Lonnie Wheatley, COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. (July 23, 2011) – Louisiana native Jason Johnson completed a sweep of the weekend’s Cottage Grove Sprint Car Nationals with a late move around Wayne Johnson to win Saturday night’s 35-lap Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters main event atop the ¼-mile Cottage Grove Speedway clay oval.
Johnson & Johnson diced for the point as the closing laps clicked off with reigning Lucas Oil Sprint Car champion Jason Johnson surging in front on the 28th round en route to his fourth ASCS National win of the year aboard the Don Ott-powered Haynes/Mesilla Valley Transport No. 41 Maxim.
“I really kept working the top to try to pry him (Wayne Johnson) off the bottom,” Johnson explained after his 52nd career National victory, this one worth $6,000. “Then after he shut the door on me there, I knew I was going to get by one way or another.”
While W. Johnson gunned into the lead ahead of pole starter Jeff Swindell at the outset, J. Johnson finally battled past Swindell for second on the 13th circuit with the battle for the lead intensifying after Tony Bruce, Jr., slipped off the top of turn two to bring out a caution.
“The Ragin’ Cajun” challenged the unrelated Johnson for the point for several rounds, with Oklahoma City native W. Johnson slamming the door entering turn three after J. Johnson got a run on the low side.
“They about hit going into three, and I said man they’re just gonna give me a present right here and I would have taken it,” eventual third-runner Swindell explained.
J. Johnson took the JJR No. 41 back to the topside after the near-collision and pulled nearly even as lap 27 was completed and then raced into the lead for keeps on the 28th round.
J. Johnson weathered a final pair of cautions over the final five circuits to secure his 97th career overall ASCS feature win with W. Johnson settling for runner-up honors in Bryan Sundby’s Parker-powered No. 38 Maxim.
“Sometimes you’re a sitting duck out there in the lead, Jason got to move around and find where the racetrack was and I had to keep running the same thing,” W. Johnson explained.
Swindell held the show position to the line in the Roush/Yates Ford-powered No. 28 Maxim, fending off Tim Kaeding who battled much of the way with Roger Crockett. Kaeding held the fourth spot at the line in the Roth No. 83, with Crockett rounding out the top five in the Omlid & Swinney No. 11 KPC.
Kyle Larson rallied from 18th to finish sixth after briefly cracking the top five in the final circuits, with current Lucas Oil Sprint Car points leader Shane Stewart rebounding from a lap 21 miscue while running sixth that cost him several positions to salvage seventh.
Johnny Herrera was eighth, with Seth Bergman in ninth. After racing from 15th to fourth to advance from the “B” Main, Jonathan Allard climbed from 20th to complete the top ten in the feature event.
Stewart, Trey Starks, Zach Chappell and Bruce, Jr., won Saturday night’s heat races, with Jayme Barnes holding off Larson and Brady Bacon to win the 15-lap “B” Main.
Gary Wright held a transfer position in the “B” Main when he lost a freeze plug and spun in the water that escaped. Wright used his first provisional of the year to start the main event, with leading Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Aaron Reutzel using a provisional as well.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters
Cottage Grove Sprint Car Nationals Finale
Cottage Grove Speedway – Cottage Grove, OR
Locked in from Friday Night’s Preliminary Feature:
41-Jason Johnson, 11-Roger Crockett, 38-Wayne Johnson, 45x-Johnny Herrera.
Heat Races (Top 12 in Passing Points to "A" Main; Balance to “B" Main):
Heat One (10 Laps): 1. 57-Shane Stewart, 2. 18T-Travis Jacobson, 3. 7n-Jayme Barnes, 4. 77-Kyle Larson, 5. 9-Gary Wright, 6. 88x-Brent Hoover, 7. 10j-Jake Waddell.
Heat Two (10 Laps): 1. 55-Trey Starks, 2. 23-Seth Bergman, 3. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 4. 2L-Logan Forler, 5. 5h-Mason Moore, 6. 68-Rob Held, 7. 24-Tyler Anderson.
