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Herrera Captures Winter National Win

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, October 15 2016

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With the engine of his machine fading just over halfway into Friday’s A-Feature, Johnny Herrera was a man on a mission _ parking his Mesilla Valley Transportation No. 45x in Victory Lane to open the 43rd annual Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series.

Herrera’s third career National Tour triumph at the famed half-mile in Mesquite, Texas, raised his season total to six with the Lucas Oil ASCS.

Taking the lead with a high-side pass on Josh Baughman off Turn 4 on Lap 14, Herrera was the second driver to challenge Baughman during the A-Feature. The No. 17 was tested earlier by Martin Edwards, who ran the Lanny’s APCO No. 13 in honor of his late grandfather, Lanny Edwards. Going wheel-to-wheel through the third and fourth turns on Lap 2, the contact sent Edwards spinning. After dropping debris on the track, Martin was sent to the tail end.

After the restart, the pair worked traffic heading to halfway. “She started laying down right when I started racing with Baughman when I was running the bottom there,” Herrera said, “and it didn’t seem to hurt me at that point. I just kept running it and when that red came out, I just kept hoping it would take off again.”

Baughman’s flip with 21 laps complete brought out a red flag, and the question was whether or not the No. 45x would start again. Stumbling and half-running to the green, the engine finally cleaned out enough to get back to speed as Herrera restarted with a lapped car between himself and Aaron Reutzel. Unable to clear the slower car through the first two turns, it proved just enough to allow Herrera the advantage needed to hold onto the win.

“It didn’t take off very good at all,” Herrera said. “Once I got it wound up, it came back. She’s definitely hurt right now but we got the win. We’ll come back with a new bullet (Saturday) and go again.”

Locking the No. 87 into the show, Reutzel had his hands full most of the race with the ever-changing track.

“I wasn’t expecting that one bit,” Reutzel said. “Luckily I was able to get a handle on it, but at the beginning I thought I was just going to go backwards fast. It took about half the race to get it figured out, then my throttle was sticking the first part of the race as well. I don’t know if something got in it or what, but I just about ate the front stretch wall a few times. It made it hard to race people, but luckily it played-out.”

John Carney II sailed the Lubbock Wrecker Service No. 11x from sixth to the final podium step. Sammy Swindell took the final transfer into Saturday night. Matt Covington was one of the drivers Sammy had to pass, and ended up completing the top-five. Blake Hahn slipped to sixth with Danny Jennings advancing nine positions to seventh. Travis Rilat crossed eighth with Wayne Johnson ninth. Zane Lawrence from 14th came up to round out the top-10.

Opening night saw 47 drivers draw-in. Split into six Heat races, wins went to John Carney II, Chance Morton, Danny Jennings, Herrera, Wayne Johnson and Baughman. With the number of cars greater than 40, Qualifiers also were run. Rilat, Edwards and Matt Covington all scored wins. Twin B-Mains went to Andy Shouse and Kade Morton.

Provisionals were utilized by Logan Forler and Kyle Bellm. The night’s regional provisional was awarded to Brandon Hanks.

The 43rd annual event continues Saturday, with gates opening at 6 p.m. (CDT) and racing at 8:30. In a tribute to Lanny Edwards, track management is asking everyone to wear red in his honor.

Friday’s ASCS National/ASCS Red River results from the 43rd annual Winter Nationals at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas:

ButlerBuilt Heat Races (Top 30 in Race Passing Points advance to Qualifiers on an 18 car invert)

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 11X-John Carney II, [2]; 2. 2X-Tucker Doughty, [1]; 3. 29-Travis Rilat, [4]; 4. 8M-Kade Morton, [5]; 5. 12-James Mosher, [7]; 6. 84-Brandon Hanks, [6]; 7. 12W-Dale Wester, [3]; 8. (DNF) 26M-Fred Mattox, [8].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 7M-Chance Morton, [2]; 2. 28-Jonathan Cornell, [1]; 3. 2-Mickey Walker, [3]; 4. 88-Scottie McDonald, [6]; 5. 17W-Harli White, [8]; 6. 2L-Logan Forler, [4]; 7. 1S-Joey Schmidt, [5]; 8. (DNF) 55-Brad Queen, [7].

