Bryan Hulbert - Yuma, AZ (March 10, 2012) - Jason Johnson may have shown the way on lap twenty-nine but the only lap worth leading is the last lap and Danny Wood was the man leading when the checkered flag flew on lap thirty at Cocopah Speedway in Yuma, Arizona.
“I seen him [Johnson] up there in traffic and I could see it was holding him up a little bit” commented Danny Wood in victory lane. “I was trying to be patient and not get held up by anybody, you know stay out of trouble and just run a smooth race. It’s better to be able to run second in these situations”
Starting the feature from outside the front row, the 81 of Wood would settle into the runner up spot as Johnny Herrera took off into the race lead only to see the caution wave for a three car tangle on the opening lap.
On the restart Herrera would again take off into the race lead as Wood was left to contend with the hard charging Jason Johnson. Wasting no time, the Roush Yates 41 of Johnson began to pull up on the 81 but a caution on lap two would force the single file restart. Back underway with twenty-eight laps to run, the 41 of Johnson would try for the pass on Wood only to see the caution wave again for the spun 33v of Henry VanDam.
Back to green and the 81 would dive to the inside berm; pulling side by side with Herrera for the race lead but the 45x was able to hold the top spot as the 41 of Jason Johnson moved in to challenge for second. Taking away the runner up spot with a low line pass on lap four, the MVT 41 would waste no time clearing the Ham Construction 45x of Herrera for the lead on lap five.
From there it was clear sailing as Jason Johnson began to pull away to a commanding lead while the 81 of Wood worked on taking over second from Herrera.
Finally moving past Herrera’s 45x on lap eleven, the 81 of Wood would find himself nearly a straight-a-way behind as the race continued to run under green flag conditions. As the chase began to take shape, battles in the field were brewing as the 99 of Brady Bacon worked to hold off the 2 of Dustin Morgan and the hard charging 11 of Roger Crockett as all three drivers battle for the sixth position with all three drivers working on running down the 9 of Gary Wright.
With the green flag staying out, the field raced past the halfway point with the 41 of Johnson continuing to lead. Still running a straight-a-way back, Danny Wood began working past lapped cars while searching all over the racing surface for a line to run down the 41.
Settling into a groove, the Statewide Services 81 would begin chipping away at Jason Johnson’s advantage as both drivers continued to work around slower cars. Moving to only ten laps to go it looked as though Danny Wood was going to have to settle for the runner up spot but lapped traffic would have something else in store.
Into the final four laps of racing, Jason Johnson would pull to the back bumper of Matt Covington. With the 11c running right around the bottom of the Cocopah Speedway, Johnson would find himself held up; allowing Danny Wood to begin closing in.
Finally getting a clear shot to pass the 11c on the bottom of the race track, the 41 would race by the white flag but it was too late as the D&J Land 81 of Danny Wood raced to the high line with a full head of steam; leading the field to the checkered flag for his seventh career Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour victory. Jason Johnson would settle for second with Johnny Herrera taking the show position. Gary Wright would finish fourth with Wayne Johnson rounding out the top five for the fourth consecutive time in 2012.
Roger Crocket would finally get the pass for sixth on the final lap, earning the SKS Racing 11 the Pitstopusa.com Hard Charger of the Racer after staring eighteenth on the grid. Brady Bacon took home seventh with Dustin Morgan, Tony Bruce Jr., and Seth Bergman rounding out the top ten.
The Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MavTV heads next to the famed Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas for the 39th annual Spring Nationals on Friday March 23rd and Saturday March 24th.
Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MavTv
Cocopah Speedway - Yuma, Arizona - Night #2
Event Car Count: 26
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 9-Gary Wright; 2. 81-Danny Wood; 3. 5h-Logan Forler; 4. 2x-Kyle Evans; 5. 90-Lance Norick; 6. 87-Aaron Reutzel; 7. 2m-Mike Martin; 8. 05-Brad Loyet
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 98M-Mitch Olson; 2. 99-Brady Bacon; 3. 74x-Joshua Hodges; 4. 33X-Henry VanDam; 5. 50z-Zach Chappell; 6. 53-Jack Dover; 7. 11-Roger Crockett
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 77-Dalten Gabbard; 2. 20z-Rick Ziehl; 3. 18-Tony Bruce Jr; 4. 23-Seth Bergman; 5. 11c-Matt Covington; 6. 1x-J.T. Imperial; 7. 41w-Joshua Williams
B Feature (12 Laps): 1. 11c-Matt Covington; 2. 11-Roger Crockett; 3. 50z-Zach Chappell; 4. 53-Jack Dover; 5. 05-Brad Loyet; 6. 90-Lance Norick; 7. 2m-Mike Martin; 8. 1x-J.T. Imperial; 9. 41w-Joshua Williams; DNF 87-Aaron Reutzel
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. 81-Danny Wood; 2. 41-Jason Johnson; 3. 45x-Johnny Herrera; 4. 9-Gary Wright; 5. 77x-Wayne Johnson; 6. 11-Roger Crockett; 7. 99-Brady Bacon; 8. 2-Dustin Morgan; 9. 18-Tony Bruce Jr; 10. 23-Seth Bergman; 11. 53-Jack Dover; 12. 98M-Mitch Olson; 13. 11c-Matt Covington; 14. 33X-Henry VanDam; 15. 20z-Rick Ziehl; 16. 05-Brad Loyet; 17. 77-Dalten Gabbard; 18. 74x-Joshua Hodges; 19. 2m-Mike Martin; 20. 50z-Zach Chappell; 21. 90-Lance Norick; 22. 5h-Logan Forler; 23. 2x-Kyle Evans; 24. 87-Aaron Reutzel
Lap Leaders: Johnny Herrera 1-4; Jason Johnson 5-29; Danny Wood 30
PitstopUSA.com Hard Charger: Roger Crockett +12
Lucas Oil ASCS present MavTv Points (top 20): 1. Jason Johnson 546; 2. Wayne Johnson 515; 3. Brady Bacon 509; 4. Tony Bruce Jr. 495; 5. Dustin Morgan 491; 6. Johnny Herrera 483; 7. Gary Wright 471; 8. Danny Wood 459; 9. Seth Bergman 419; 10. Aaron Reutzel 418; 11. Roger Crockett 413; 12. Brad Loyet 397; 13. Jack Dover 396; 14. Joshua Hodges 388; 15. Matt Covington 386; 16. Dalten Gabbard 386; 17. Mitch Olson 381; 18. Henry VanDam 371; 19. Zach Chappell 370; 20. Lance Norick 360
The Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MavTV is scheduled to compete 67 times in 15 states throughout the United States with drivers competing for their share of a $250,000 point’s fund.
The 2012 season marks the 21st year of sanctioning Sprint Car racing for the American Sprint Car Series, which brings the best of Sprint Car racing to dozens of different tracks throughout the nation and into Canada. Anchored by the Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series, ASCS also consists of ten different Regions throughout the nation.
Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.
Photo Credit: Randy Hoeft (N2PHOTOgraphics)