Heat Three (10 Laps): 1. 0-Zach Chappell, 2. 88-Tim Crawley, 3. 83-Tim Kaeding, 4. 99-Brady Bacon, 5. 98m-Mitch Olson, 6. 22-Garen Linder, 7. 8rc-Jason Cocking.
Heat Four (10 Laps): 1. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 2. 33-Nate Morelock, 3. 28-Jeff Swindell, 4. 13-Chadd Noland, 5. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 6. 41x-Dale Smith, 7. 64-Jonathan Allard.
"B" Main (Top 6 Advance to "A" Main):
"B" Feature (15 Laps): 1. 7n-Jayme Barnes, 2. 77-Kyle Larson, 3. 99-Brady Bacon, 4. 64-Jonathan Allard, 5. 5h-Mason Moore, 6. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 7. 22-Garen Linder, 8. 10j-Jake Waddell, 9. 88x-Brent Hoover, 10. 68-Rob Held, 11. 41x-Dale Smith, 12. 24-Tyler Anderson, 13. 8rc-Jason Cocking, 14. 9-Gary Wright, 15. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 16. 98m-Mitch Olson.
Cottage Grove Sprint Car Nationals “A” Main:
“A” Feature (35 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 38-Wayne Johnson, 3. 28-Jeff Swindell, 4. 83-Tim Kaeding, 5. 11-Roger Crockett, 6. 77-Kyle Larson, 7. 57-Shane Stewart, 8. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 9. 23-Seth Bergman, 10. 64-Jonathan Allard, 11. 13-Chadd Noland, 12. 7n-Jayme Barnes, 13. 99-Brady Bacon, 14. 88-Tim Crawley, 15. 2L-Logan Forler, 16. 9-Gary Wright, 17. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 18. 33-Nate Morelock, 19. 55-Trey Starks, 20. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 21. 5h-Mason Moore, 22. 18t-Travis Jacobson, 23. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 24. 0-Zach Chappell.
Lap Leaders: Wayne Johnson 1-27, Jason Johnson 28-35.
Note: Aaron Reutzel utilized his mid-season bonus full-point provisional to start the main event, while Gary Wright used his first 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 1,544, 2. Johnny Herrera 1,460 3. Jeff Swindell 1,398, 4. Gary Wright 1,324, 5. Tim Crawley 1,321, 6. Brady Bacon 1,308, 7. Seth Bergman 1,266, 8. Aaron Reutzel 1,192, 9. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,169, 10. Logan Forler 1,091, 11. Zach Chappell 1,062, 12. Jason Johnson 1,054, 13. Dustin Morgan 877, 14. Wayne Johnson 796, 15. Danny Wood 674.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Owner Points (Top 15): 1. Jason Johnson Racing #41 – 1,606, 2. Paul Silva #57 – 1,544, 3. Herrera/Main #45x – 1,460, 4. Swindell Group #28 – 1,398, 5. Mike Ward #88 – 1,321, 6. Bacon/Tel-Star #99 – 1,308, 7. Petersen Motorsports #23 1,266, 8. Kenny Reutzel #87 – 1,192, 9. Bruce Racing #18 – 1,169, 10. Steve Forler #2L – 1,091, 11. Randy Washburn #0 – 1,062, 12. M&M Motorsports #2 – 877, 13. Cooper/Sperry #01/51 - 872, 14. Bryan Sundby #38 – 796, 15. Gary Wright #9 - 728.
ASCS Northwest Points (Top Ten): 1. Roger Crockett 1,394, 2. Henry Van Dam 1,269, 3. Seth Bergman 1,258, 4. Trey Starks 1,180, 5. Mitch Olson 1,075, 6. Chadd Noland 908, 7. Jason Cocking 887, 8. Kyle Larson 860, 9. Mason Moore 843, 10. Garen Linder 803.
(Stacy Verrall photos)