Bryan Hulbert - Yuma, AZ (March 9, 2012) - It is amazing the difference a week can make. After finishing twelfth in the 2012 season opener at Canyon Speedway Park Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Dustin Morgan held off several challenges en-route to his first Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour victory at the Cocopah Speedway in Yuma, Arizona.
With a look of satisfaction, Dustin was very appreciative of his crew, “I just can’t thank these guys enough for giving me such a great opportunity and giving me such a great racecar to drive.” Morgan ended by saying, “we’re here…we’re finally here.”
After a false start brought out the caution, the restart would see the 2 of Morgan able to outrun outside front row starter Mitch Olsen into turn one. Working the outside line of the Cocopah Speedway, the Ark Wrecking 2 began pulling to an almost straight-a-way lead.
As Morgan worked past lap five, the races lone chance at a caution came as Jack Dover spun his Home Pride 53 while running fifth. Able to keep the car moving, Dover would find himself back to speed in ninth.
Working into slower traffic on lap eight, Morgan would continue to hold a comfortable advantage as the battle on the racetrack shaped up between the 98m of Mitch Olsen and sixth starting Johnny Herrera with Olsen able to hold off the 45x. Continuing into lapped traffic, the Eaton Industrial Coating 2 of Dustin Morgan would continue to hold a commanding lead as the battle to be the top five heated up between the 87 of Aaron Reutzel, the 41 of Jason Johnson, and the 77x of Wayne Johnson with both drivers able to make their way by the 87 with the MVT 41 of Jason Johnson stealing away fourth from the 11c of Matt Covington a couple laps later with the 77x in tow.
Continuing to show the way, lapped traffic was becoming an issue for the 2 of Morgan. Taking the field past the halfway point, the 98m of Olson was on the heels of Morgan with the 45x of Johnny Herrera closing within striking distance.
Shooting into the lead with ten laps to go, the Pro-Vac 98m of Olson ran bottom shelf around the Cocopah Speedway with Morgan and Herrera battling for the runner up spot. Following the 98m along the bottom grove, Morgan would close right back on the back bumper of the 98m with Herrera making it a three car battle for the top spot in slower traffic.
Moving to the high line as the field completed lap sixteen, Olsen would surrender the lead back to Morgan but the battle was far from over. Into turns one and two Herrera dove his Ham Construction 45x to the bottom as the 2 slid to the middle with Olson’s 98m along the top to make it a three wide drag race into turn three.
Slamming the door on Herrera into turns three and four as the 98m of Olson got held up by a slower car, the Ark Wrecking 2 picked up some breathing room as the fight shaped up for second through fifth. Battling back with the 45x of Herrera, Olson would race side by side for second as the 77x of Wayne Johnson and 41 of Jason Johnson continued their race long battle for fourth.
Working into a four car battle for the runner up spot, Herrera would move past the 98m with the 41 and the 77x taking over third and fourth with a three wide pass on Olson with less than five laps to run. Battling among slower cars, the 77x would take away third but it would be short lived as Jason Johnson put his MVT 41 back into the show position.
With laps clicking away to the checkered flag, Dustin Morgan would pull to a half straight advantage over Herrera to claim his first Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour victory. Herrera would cross the line second with Jason Johnson holding onto third. Wayne Johnson would take fourth with Jack Dover fighting back to round out the top five.
After starting ninth, the 81 of Danny Wood would come home sixth with Gary Wright earning the Pitstopusa.com Hard Charger of race after taking a provisional and charging from twenty-third to seventh. Mitch Olson would end up ninth with Seth Bergman rounding out the top ten after starting fifteenth.
The Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MavTV returns to the Cocopah Speedway on Saturday March 10, 2012. Gates are scheduled to open at 5pm with racing beginning at 7pm.
Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MavTV
Cocopah Speedway - Night #1
Car Count: 26
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 95-Matt Covington; 2. 98M-Mitch Olson; 3. 90-Lance Norick; 4. 81-Danny Wood; 5. 23-Seth Bergman; 6. 77-Dalten Gabbard; DNF 41w-Joshua Williams; DNF 11-Roger Crockett; DNS 5h-Logan Forler
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 2-Dustin Morgan; 2. 45x-Johnny Herrera; 3. 41-Jason Johnson; 4. 20z-Rick Ziehl; 5. 2x-Kyle Evans; 6. 18-Tony Bruce Jr; 7. 99-Brady Bacon; 8. 05-Brad Loyet; 9. 1x-J.T. Imperial
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 33X-Henry VanDam; 2. 41-Jack Dover; 3. 87-Aaron Reutzel; 4. 74x-Joshua Hodges; 5. 77x-Wayne Johnson; 6. 9-Gary Wright; 7. 50z-Zach Chappell; 8. Mike Martin
B Feature (12 Laps): 1. 50z-Zach Chappell; 2. 99-Brady Bacon; 3. 18-Tony Bruce Jr; 4. 41w-Joshua Williams; 5. 5h-Logan Forler; 6. 1x-J.T. Imperial; 7. Mike Martin; 8. 05-Brad Loyet; 9. 11-Roger Crockett; DNS 9-Gary Wright
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 2-Dustin Morgan; 2. 45x-Johnny Herrera; 3. 41-Jason Johnson; 4. 77x-Wayne Johnson; 5. 41-Jack Dover; 6. 81-Danny Wood; 7. 9-Gary Wright; 8. 98M-Mitch Olson; 9. 87-Aaron Reutzel; 10. 23-Seth Bergman; 11. 33X-Henry VanDam; 12. 99-Brady Bacon; 13. 50z-Zach Chappell; 14. 18-Tony Bruce Jr; 15. 95-Matt Covington; 16. 74x-Joshua Hodges; 17. 5h-Logan Forler; 18. 77-Dalten Gabbard; 19. 41w-Joshua Williams; 20. 90-Lance Norick; 21. 20z-Rick Ziehl; 22. 2x-Kyle Evans; 23. 1x-J.T. Imperial
Lucas Oil ASCS presented MavTv Points (top 20): 1.Jason Johnson 404; 2. Brady Bacon 390; 3. Wayne Johnson 390; 4. Tony Bruce Jr. 382; 5. Dustin Morgan 375; 6. Johnny Herrera 375; 7. Gary Wright341; 8. Aaron Reutzel 332; 9. Danny Wood 309; 10. Seth Bergman 309; 11. Brad Loyet 299; 12. Joshua Hodges 294; 13. Roger Crockett 291; 14. Dalten Gabbard 290; 15. Jack Dover 288; 16. Matt Covington 282; 17. Zach Chappell 280; 18. Mitch Olson275; 19. Lance Norick 271; 20. Henry VanDam 269;
The Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MavTV is scheduled to compete 67 times in 15 states throughout the United States with divers 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: Tim Aylwin