Jeff Swindell Snags Jackson Nationals Prelim
JACKSON, Minn. — The 35th annual Jackson Nationals kicked off with Jeff Swindell earning his fifth Protect the Harvest A-Feature victory of 2013, leading the distance in the night’s 25-lap feature.
“The whole night was perfect,” said Swindell. “We were fast in hot laps, we made the fastest lap in our heat race, but getting around Brian (Brown) on the start was the key to this. Just getting the lead, and getting out of that dirty air. Just getting into that lapped traffic, it got real hairy and made me move around the race track a lot but the yellows just fell perfect. I was just our night.”
Jumping to the point on the start, Swindell kept pace ahead of Gregg Bakker who jumped into second. Slowing on lap four for a caution involving the stalled No. 13 of Mark Dobmeier, racing resumed until lap six when Matt Juhl came to a stop in turn four.
Opening his advantage, the tail of the field was in sight as the caution again flew on lap 12 for Seth Bergman who shredded a left-rear tire; sending the No. 23 spinning wildly off the top of turn one.
The restart saw Brown work past Bakker for the runner up spot, only to see the caution wave for Brooke Tatnell before a lap could be completed.
Sending Brown back to third, the podium remained unchanged to the end with Bakker snagging his first podium finish against the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by MAVTV American Real.
“We had a good spot there, but we almost gave it away on that last restart,” commented Bakker. “Brown is awesome on restarts. I’ve watched him many times at Knoxville pass a lot of cars. He didn’t think it was a clean move I made, but we didn’t touch and we’ll just go on into tomorrow and see what happens.”
Brown completed the podium, locking into Saturday’s feature event. “As a driver, it’s my job to win the starts, and I didn’t do a good job tonight. I kind of let Jeff dictate the starts, and that was the end of that but anytime you run third against the quality of cars we had, there’s nothing to hang your head about.”
Jason Johnson came up to fourth from seventh to gain the final lock in spot for Saturday’s feature event with Tony Bruce Jr. fighting back to fifth after falling back to 10th in the early running.
Jeff Swindell, Gregg Bakker, Brian Brown, Jason Johnson, Tony Bruce Jr., Jack Dover, Tyler Drueke, Brad Loyet, Danny Lasoski, Derrik Lusk, Logan Forler, Johnny Herrera, Skyler Prochaska, Justin Henderson, Justyn Cox, Dustin Selvage, Kaley Gharst, Cole Wood, Brooke Tatnell, Terry McCarl, Scott Winters, Seth Bergman, Matt Juhl, Mark Dobmeier.