JACKSON, Minn. – Brian Brown was all smiles following his late charge to the front on Saturday at Jackson Motorplex during the second round of the three-day 38th annual AGCO Jackson Nationals.
Brown discovered a faster bottom groove just after the midpoint of the National Sprint League main event, which featured the Spirit Lake Silver & Gold NSL 410 Sprint Cars, and used it to his advantage. He passed Sammy Swindell with seven laps to go en route to recording the marquee victory.
“Actually Ian (Madsen) showed me,” he said. “I seen him out the corner of my eye. I felt like I better move around at that point. Then it’s almost like you go hard … but don’t run the tire off it. Sammy (Swindell) and Danny Lasoski are two of the smartest drivers in the world. You can’t let them hear you or show them because they’ll block and you won’t win.”
The triumph also made Brown the highest points earner during the preliminary night and locked him into the pole shuffle that will determine the first four rows of the $25,000-to-win finale on Sunday.
While Brown had a strong finish, Sammy Swindell was the driver to beat throughout most of the main event. He took the lead on the opening lap and built nearly a three-second advantage by the midpoint of the 25-lap feature while running the top groove.
Lasoski, who slid Brown for the runner-up position on a restart on Lap 6, maintained second place until Brown found the bottom lane. He regained second on Lap 15 and quickly closed to the bumper of Swindell.
Brown used a strong run on the bottom exiting turn four to take the lead on Lap 19 and he thwarted several attempts by Swindell in the closing laps.
“I didn’t know leading,” Swindell said of the bottom lane coming in. “When you’re out there leading you don’t see anybody until it’s too late. I could still get a run around him, but then he seen me out there and started going out wide down the backstretch. There was a bunch of times I was almost beside him getting back into (turn) three, I’d be right there, but I wasn’t in that slot to get off (turn four). It was kind of narrow there.”
Lasoski held off Ian Madsen for the final spot on the podium.
“It’s better to be running second and third,” Lasoski said. “I had no idea the rubber was down that far. It takes someone to be searching like that. I wasn’t even trying to abuse the tires. I seen Brian underneath me and holy cow, there wasn’t anything I could do about it.”
Lasoski now leads the National Sprint League championship standings by 287 points – the largest advantage of the season – after Craig Dollansky finished 22nd following an early crash.
Davey Heskin charged from 12th to round out the top five.
Those top-five finishers, along with Thomas Kennedy, Tim Kaeding and Kerry Madsen, are locked into Sunday’s pole shuffle as drivers ranked in the top eight in overall qualifying, heat race and feature points following Saturday’s event. All remaining drivers will open Sunday competing in heat races.