LEXINGTON, Tenn. — official release — ASCS /Rob Kocak photo — For the third time in 2014, Jeff Swindell stood triumphant with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV American Real on Friday night.
Swindell topped action at the Lexington 104 Speedway for his 14th national tour victory.
“The Heartland Catfish car has just been performing great,” Swindell said. “We should have won last night. I think we dominated that thing pretty good just had a motor issue which is very unusual with these Fisher power plants. We should have won here last year too, so this is pretty sweet.”
The win was enough to shake up the points as well with Swindell taking second from Jason Johnson. Trailing Brad Loyet by 74, the top five are only separated by 112 points.
Chasing Tony Bruce, Jr. and Jason Johnson at the start, Swindell moved to the runner-up spot on lap nine after an engine failure sidelined Johnson, relegating the MVT No. 41 to a 15th-place finish.
Trying for the lead on the restart, Bruce would power back by the Heartland Catfish No. 94. Finding the tail end of the field in only a matter of laps, Bruce would have a nearly two second advantage over Swindell — until lap 15.
“I think right there when I lost the lead, a couple cars hit that berm in the infield and threw up a whole bunch of loose stuff across the race track and actually put a hole in my radiator at the same time,” said Bruce. “I just hit that loose dirt and slid up over the curb, and Jeff drove by us and it’s just one of those deals where sometimes it’s better to be running second so you can follow the leader and figure out what to do.”
Taking the lead and taking off, Swindell was held up a few times in traffic but never bogged down as the H&H Container Services No. 94 crossed 1.757 seconds ahead of Bruce.
Derek Hagar moved up three spots to complete the podium.
“We had a really good run. Started sixth and got up to fourth behind Sam [Hafertepe] and just followed the leader,” Hagar said. “The track was real dusty especially when those lapped cars got down there and hit the berm. One lap you’d roll through and have good grip, then the next you’re just sliding through the whole corner.”
Tim Crawley and Sam Hafertepe Jr. rounded out the top five.