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 1J-Danny Jennings, [2]; 2. 95-Matt Covington, [1]; 3. 07-Michael Bookout, [3]; 4. 03-Joe Wood Jr., [6]; 5. 51-Caleb Martin, [7]; 6. 2K-Brandon Long, [8]; 7. 6-Kaden Taylor, [4]; 8. 7H-Brian Gramm, [5].

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 45X-Johnny Herrera, [2]; 2. 52-Blake Hahn, [5]; 3. 5J-Jamie Ball, [1]; 4. 76-Zane Lawrence, [7]; 5. 58-Gary Floyd, [4]; 6. 77C-C.J. Hulsey, [8]; 7. 98-Chad Koch, [3]; 8. 05M-Charles McManus, [6].

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 2C-Wayne Johnson, [1]; 2. 91-Kevin Ramey, [2]; 3. 27-Andy Shouse, [4]; 4. 86-Tony Bruce Jr., [3]; 5. 14K-Kyle Bellm, [6]; 6. 3-Raven Culp, [7]; 7. 20G-Jake Greider, [8]; 8. 17G-Skylar Gee, [5].

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 17-Josh Baughman, [1]; 2. 3S-Sammy Swindell, [3]; 3. 87-Aaron Reutzel, [5]; 4. 13-Martin Edwards, [7]; 5. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr., [4]; 6. 131-Royal Jones, [2]; 7. 77X-Alex Hill, [6].

Hoosier Tire Qualifiers (Top 16 in combined Passing Points advance to the A-Feature)

Qualifier 1 (8 Laps): 1. 29-Travis Rilat, [1]; 2. 17-Josh Baughman, [4]; 3. 2X-Tucker Doughty, [2]; 4. 52-Blake Hahn, [6]; 5. 76-Zane Lawrence, [3]; 6. 03-Joe Wood Jr, [7]; 7. 1J-Danny Jennings, [5]; 8. 14K-Kyle Bellm, [10]; 9. 12-James Mosher, [9]; 10. 07-Michael Bookout, [8].

Qualifier 2 (8 Laps): 1. 13-Martin Edwards, [3]; 2. 28-Jonathan Cornell, [2]; 3. 45X-Johnny Herrera, [5]; 4. 3S-Sammy Swindell, [4]; 5. 11X-John Carney II, [6]; 6. 27-Andy Shouse, [1]; 7. 8M-Kade Morton, [8]; 8. 17W-Harli White, [7]; 9. 51-Caleb Martin, [9]; 10. 2K-Brandon Long, [10].

Qualifier 3 (8 Laps): 1. 95-Matt Covington, [2]; 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel, [4]; 3. 88-Scottie McDonald, [1]; 4. 2C-Wayne Johnson, [5]; 5. 91-Kevin Ramey, [3]; 6. 2-Mickey Walker, [7]; 7. 86-Tony Bruce Jr, [9]; 8. 5J-Jamie Ball, [8]; 9. 77C-C.J. Hulsey, [10]; 10. (DNF) 7M-Chance Morton, [6].

BMRS B-Features (Top 3 finishers transfer to the tail of the A-Feature)

B Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 27-Andy Shouse, [2]; 2. 17W-Harli White, [4]; 3. 86-Tony Bruce Jr., [3]; 4. 5J-Jamie Ball, [5]; 5. 58-Gary Floyd, [6]; 6. 07-Michael Bookout, [7]; 7. 1S-Joey Schmidt, [10]; 8. 20G-Jake Greider, [8]; 9. 3-Raven Culp, [9]; 10. 26M-Fred Mattox, [12]; 11. 131-Royal Jones, [11]; 12. 17G-Skylar Gee, [14]; 13. 05M-Charles McManus, [13]; 14. (DNF) 03-Joe Wood Jr, [1]; (DNS) 12W-Dale Wester; (DNS) 51-Caleb Martin.

B Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 8M-Kade Morton, [2]; 2. 2-Mickey Walker, [1]; 3. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr., [7]; 4. 12-James Mosher, [4]; 5. 2K-Brandon Long, [6]; 6. 14K-Kyle Bellm, [3]; 7. 84-Brandon Hanks, [8]; 8. 2L-Logan Forler, [9]; 9. 77C-C.J. Hulsey, [5]; 10. 77X-Alex Hill, [10]; 11. 6-Kaden Taylor, [11]; 12. (DNF) 7H-Brian Gramm, [12]; 13. (DNF) 98-Chad Koch, [14]; (DNS) 7M-Chance Morton; (DNS) 55-Brad Queen.

