Roger Crockett’s success at Cottage Grove Speedway continued on Saturday. In his fourth appearance at the Oregon clay oval this season, Crockett was a feature race winner for the fourth time in winged 360 sprint cars. It was Doyle’s Harley-Davidson night also, and they sponsor Crockett. Just like last year’s event, Crockett sent several Harley fanatics home happy with a victory.
The four-time Northern Sprint Tour champion out of Eugene started inside the fourth row, but wasted no time getting to the front. He took the lead on lap six and led the rest of the 30-lap feature. Second place finisher Rick Fauver of Everett, Washington only got close at the very end of the race when Crockett was dealing with several slower cars.
Crockett, running fifth on lap four, passed both Marvin Smith and Garen Linder in turns one and two to move into third. Two laps later, he passed both Fauver and early race leader Shawn Smith of Idaho to move in the lead. From there, Crockett was only slowed by one caution, coming on lap 16 for a spin by Cottage Grove’s Danny Horner, who spun out entering turn one while running fifth.
“The car was working good and I had a lot of momentum, and I seemed to able to go wherever I needed to be on the track which the guys in front of me weren’t,” Crockett said about the run from fifth to first. Crockett was actually driving his father Brian’s car on this night.
Fauver battled Shawn Smith for the second position until completing the pass coming out of turn four on lap 13. On the next lap, Anthony Nunes of Central Point, Ore. moved into third as Smith began to struggle and fall back. Nunes would finish third, while Horner roared back to finish fourth. T.J. Winningham finished fifth and Braden Etchison was sixth.
Shawn Smith would settle for seventh, followed by Linder, Roseburg’s Melissa Yates, and Snohomish, Wash. visitor Jared Ridge.
Crockett will be one of the drivers to beat on Tuesday, when the Northern Sprint Tour visits Cottage Grove Speedway during its annual Speed Week. Crockett had won five straight NST events at Cottage Grove before sitting out the race in May.
“He’s got this place figured out pretty good,” Fauver said about Crockett, “(but) everyone can be beaten at sometime or another.”
Jason Kocks, a three-time track champion, won an exciting modified main event, a week before next Friday and Saturday’s Ron Martin Cottage Grove Modified Nationals. He was followed by Scott Lenz, Gus Cooper, Jesse Williamson, and Aaron Sheelar.
Jon DeBenedetti, winner of last year’s Modified Nationals and twice a winner of the Northwest Nationals at Elma, Wash., was running in the top five in Saturday’s race before falling out with a flat tire that came as a result of contact with another car. Despite his win and DeBenedetti’s bad luck, Kocks feels that DeBenedetti will still be one of the guys to beat.
“Jon’s a real good driver,” Kocks said. “He’s got the best equipment. (But) I beat ‘em all tonight, and I was so happy to pass everyone. I beat Jon – hey, that was my main highlight of the night.”
Hedge Carter would win the shortened limited sprint car feature race after early leader Shane Forte’ fell victim to a crash with the slower car of Chuck Pendleton. Finishing second through fifth were Mike Crawford, Nate Morelock, Jeff “Ozzie” Osburn, and Ryan Martinez.
Leading all 25 laps, Ricky Ashley drove to his third straight sportsman stock victory.
In qualifying Roger Crockett set fast time in 360 sprint cars at 11.285 seconds around the ¼-mile clay oval. Leading the modifieds, limited sprints, and sportsman stocks in qualifying were DeBenedetti, Osburn, and Heath Shelton, respectively. Fast heats were won by Crockett in the 360 sprints, DeBenedetti in the modifieds, Carter in the limited sprints, and Ashley in the sportsman stocks.
Cottage Grove Speedway Cottage Grove, OR July 9, 2005
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS (Feature races only)
Feature (20 laps, time): 1. 71 Hedge Carter, 2. 8c Mike Crawford, 3. 33 Nate Morelock, 4. 01 Jeff “Ozzie” Osburn, 5. 8r Ryan Martinez, 6. 29 Dan Philpott, 7. 21 Mike Griffith, 8. 74 Scott Kelley, 9. 26f Shane Forte’, 10. 68 Rob Held, 11. 55 Mike Baker, 12. 7 Timm Wagner, 13. 15 David Schmidt, 14. 12 Chuck Pendleton, 15. 8x Kyle Miller.
Feature (25 laps): 1. 85 Ricky Ashley, 2. 55z Mike Zielinski, 3. 14 Greg McDonald, 4. 16 Frank Brewer, 5. 96 Barney Hamilton, 6. 86 Gene Ashley, 7. 77 Tom Nichols, 8. 3 Johnny Stroud, 9. 21 Noel Radway, 10. 41 Harley Lewis, 11. 75 Heath Shelton, 12. 84 Eric Ashley, 13. 17 Art Hiatt, 14. 13 Shawn Hand, 15. 54 Eric Mingus, 16. 07 Bo Meador, 17. 28 Chris Pierce, 18. 04 Jeff Conklin.
Feature (30 laps): 1. 45 Jason Kocks, 2. 51 Scott Lenz, 3. 10 Gus Cooper, 4. W5 Jesse Williamson, 5. 8 Aaron Sheelar, 6. W4 Ronnie Wilson, 7. 75 Bret Jobe, 8. 23 Don Muth Sr., 9. 85 Tucker Weeks, 10. 33c Craig Hanson, 11. 56 Derek Ofenham, 12. 11c Curt Coggins, 13. 12 Robert Hand, 14. 5 Lyle Laird, 15. 04 Shane May, 16. 10w Clint Willis, 17. 48 Curt White, 18. 0 Jon DeBenedetti, 19. 7t Rod Turner, 20. 21 Chris Murphy.
Winged 360 sprint cars:
Feature (30 laps): 1. 11 Roger Crockett, 2. 17 Rick Fauver, 3. 11a Anthony Nunes, 4. 75H Danny Horner, 5. 9t T.J. Winningham, 6. 24 Braden Etchison, 7. 32s Shawn Smith, 8. 22 Garen Linder, 9. 34 Melissa Yates, 10. 12 Jared Ridge, 11. 41 Marvin Smith, 12. 4* Terry Hall, 13. 88 Bryce Fugate, 14. 5D Josh Dewitt.