By Lonnie Wheatley
TULSA, Okla. (June 6, 2011) – Last year, Jason Johnson and his newly-formed JJR team hit it’s Lucas Oil Sprint Car championship stride with an Eagle Nationals triumph.
Now, Johnson carries the momentum of this past weekend’s Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National triumph at Little Rock’s I-30 Speedway into this year’s edition prestigious Eagle Nationals at Nebraska’s Eagle Raceway.
The Lucas Oil Sprint Cars, mixing it up with the Speedway Motors ASCS Midwest Regional forces, take to the high-banked, 1/3-mile Eagle Raceway clay oval on both Friday and Saturday night this weekend with both nights taped for later broadcast on the VERSUS Network. Saturday’s Eagle Nationals champion collects the $6,000 winner’s share.
Shut out of National victory lane over the early portion of 2010, Eunice, LA, native Jason Johnson finally broke through in strong fashion with an Eagle Nationals triumph over a resilient Jack Dover after Danny Wood topped the preliminary night main event.
It seemingly opened the floodgates, as “The Ragin’ Cajun” followed up by winning three of four events in the Northwest a month later and rode a wave of momentum to the $60,000 championship that was strong enough that neither Brady Bacon, Shane Stewart nor any of the other top Lucas Oil Sprint Car contenders could overcome.
This time though, Johnson enters the Eagle Nationals as the only driver to post more than one Lucas Oil ASCS National win after adding an I-30 Speedway triumph on Saturday night to a March 25 win in Devil’s Bowl Spring Nationals preliminary action.
Saturday’s win also put Johnson’s JJR No. 41 entry atop the owner point charts by a narrow margin over Paul Silva’s No. 57 piloted by Shane Stewart.
With Johnson busy making up ground on the driver side of the points scene, Bixby, Oklahoma native Stewart is out to 130-point edge over Albuquerque’s Johnny Herrera on the strength of a remarkable run of top-five feature finishes. Stewart has finished among the top five in eight of nine Lucas Oil Sprint Car feature events thus far in 2011, with his only run outside the top five a ninth-place on the opening night of the Devil’s Bowl Spring Nationals.
In Stewart’s wake, the battle for second is tightening up between Herrera, Jeff Swindell (Bartlett, TN), Tim Crawley (Benton, AR) and Gary Wright (Hooks, TX), with just 66 points separating those four drivers.
Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, OK) is just outside the top five, with the rest of the current top ten including Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA), leading Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Aaron Reutzel (Clute, TX), Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS) and Zach Chappell (Talala, OK).
Just outside the top ten along with Jason Johnson are Lucas Oil Sprint Car contenders Dustin Morgan (Tulsa, OK) and Logan Forler (Eatonville, WA), who picked off a win in recent weekly action at Eagle Raceway. Also making their way up the point charts after missing the initial four events of the season out west are Danny Wood (Norman, OK) and Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK).
The Lucas Oil Sprint Car contenders will face a number of tough contenders from the Speedway Motors ASCS Midwest Region, with Missouri’s Brian Brown leading the likes of Nebraska ace Jack Dover, North Dakota’s Lee Grosz, Ryan Roberts, Billy Alley and more.
While Jason Johnson ranks as the only driver to post multiple Lucas Oil ASCS National wins thus far in 2011, drivers with single triumphs include Stewart, Herrera, Swindell, Wright, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., Tim Kaeding and Kyle Larson. Among those looking for their first win of 2011 are Crawley, Bacon, Bergman, Reutzel, Bruce, Jr., Chappell, Morgan and Forler.
The Speedway Motors ASCS Midwest forces have logged four nights into the books, with Brian Brown posting a pair of wins. Danny Lasoski and Lucas Oil Sprint Car National contender Seth Bergman have both posted Midwest wins as well.
Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters
When & Where:
Friday night, June 10 at 7:00 p.m. – Eagle Raceway
Saturday night, June 11 at 7:00 p.m. – Eagle Raceway
Eagle Raceway (Eagle, NE) – 1/3-mile high-banked clay oval located off I-80 Exit 420, then 11 miles south to SR 63, then west. For more information, contact 402-238-2595 or check www.tbjpromotions.com for ticket info.
Lucas Oil ASCS Eagle Raceway History:
Eagle Raceway became the 110th different track to host an ASCS National event with last year’s Eagle Nationals. After Danny Wood broke back into Lucas Oil ASCS National victory lane with a win in the preliminary feature, Jason Johnson posted his first series win of the year in the Eagle Nationals championship feature event.
