powered Superior Marine No. 23 Eagle, with Brad Bowden matching a career-best ASCS National finish by climbing from tenth to claim sixth. Danny Wood was seventh, with Zach Chappell, 22nd-starter Johnny Herrera and 23rd-starter Tim Crawley completing the top ten.
Cody Gardner, Bergman, Wright, Stewart and Hull topped heat race action for Friday night’s 43-car field, with Jason Johnson and Tony Bruce, Jr., winning the 12-lap “B” Mains. Johnson landed in “B” Main action after suffering engine woes while leading the night’s fifth heat from the pole position. After his late feature miscue, Johnson raced back up to eleventh.
Tommy Snellgrove’s night came to an early end when he flipped wildly down the frontstretch at the start of the third heat race, while Brady Bacon turned over in turn three in the fourth heat. Bacon missed the feature cut and used a provisional for the “A” Main as did Crawley.
The Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National series finishes off the I-30 Speedway weekend double with Saturday night’s $6,000-to-win card, which fires off at 7:30 p.m.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters
I-30 Speedway Preliminary Night Results
I-30 Speedway – Little Rock, AR
Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points to “A” Main; Balance to Two “B” Main):
Heat One (10 Laps): 1. 1g-Cody Gardner, 2. 0-Zach Chappell, 3. 1x-Gary Taylor, 4. 8x-Chris Williams, 5. 14-Jordon Mallett, 6. 12-Dalton Davis, 7. 40x-Ernie Ainsworth, 8. 1h-Nic Jenkins, 9. 81au-Gavin Punch.
Heat Two (10 Laps): 1. 23-Seth Bergman, 2. 2-Dustin Morgan, 3. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 4. 81-Danny Wood, 5. 9x-Justin Sturch, 6. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 7. 88-Tim Crawley, 8. 47-Dale Howard, 9. 12T-Joe Young.
Heat Three (10 Laps): 1. 9-Gary Wright, 2. 3-A.G. Rains, 3. 24-Justin Carver, 4. 91-Marshall Skinner, 5. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 6. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 7. 4-Tommy Snellgrove, 8. 38x-Rick Pringle, 9. 16-Anthony Nicholson (Disqualified; Nose wing too far forward after finishing first).
Heat Four (10 Laps): 1. 57-Shane Stewart, 2. 39-Brad Bowden, 3. 28-Jeff Swindell, 4. 7s-Robert Sellers, 5. 60-Eric Sandage, 6. 99-Brady Bacon, 7. 14T-Tyler Brown, 8. 40-Junior Jenkins.
Heat Five (10 Laps): 1. 01-Jerrod Hull, 2. 38-Wayne Johnson, 3. 95-Matt Covington, 4. 9jr-Derek Hagar, 5. 8z-Zach Pringle, 6. 5-Jerrod Roller, 7. 41-Jason Johnson, 8. 2L-Logan Forler.
“B” Main (Top 3 from Each Advance to “A” Main):
First “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 9jr-Derek Hagar, 3. 40x-Ernie Ainsworth, 4. 8z-Zach Pringle, 5. 99-Brady Bacon, 6. 24-Justin Carver, 7. 60-Eric Sandage, 8. 14T-Tyler Brown, 9. 12T-Joe Young, 10. 5-Jerrod Roller, 11. 16-Anthony Nicholson, 12. 91-Marshall Skinner. DNS: 4-Tommy Snellgrove, 38x-Rick Pringle.
Second “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 2. 9x-Justin Sturch, 3. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 4. 88-Tim Crawley, 5. 14-Jordon Mallett, 6. 2L-Logan Forler, 7. 12-Dalton Davis, 8. 1h-Nic Jenkins, 9. 81au-Gavin Punch, 10. 47-Dale Howard, 11. 7s-Robert Sellers (Disqualified; nose wing too far forward after finishing first). DNS: 8x-Chris Williams, 40-Junior Jenkins.
I-30 Speedway Preliminary “A” Main:
“A” Feature (30 Laps): 1. 28-Jeff Swindell, 2. 57-Shane Stewart, 3. 9-Gary Wright, 4. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 5. 23-Seth Bergman, 6. 39-Brad Bowden, 7. 81-Danny Wood, 8. 0-Zach Chappell, 9. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 10. 88-Tim Crawley, 11. 41-Jason Johnson, 12. 3-A.G. Rains, 13. 95-Matt Covington, 14. 9x-Justin Sturch, 15. 1x-Gary Taylor, 16. 1g-Cody Gardner, 17. 99-Brady Bacon, 18. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 19. 9jr-Derek Hagar, 20. 01-Jerrod Hull, 21. 2-Dustin Morgan, 22. 40x-Ernie Ainsworth, 23. 38-Wayne Johnson, 24. 87-Aaron Reutzel.
Lap Leaders: Jeff Swindell 1-30.
Note: Tim Crawley and Brady Bacon both utilized provisionals to start the main event. It was Crawley’s second provisional of the year, while it was Bacon’s first.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Driver Points (Top 15): 1. Shane Stewart 942, 2. Johnny Herrera 856, 3. Jeff Swindell 814, 4. Tim Crawley 755, 5. Brady Bacon 750, 6. Gary Wright 731, 7. Seth Bergman 725, 8. Aaron Reutzel 713, 9. Tony Bruce, Jr. 698, 10. Zach Chappell 659, 11. Logan Forler 618, 12. Dustin Morgan 590, 13. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 422, 14. Jason Johnson 393, 15. (tie) Mason Moore and Trey Starks 391.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Owner Points (Top 15): 1. Jason Johnson Racing #41 – 945, 2. Paul Silva #57 – 942, 3. Herrera/Main #45x – 856, 4. Swindell Group #28 – 814, 5. Mike Ward #88 – 755, 6. Bacon/Tel-Star #99 – 750, 7. Petersen Motorsports #23 725, 8. Kenny Reutzel #87 – 713, 9. Bruce Racing #18 – 698, 10. Cooper/Sperry #01/51 – 686, 11. Randy Washburn #0 – 659, 12. Steve Forler #2L – 618, 13. M&M Motorsports #2 – 590 14. Sam Hafertepe #15 – 422, 15. (tie) Harley Van Dyke #5h and Terry Starks #55 – 391.