Jackson, MN — (August 20, 2011) — Reigning Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National champion Jason Johnson added another notch to the win column with a $6,000 triumph in Saturday night’s 33rd Annual Jackson Nationals presented by Brodix Cylinder Heads championship main event.
“The Ragin’ Cajun” gunned into the lead at the outset and led all 25 circuits atop the high-banked, ½-mile Jackson Speedway clay oval for his fifth ASCS National triumph of the year aboard the Don Ott-powered Haynes/Pope Transportation No. 41 Maxim and 53rd of his career.
“The top is where I like to be,” the Eunice, LA, native explained of the upper groove that led the way to victory lane. “Beautiful cushion, beautiful race track tonight.”
After racing into the lead ahead of pole starter and Friday night preliminary winner Johnny Herrera at the drop of the green flag, Johnson kept Tim Crawley at bay at the race’s midpoint and survived a pair of quick cautions in the late going to secure the victory.
“I wasn’t real happy with the car after hot laps so we tuned on it before the feature and the car was a rocket,” Johnson explained.
While Johnson grabbed the early lead, fourth-starter Tim Crawley battled into second on the opening circuit and chased the leader with Herrera, Brady Bacon and Jack Dover in tow as the initial 19 laps ran off in non-stop fashion.
Working the topside flawlessly, Johnson reached the tail of the field within eight laps and began working traffic. Crawley took advantage aboard Mike Ward’s Lucas Oil/Boater Sports No. 88 GF1, closing in on Johnson’s tailtank at the midway point.
Crawley kept the pressure on until the race’s first caution flew after 19 lap for Aaron Reutzel, who came to a stop off of turn three. “We definitely didn’t need that yellow,” Crawley commented. “Jason was a little quicker than us flat-out running, in traffic we might have had a chance.”
Another caution flew two laps later when current Lucas Oil Sprint Car points leader Shane Stewart stopped in turn four with race-ending mechanical issues as did Jordan Boston in turn two at the same time, setting up a four-lap dash to the stripe
And, with clear sailing ahead, Johnson raced on to the checkered flag with a comfortable advantage over Crawley.
“We got by a few cars on the bottom, but ultimately it was around the lip,” Crawley explained. “We had a little too much gear in and it was hurting us as far as mile per hour down the straights. A second on a half-mile for us, we’ll definitely take it.”
While Johnson and Crawley paced the field throughout, seventh-starter Jeff Swindell was fifth when the lap 19 caution flew and wasted little time working the bottom side of the track to move past Dover and Herrera into third by the time the next caution flew two laps later.
Swindell was unable to climb any further forward though in the final rounds, settling for third in the Roush-Yates Ford-powered No. 28 Maxim.
“That last restart I couldn’t quite stick to the bottom quite as good as I was prior to that,” Swindell explained. “Before that, I think we had the car to win it.”
Herrera brought the Wesmar-powered Mesilla Valley Transport/Champion Oil No. 45x Maxim across the line fourth, with Jack Dover bouncing back from a Friday night disappointment to round out the top five in the Shaver-powered Thorpe’s Auto Body/Homepride Roofing No. 53 Eagle.
Brady Bacon was sixth, with Gregg Bakker, Jake Peters, 14th-starter Gary Wright and Seth Bergman completing the top ten.
Bakker, Jessica Zemken, Bergman and Boston won Saturday night’s heat races, with Bryan Dobesh and Thomas Kennedy winning the twin “B” Mains.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters
33rd Annual Jackson Nationals presented by Brodix Finale
Jackson Speedway (Jackson, MN)
Locked in from Friday Night’s Preliminary Feature:
Note: Aaron Reutzel utilized his fourth and final provisional of the year to start the main event.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Driver Points (Top 15): 1. Shane Stewart 2,132, 2. Johnny Herrera 2,054 3. Jeff Swindell 1,976, 4. Brady Bacon 1,935, 5. Gary Wright 1,863, 6. Tim Crawley 1,848, 7. Seth Bergman 1,756, 8. Aaron Reutzel 1,689, 9. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,672, 10. Jason Johnson 1,666, 11. Zach Chappell 1,510, 12. Wayne Johnson 1,196, 13. Logan Forler 1,091, 14. Dustin Morgan 877, 15. Jack Dover 827.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Owner Points (Top 15): 1. Jason Johnson Racing #41 – 2,218, 2. Paul Silva #57 – 2,132, 3. Herrera/Main #45x – 2,054, 4. Swindell Group #28 – 1,976, 5. Bacon/Tel-Star #99 – 1,935, 6. Mike Ward #88 – 1,848, 7. Petersen Motorsports #23 1,756, 8. Kenny Reutzel #87 – 1,689, 9. Bruce Racing #18 – 1,672, 10. Randy Washburn #0 – 1,510, 11. Gary Wright #9 – 1,267, 12. Bryan Sundby #38 – 1,196, 13. Steve Forler #2L – 1,091, 14. M&M Motorsports #2 – 877, 15. Cooper/Sperry #01/51 – 872.
Speedway Motors ASCS Midwest Points (Top 10): 1. Jack Dover 1,786, 2. Bryan Gossel 1,419, 3. Lee Grosz 1,386, 4. Jordan Boston 1,345, 5. Wayne Johnson 1,344, 6. Brian Brown 1,102, 7. Billy Alley 1,071, 8. Don Droud, Jr. 910, 9. Jeff Osborn 868, 10. Gregg Bakker 864.