From Lonnie Wheatley
MEDFORD, Ore. (July 11, 2011) – The 14th Annual Bully Dog ASCS Northwest Speedweek presented by Contingency Connection kicked off with Henry Van Dam wiring Monday night’s 30-lap feature event atop the semi-banked, 3/8-mile Southern Oregon Speedway clay oval.
The Enumclaw, WA, shoe gunned into the lead from the pole position at the outset and never looked back en route to collecting his second career ASCS Northwest triumph and first Speedweek score aboard the Shark-powered Van Dam Farms No. 33v entry.
“It was tough to see, I was pulling tearoffs as quick as I could,” Van Dam explained of the heavy track conditions. “I didn’t even see the checkered flag and about ran over a car that checked up in front of me.”
After the initial start was nullified when Joe Ramaker climbed a wheel and got upside down in turn four before the first lap was complete, Van Dam outgunned fellow front row starter Mack Brown and paced the early laps ahead of Brown, Tommy Tarlton and Kyle Larson.
Just as Van Dam reached traffic, the race’s only yellow flag flew when Cam Smith came to a stop on the track.
Back under way, Van Dam reached traffic by the 13th round and began picking off cars in short order, lapping all the way up to tenth and putting nearly a half lap between himself and his pursuers by the time the checkered flag flew.
“I had no idea I had that kind of lead, I really didn’t know if somebody was right there or not,” Van Dam explained.
While Van Dam ripped through traffic with ease, Larson slipped by Tarlton for third on the 17th round and then took second away from Brown on the 19th lap. But, there was no catching Van Dam, who had opened up a substantial lead.
“I got to second and I couldn’t even see him,” Larson explained after earning runner-up honors in the Finley Farms No. 77. “I was hoping for a yellow to get a chance to close up on him, but it didn’t happen.”
Roger Crockett battled past Tarlton for fourth by the 20th round and then slipped past Brown to claim the show position. Brown settled for fourth, with current ASCS Southern California Region point leader Tarlton rounding out the top five.
Fifteen-year-old Trey Starks was sixth, with Dan Menne in seventh. Australian Jamie Veal picked up Travis Rutz Hard Charger honors by racing from 17th to eighth, with Chadd Noland and Garen Linder the final cars on the lead lap in ninth and tenth, respectively.
Larson, Brown, Noland and Van Dam topped heat race action for Monday night’s 30-car field with Steven Tiner and Veal winning the “B” Mains. Vern Wheeler got upside down on the backstretch in the fourth heat and was done for the night.
The Bully Dog ASCS Northwest Speedweek presented by Contingency Connection continues with round two on Tuesday night at Coos Bay Speedway in Coos Bay, OR, with racing action going green at 6:30 p.m.
ASCS Northwest Speedweek Results from Southern Oregon Speedway:
Heat One (10 Laps): 1. 77-Kyle Larson, 2. 55-Trey Starks, 3. 2L-Logan Forler, 4. 38-Wayne Johnson, 5. 35au-Jamie Veal, 6. 17-Cam Smith, 7. 88-Brent Hoover, 8. 93-Marissa Earle.
Heat Two (10 Laps): 1. 96x-Mack Brown, 2. 11-Roger Crockett, 3. 98m-Mitch Olson, 4. 98-Joe Ramaker, 5. 31-Colton Akerstrom, 6. 57c-Chris Schmelzle, 7. 45-Brent McGrath, 8. 10-Kyle Miller.
Heat Three (10 Laps): 1. 13-Chadd Noland, 2. 8rc-Jason Cocking, 3. 75-Dan Menne, 4. 22-Garen Linder, 5. 5h-Mason Moore, 6. 26F-Shane Forte, 7. 5n-Seth Nunes.
Heat Four (10 Laps): 1. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 2. 21-Tommy Tarlton, 3. 27dd-David Hoiness, 4. 23-Seth Bergman, 5. 94-Steven Tiner, 6. 9a-Luke Didiuk, 7. 21w-Vern Wheeler.
First “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 94-Steven Tiner, 2. 98-Joe Ramaker, 3. 17-Cam Smith, 4. 57c-Chris Schmelzle, 5. 88-Brent Hoover, 6. 9a-Luke Didiuk, 7. 10-Kyle Miller. DNS: 21w-Vern Wheeler.
Second “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 35au-Jamie Veal, 2. 31-Colton Akerstrom, 3. 5h-Mason Moore, 4. 26f-Shane Forte, 5. 5n-Seth Nunes, 6. 45-Brent McGrath, 7. 93-Marissa Earle.
Last Chance Winner: 17-Cam Smith.
“A” Feature (30 Laps): 1. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 2. 77-Kyle Larson, 3. 11-Roger Crockett, 4. 96x-Mack Brown, 5. 21-Tommy Tarlton, 6. 55-Trey Starks, 7. 75-Dan Menne, 8. 35au-Jamie Veal, 9. 13-Chadd Noland, 10. 22-Garen Linder, 11. 2L-Logan Forler, 12. 8rc-Jason Cocking, 13. 27dd-David Hoiness, 14. 23-Seth Bergman, 15. 98m-Mitch Olson, 16. 31-Colton Akerstrom, 17. 94-Steven Tiner, 18. 38-Wayne Johnson, 19. 17-Cam Smith, 20. 98-Joe Ramaker.
ASCS Northwest Points (Top Ten): 1. Roger Crockett 689, 2. Henry Van Dam 650, 3. Seth Bergman 644, 4. Trey Starks 574, 5. Garen Linder 567, 6. Jason Solwold 558, 7. Mitch Olson 540, 8. Jason Cocking 473, 9. Rick Fauver 431, 10. Reece Goetz 409.
Bully Dog ASCS Northwest Speedweek presented by Contingency Connection Points (Top Ten): 1. Henry Van Dam 150, 2. Kyle Larson 142, 3. Roger Crockett 135, 4. Mack Brown 130, 5. Tommy Tarlton 125, 6. Trey Starks 122, 7. Dan Menne 119, 8. Jamie Veal 116, 9. Chadd Noland 113, 10. Garen Linder 110.