By Lonnie Wheatley
TULSA, Okla. (September 27, 2011) – With the distribution of the $250,000 point fund on the line, the stretch drive for the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National series got under way this past weekend at Wheatland, Missouri’s Lucas Oil Speedway.
And what a start to the run down the stretch it was, as 72 teams took part in the Jesse Hockett / Daniel McMillin Memorial at “The Diamond of Dirt Tracks” with Tim Crawley winning Friday night’s preliminary and then Jason Johnson taking Saturday’s finale.
While Crawley became the 13th different Lucas Oil Sprint Car National winner of the year with his first series triumph of the season, Johnson extended his series’ best win total to six in the 21st feature of the season. No other driver has claimed more than two feature wins.
More importantly for “The Ragin’ Cajun”, he extended the lead in the owner’s portion of the points chase for his JJR No. 41 entry to 136 markers over Paul Silva’s No. 57 that is piloted by Shane Stewart. Stewart, with finishes of seventh and eighth over the weekend, still padded his lead in the driver’s portion to 97 points over Johnny Herrera, who was just 12th and tenth over the weekend.
While the top three of Stewart, Herrera and Jeff Swindell stayed in the same order, Crawley jumped from fourth to sixth with his strong weekend that included a runner-up finish on Saturday after winning on Friday. Crawley bypassed Gary Wright, who missed Friday’s feature cut, and Brady Bacon, who finished deep in the field on Friday after tagging the wall while running fourth and then finished well back again on Saturday.
Also taking a hit in the points race over the weekend was Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Aaron Reutzel, who fell from eighth to tenth when he missed Saturday’s feature cut.
There is still plenty of time to make up ground though, as a lucky 13 nights of competition remain for the Lucas Oil Sprint Cars. And, with those 13 nights, a large bundle of cash is on the line as well.
The final run of events begins with the Lone Star Sprint Nationals on October 13-15 before moving on to the Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals, I-30 Speedway’s Short Track Nationals, a return to Las Cruces’ Southern New Mexico Speedway and then USA Raceway’s Western World Championships.
The winner’s share on the final nights of these final five weekends adds up to hefty sum of $58,000 with first place money of $12,000, $10,000, $15,000, $6,000 and $15,000 on the line.
Lone Star Speedway (Kilgore, TX) – October 13-15. A winner’s share of $12,000 should bring a stout field of cars to the reconfigured Lone Star Speedway for the Inaugural Lone Star Sprint Nationals. Entries received by October 10 are just $100, with entries after that $150. Entry forms are available at http://www.darinshort.com/SCNdrivers.html.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX) – October 21-22. It’s back to the hallowed clay of the Devil’s Bowl Speedway for the 38th edition of the Winter Nationals, which offers up $10,000 to win this year. Last year, Nebraska’s Jack Dover added his name to the prestigious list of event winners. Pre-entry prior to October 17 is $100, with entries after that time $150. Entry forms are available at http://www.devilsbowl.com/2011/PDF/2011WinterNationalsRegistration.pdf.
I-30 Speedway (Little Rock, AR) – October 27-29. One of the crown jewels of Sprint Car racing, the 24th Annual Short Track Nationals offers up a $15,000 winner’s share with an unmatched $2,400 to start Saturday’s STN championship feature event. Brad Sweet took advantage of a late skirmish between Sam Hafertepe, Jr., and Greg Wilson to top last year’s STN over a record field of 125 competitors. Entries submitted by October 17 are $150 with entries after that date $250. Entry forms and info are at http://www.i-30speedway.com/flyers/stn_2011.pdf.
Southern New Mexico Speedway (Las Cruces, NM) – November 11-12. The “King of the Outlaws”, Steve Kinser, will try to defend his Las Cruces triumph over the Lucas Oil National forces from last year. Tickets for this one are already on sale as well, check out the info at http://www.snmspeedway.com/?p=2058.
USA Raceway (Tucson, AZ) – November 17-19. The Lucas Oil Sprint Cars put the wraps on the 2011 season with the $15,000-to-win 44th Annual Western World Championships. Donny Schatz is the reigning Western World champ, while Brady Bacon has taken the $5,000-to-win wingless ASCS Canyon Region portion of the event over each of the last two years. A total of 119 competitors took part in last year’s Western World. Entries submitted by October 31 are $100, with late entries $150. WWC entry forms are available at http://www.usaraceway.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/WWC-Entry-Form-2011.pdf.
Current 2011 Points:
Top 15 Driver Points: 1. Shane Stewart (Bixby, OK) 2,367, 2. Johnny Herrera (Albuquerque, NM) 2,270, 3. Jeff Swindell (Bartlett, TN) 2,226, 4. Tim Crawley (Benton, AR) 2,140, 5. Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, OK) 2,125, 6. Gary Wright (Hooks, TX) 2,047, 7. Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA) 1,956, 8. Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA) 1,951, 9. Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS) 1,889, 10. Aaron Reutzel (Clute, TX) 1,852, 11. Zach Chappell (Talala, OK) 1,671, 12. Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK) 1,326, 13. Dustin Morgan (Tulsa, OK) 1,121, 14. Logan Forler (Eatonville, WA) 1,091, 15. Jack Dover (Springfield, NE) 1,087.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Owner Points (Top 15): 1. Jason Johnson Racing #41 – 2,503, 2. Paul Silva #57 – 2,367, 3. Herrera/Main #45x – 2,270, 4. Swindell Group #28 – 2,226, 5. Mike Ward #88 – 2,140, 6. Bacon/Tel-Star #99 – 2,125, 7. Petersen Motorsports #23 1,956, 8. Bruce Racing #18 – 1,889, 9. Kenny Reutzel #87 – 1,852, 10. Randy Washburn #0 – 1,671, 11. Gary Wright #9 – 1,451, 12. Bryan Sundby #38 – 1,196, 13. M&M Motorsports #2 – 1,121, 14. Steve Forler #2L – 1,091, 15. Danny Wood #81 – 904.
The Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters is slated for 38 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 scheduled 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.