Traffic Aids Swindell To ASCS Triumph
SALINA, Okla. — Jeff Swindell outlasted Jason Johnson in lapped traffic to win Saturday night’s Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV American Real sprint car race at Salina Highbanks Speedway.
Driving under Johnson with 10 laps to run entering turn three, Swindell’s pass came complete with splitting lapped traffic in the process for a three-for-one move. “I’ll tell you, he got caught sitting in the wrong spot,” said Swindell of the pass on Jason Johnson. “When we got to traffic, a couple of them got him, and then the lapped car wanted to race us when we lapped him and run Jason into the wall there”
Taking the lead on lap 21, the caution flew on lap 22. Underway again, it didn’t take long to catch the tail of the field, “I kept wanting to run the bottom there in one and two, but I was making a good line on the top down there, so, when we got to traffic again, I got caught a little bit with my shorts down. Jason got the bottom there in one and two and got back by me but man the next couple laps it was just slide job, after slide job.”
Trading the lead seven times in the final ten laps, Jason Johnson only crossed the stripe ahead of Swindell one time after surrendering; doing so on lap 25.
“Man, lapped traffic was hairy,” said Johnson. “When you’re out front, sometimes you don’t know where to go, and when you’re running second, you just go the opposite direction the leader goes, but the lapped car actually pounded me in the back straightaway.
“I’m trying to gather this thing back up and all the sudden me and Jeff are racing inches apart and were not even touching so that just shows what a class act Jeff really is as a driver.”
The runner up finish was enough to propel the MVT No. 41 back into the series point lead by three markers over Johnny Herrera, making this the fourth time the pair has traded the top spot.
After tangling with Sean McClelland on the start, Brad Loyet held on the finish third, despite missing the left sideboard on the front wing of the No. 05.
“It was a racing deal. We were both going for the same spot. I was on the brakes as hard as I could,” said Loyet. “Me and Sean are pretty good friends and I hope he understands, I don’t want to take someone out on the first lap.”
Dustin Morgan fared well with a fourth-place finish followed by Tony Bruce Jr., who charged from 17th.
Jeff Swindell, Jason Johnson, Brad Loyet, Dustin Morgan, Tony Bruce Jr., Johnny Herrera, Derek Hagar, Cole Wood, Brian Brown, Logan Forler, Matt Covington, Mike Goodman, Joe Bob Lee, Kyle Chady, Michael Bookout, Sean McClelland, Shawn Petersen, Koby Barksdale, Brandon Hahn, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Seth Bergman, Tristan Tidmore.