Eagle Raceway Lucas Oil ASCS National winners include: Jason Johnson 1, Danny Wood 1.
Eagle Raceway Lucas Oil ASCS Race-by-Race Winners: Danny Wood (6/11/10), Jason Johnson (6/12/11).
Current 2011 Points:
Top 15 Driver Points: 1. Shane Stewart (Bixby, OK) 1,202, 2. Johnny Herrera (Albuquerque, NM) 1,072, 3. Jeff Swindell (Bartlett, TN) 1,045, 4. Tim Crawley (Benton, AR) 1,032, 5. Gary Wright (Hooks, TX) 1,006, 6. Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, OK) 960, 7. Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA) 936, 8. Aaron Reutzel (Clute, TX) 906, 9. Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS) 898, 10. Zach Chappell (Talala, OK) 831, 11. Dustin Morgan (Tulsa, OK) 812, 12. Logan Forler (Eatonville, WA) 795, 13. Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA) 668, 14. Danny Wood (Norman, OK) 558, 15. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (Sunnyvale, TX) 544.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Owner Points (Top 15): 1. Jason Johnson Racing #41 – 1,220, 2. Paul Silva #57 – 1,202, 3. Herrera/Main #45x – 1,072, 4. Swindell Group #28 – 1,045, 5. Mike Ward #88 – 1,032, 6. Bacon/Tel-Star #99 – 960, 7. Petersen Motorsports #23 936, 8. Kenny Reutzel #87 – 906, 9. Bruce Racing #18 – 898, 10. Cooper/Sperry #01/51 – 872, 11. Randy Washburn #0 – 831, 12. M&M Motorsports #2 – 812, 13. Steve Forler #2L – 795, 14. Danny Wood #81 – 558, 15. Sam Hafertepe #15 – 544.
Brodix Rookie of the Year Points: 1. Aaron Reutzel (Clute, TX) 906, 2. Logan Forler (Eatonville, WA) 795.
Speedway Motors ASCS Midwest Points (Top Ten): 1. Brian Brown (Grain Valley, MO) 584, 2. Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK) 529, 3. Jack Dover (Springfield, NE) 498, 4. Lee Grosz (Harwood, ND) 457, 5. Don Droud, Jr. (Lincoln, NE) 452, 6. (tie) Ryan Anderson (Charter Oak, IA) and Justyn Cox (Clarksburg, CA) 424, 8. Ryan Roberts (Aurora, NE) 422, 9. Billy Alley (Lincoln, NE) 393, 10. Danny Lasoski (Higginsville, MO) 386.
2011 Feature Winners:
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Series: Jason Johnson 2, Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 1, Johnny Herrera 1, Tim Kaeding 1, Kyle Larson 1, Shane Stewart 1, Jeff Swindell 1, Gary Wright 1.
Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters – A Look Ahead:
July 9 – I-90 Speedway (Hartford, SD)
July 15 – Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, WA)
July 16 – Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, WA) – VERSUS
July 22 – Cottage Grove Speedway (Cottage Grove, OR) – VERSUS
July 23 – Cottage Grove Speedway (Cottage Grove, OR) – VERSUS
July 29 – Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA)
July 30 – Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA)
August 4/6 – 21st Annual ASCS Knoxville Nationals (Knoxville, IA)
Lucas Oil ASCS on the Web:
Those unable to catch all the action in person can listen to every Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters live at www.racinboys.com.
Official results, championship point updates, photos and race notes will be available at www.ascsracing.com.
Lucas Oil ASCS on TV:
The Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters will be featured in nine one-hour shows broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on the VERSUS Network and MavTV.
The full schedule according to www.motorsportshour.com is as follows:
Thunderbowl Raceway (Feb. 9) – 4/23/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
Kings Speedway (Feb. 12) – 5/7/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
USA Raceway (Feb. 18) – 5/29/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
USA Raceway (Feb. 19) – 6/5/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
Eagle Raceway (June 10) – 9/11/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
Eagle Raceway (June 11) – 9/18/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
Grays Harbor Raceway (July 16) – 10/30/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
Cottage Grove Speedway (July 22) – 11/6/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
Cottage Grove Speedway (July 23) – TBA
The Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters is currently slated for 37 nights of racing action at 15 different tracks throughout the nation, with the country’s top Sprint Car drivers set to battle it out for their share of the $250,000 points fund.
The 2011 season marks the 20th year of sanctioning Sprint Car racing for the American Sprint Car Series, with approximately 200 nights of competition at tracks throughout the nation and into Canada. Anchored by the Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters, ASCS also consists of ten different Regions throughout the nation.
Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.