By DAVID SMITH JR.
Special to The Hays Daily News
Longdale, Oklahoma - May 17, 2014 - It was a night of firsts for the National Championship Racing Association of Park City, Kansas presented by Precise Racing Products as the series' sprint car tour made their first ever appearance at the new Longdale Speedway in Longdale, Oklahoma and it was Kingman, Kansas driver Jeff Stasa picking up his first career sprint car victory Saturday night.
Joe Wood, Jr. and Stasa started on the front row for the twenty lap feature and at the start the caution quickly flew as Kris Miller got sideways entering turns one and two and spun. Jordan Weaver and Tim Crawley had nowhere to go and also came to a stop. Miller and Crawley would restart at the tail of the field while Weavers night was done with damage to her #92 sprinter.
During the caution, current point leader Jeremy Campbell ducked into the work area and would restart at the tail end of the field. He would make his way back to a ninth place finish.
On the complete restart, fourth starting Danny Wood grabbed the lead by jumping up onto the cushion and would open up a six car length lead over Wood, Jr., Stasa and Zach Blurton. His advantage would stretch to ten car lengths before the final caution of the night fell when the front wing brackets broke on Wood, Jr. #03 sprinter heading down the backstretch while running second. His night would come to an end and would get an extra $100 for the A2Z Oil Field Services Hard Luck driver of the night.
Once racing action resumed the battle for the lead did as well as Wood, who continued to run the top of the half mile clay oval, suddenly had his hands full with Stasa dropping back down to the bottom of the track. Stasa and his Wesmar powered Maxim chassis would drive underneath Wood entering turns one and two and would pull away heading down the backstretch.
Just passed the half way mark, three-time and defending tour champion C.J. Johnson had worked his way up from his tenth starting position and passed Zach Blurton for third. The leader encountered lapped traffic on lap fourteen while Wood would now have his hands full with Johnson. The driver of the #45x sprinter would pass Wood for the runner up position with four laps to go and set his sights on the leader.
Stasa's lead was down to five car lengths as he entered lapped traffic with one lap to go and Johnson would be unable to get any closer allowing Stasa to pick up his first career sprint car victory and become the fourth different feature winner in as many races thus far during the 2014 race season.
"We were committed to run the bottom," said Stasa. "I knew the track would take rubber and luckily we found it before he (Wood) did. We lost a brake line around the half way mark so we run with no brakes. Luckily the lapped traffic didn't give us a problem."
Johnson, who earned an extra $100 Pat McVicker Oil Field Services hard charger of the race, finished two car lengths behind for second while Wood settled for third. Zach Blurton came home fourth while ninth starting Luke Cranston rounded out the top five.
The three heat races for the nineteen car field were won by Joe Wood, Jr., Stasa and Blurton.
The next event for the NCRA 360-ci sprint car division will be held on Sunday night, June 15, with the annual running of the "Hoosier Daddy" Father's Day special at 81 Speedway in Park City.
NCRA Sprint Cars
Longdale Speedway/Longdale, Oklahoma
May 17, 2014
1st Heat: 1) Joe Wood, Jr., 2) J.D. Johnson, 3) Jeremy Campbell, 4) Jordan Weaver, 5) Jon Freeman, 6) Ryan Roberts, DNS: Brandon Hahn
2nd Heat: 1) Jeff Stasa, 2) Danny Wood, 3) Kris Miller, 4) Ray Seemon, 5) Michelle Decker, 6) Jake Grieder
3rd Heat: 1) Zach Blurton, 2) Danny Jennings, 3) Luke Cranston, 4) C.J. Johnson, 5) Tim Crawley, 6) Ty Williams
A Feature (started): 1) Jeff Stasa (2), 2) C.J. Johnson (10), 3) Danny Wood (4), 4) Zach Blurton (3), 5) Luke Cranston (9), 6) Danny Jennings (5), 7) Tim Crawley (15), 8) Ray Seemon (11), 9) Jeremy Campbell (6), 10) J.D. Johnson (7), 11) Michelle Decker (13), 12) Jon Freeman (14), 13) Ryan Roberts (16) 14) Ty Williams (18), 15) Kris Miller (8), 16) Jake Grieder (17) Joe Wood, Jr. (1), 18) Jordan Weaver (12), DNS: Brandon Hahn
Lap Leaders: Wood 1-5; Stasa 6-20
Pat McVicker Oil Field Services $100 Hard charger: C.J. Johnson
A2Z Oil Field Services $100 Hard Luck: Joe Wood, Jr.