By Lonnie Wheatley
TULSA, Okla. (July 18, 2011) – Wayne Johnson tabbed it, “The best racetrack on the west coast,” when he climbed from his winning mount during last Wednesday night’s ASCS Northwest Speedweek event at Oregon’s Cottage Grove Speedway.
Few would argue against that, which will have fans in the West at a fever pitch as the intensely competitive Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National series takes to the high-banked, ¼-mile clay oval for this weekend’s Cottage Grove Sprint Car Nationals on Friday and Saturday. Both nights will be taped for later broadcast on the VERSUS Network.
While current Lucas Oil Sprint Car points leader Shane Stewart of Bixby, OK, and reigning series champion Jason Johnson of Eunice, LA, lead the way into the weekend, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Brady Bacon enters the weekend as the defending Cottage Grove Sprint Car Nationals champion.
After Johnson, the 2009 Cottage Grove Sprint Car Nationals winner, topped last year’s preliminary event, Bacon (just 20 years old at the time) raced to his fourth ASCS National triumph in front of Washington’s Seth Bergman and Oklahoma shoe Zach Chappell.
While Bacon, who claimed runner-up honors in Lucas Oil Sprint Car points behind Jason Johnson in 2010, picked off four National wins last year, he’s still looking for his first win of 2011 to go along with a Regional score in Jetmore, KS.
Bacon, along with National contenders Wayne Johnson, Tim Crawley, Seth Bergman and Logan Forler, took advantage of last week’s Northwest Speedweek event to tune up for this week’s critical National event that will also award Northwest points on both night.
While Oklahoma City native Wayne Johnson picked off his third Regional win of the year for car owner Bryan Sundby, Bacon finished seventh in last week’s feature event with a tight racecar after a convincing heat race win.
Crawley, making an early arrival from Benton, AR, on the way to the Elma, WA, double that fell victim to rain over the weekend, was perhaps the quickest car over the last half of the Speedweek card at Cottage Grove as he climbed to third behind Wayne Johnson and Northwest Speedweek champion Kyle Larson in the final rounds.
Crawley and Bacon, currently ranked fourth and sixth, respectively, both look to close the gap on points leader Stewart as well as Albuquerque’s Johnny Herrera and Tennessee’s Jeff Swindell this weekend.
Gary Wright, a Lucas Oil Sprint Car winner at I-30 Speedway earlier this season, enters the Cottage Grove double ranked fifth with others among the top ten including Bergman, Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS), leading Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Aaron Reutzel (Clute, TX) and Zach Chappell (Talala, OK).
Just outside the top ten is Rookie shoe Logan Forler (Eatonville, WA) along with Jason Johnson, who continues to make up ground in driver points after missing the opening two weekends of the season, and Wayne Johnson.
Cottage Grove ace Roger Crockett leads the ASCS Northwest forces into the weekend with other top Northwest shoes including Henry Van Dam, Trey Starks, Mitch Olson, Jason Solwold, series rookie Jason Cocking and Chadd Noland.
Fresh off the ASCS Northwest Speedweek championship, 18-year-old Kyle Larson of Elk Grove, CA, will try to add another Lucas Oil ASCS National win to the one he posted at Hanford’s Kings Speedway in February.
Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters
When & Where:
Friday night, July 22 at 6:45 p.m. – Cottage Grove Speedway
Saturday night, July 23 at 6:45 p.m. – Cottage Grove Speedway
Cottage Grove Speedway (Cottage Grove, OR) – ¼-mile, semi-banked clay oval located off I-5 Exit 174, one block south on Gateway, then one block south on North 19th Street, then right for 0.3 miles on Ostrander Lane, then 0.4 miles north on Douglas (next to the fairgrounds). For more information, contact the track at 541-942-7561 or 541-510-0757 or check http://www.cottagegrovespeedway.com/.
Lucas Oil ASCS Cottage Grove Speedway History:
Brady Bacon put a halt to Jason Johnson’s run of three wins in a row in the Northwest by winning last year’s edition of the Cottage Grove Sprint Car Nationals. Johnson was trying to win the Cottage Grove finale for the second year in a row after besting 2009 preliminary winner Shane Stewart in the finale of the series Oregon debut.
Cottage Grove Speedway Lucas Oil ASCS National winners include: Jason Johnson 2, Brady Bacon 1, Shane Stewart 1.
Cottage Grove Speedway Lucas Oil ASCS Race-by-Race Winners: Shane Stewart (7/24/09), Jason Johnson (7/25/09), Jason Johnson (7/23/10), Brady Bacon (7/24/11).
Current 2011 Points:
Top 15 Driver Points: 1. Shane Stewart (Bixby, OK) 1,300, 2. Johnny Herrera (Albuquerque, NM) 1,214, 3. Jeff Swindell (Bartlett, TN) 1,147, 4. Tim Crawley (Benton, AR) 1,130, 5. Gary Wright (Hooks, TX) 1,116, 6. Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, OK) 1,085, 7. Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA) 1,066, 8. Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS) 1,017, 9. Aaron Reutzel (Clute, TX) 1,012, 10. Zach Chappell (Talala, OK) 911, 11. Logan Forler (Eatonville, WA) 887, 12. Dustin Morgan (Tulsa, OK) 877, 13. Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA) 754, 14. Danny Wood (Norman, OK) 674, 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 – 1,306, 2. Paul Silva #57 – 1,300, 3. Herrera/Main #45x – 1,214, 4. Swindell Group #28 – 1,147, 5. Mike Ward #88 – 1,130, 6. Bacon/Tel-Star #99 – 1,085, 7. Petersen Motorsports #23 1,066, 8. Bruce Racing #18 – 1,017, 9. Kenny Reutzel #87 – 1,012, 10. Randy Washburn #0 – 911, 11. Steve Forler #2L – 887, 12. M&M Motorsports #2 – 877, 13. Cooper/Sperry #01/51 – 872, 14. Danny Wood #81 – 674, 15. Sam Hafertepe #15 – 544.
Brodix Rookie of the Year Points: 1. Aaron Reutzel (Clute, TX) 1,012, 2. Logan Forler (Eatonville, WA) 887.
ASCS Northwest Points (Top Ten): 1. Roger Crockett (Medford, OR) 1,094, 2. Henry Van Dam (Enumclaw, WA) 1,028, 3. Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA) 1,015, 4. Trey Starks (Puyallup, WA) 951, 5. Mitch Olson (Tacoma, WA) 864, 6. Jason Solwold (Burlington, WA) 787, 7. Jason Cocking (Snohomish, WA) 697, 8. Chadd Noland (Central Point, OR) 686, 9. Mason Moore (Princeton, CA) 631, 10. Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, CA) 576.
2011 Feature Winners:
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Series: Jason Johnson 2, Jack Dover 1, 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 29/30 – Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA)
August 4/5/6 – Knoxville Raceway (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 (RAINED OUT) – 9/11/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
Eagle Raceway (June 11) – 9/18/11 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
Grays Harbor Raceway (RAINED OUT) – 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 35 nights of racing action at 14 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.