Protect the Harvest A-Feature (Top 4 lock into Saturday’s A-Feature)

A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 45X-Johnny Herrera, [3]; 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel, [4]; 3. 11X-John Carney II, [10]; 4. 3S-Sammy Swindell, [11]; 5. 95-Matt Covington, [6]; 6. 52-Blake Hahn, [5]; 7. 1J-Danny Jennings, [16]; 8. 29-Travis Rilat, [7]; 9. 2C-Wayne Johnson, [9]; 10. 76-Zane Lawrence, [14].

  1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr., [22]; 12. 28-Jonathan Cornell, [8]; 13. 86-Tony Bruce Jr., [21]; 14. 91-Kevin Ramey, [15]; 15. 14K-Kyle Bellm, [24]; 16. 88-Scottie McDonald, [13]; 17. 8M-Kade Morton, [18]; 18. (DNF) 17-Josh Baughman, [2]; 19. (DNF) 2L-Logan Forler, [23]; 20. (DNF) 27-Andy Shouse, [17]; 21. (DNF) 13-Martin Edwards, [1]; 22. (DNF) 2X-Tucker Doughty, [12]; 23. (DNF) 2-Mickey Walker, [20]; 24. (DNF) 84-Brandon Hanks, [25]; 25. (DNF) 17W-Harli White, [19].

Lap Leader(s): Josh Baughman 1-13; Johnny Herrera 14-25
FSR High-Point Driver: Martin Edwards 
Hard Charger: Sam Hafertepe Jr., plus 11
Provisional(s): Logan Forler; Kyle Bellm; Brandon Hanks (Regional)

2016 ASCS National Driver Standings (Top-10): 1. Sam Hafertepe Jr. 4,411; 2. Johnny Herrera 4,208; 3. Wayne Johnson 4,014; 4. Blake Hahn 3,927; 5. Matt Covington 3,816; 6. Logan Forler 3,751; 7. Aaron Reutzel 3,631; 8. Seth Bergman 3,470; 9. Josh Baughman 2,880; 10. Kyle Bellm 2,681.

2016 ASCS National Winner(s): Sam Hafertepe Jr. 7 (5/13 – Texas Motor Speedway; 6/12 – Route 66 Motor Speedway; 6/18 – Lucas Oil Speedway; 6/25 – Skagit Speedway; 7/1 – Grays Harbor Raceway; 7/2 – Grays Harbor Raceway; 8/20 – St. Francois County Raceway); Johnny Herrera 6 (3/17-Heart O’ Texas Speedway; 6/3-Hartford Speedway; 7/22 – Black Hills Speedway; 7/23 – Black Hills Speedway; 9/22 – Lucas Oil Speedway; 10-15 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway); Blake Hahn 3 (7/8 – Gallatin Speedway; 7/9 – Gallatin Speedway; 7/28 – Park Jefferson Speedway); Wayne Johnson 3 (3/19 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway; 9/23 – Lucas Oil Speedway; 9/24 – Lucas Oil Speedway) Brian Brown 2 (5/5 – Lakeside Speedway; 8/21 – Missouri State Fair Speedway); Brad Loyet 2 (6/15 – Lawton Speedway; 6/17 – Mo. State Fair Speedway); Bryan Clauson 2 (6/16 – Creek County Speedway; 7/31 – Badlands Motor Speedway); Aaron Reutzel 2 (5/14 – Texas Motor Speedway; 9/4 – Jackson Motorplex); Brandon Hanks 1 (3/25-Cotton Bowl Speedway); Josh Baughman 1 (3/26 – Bronco Raceway Park); Marc Duperron 1 (6/24 – Skagit Speedway); Jamie Ball 1 (8/4 – Knoxville Raceway); Jamie Veal 1 (8/5 – Knoxville Raceway); Sammy Swindell 1 (8/6 – Knoxville Raceway); Ian Madsen 1 (9/2 – Jackson Motorplex); Terry McCarl 1(10/1 – I-80 Speedway).

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, October 15 2016
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