HARTFORD, S.D. — The Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV American Real took to the high banked I-90 Speedway Saturday night with Logan Forler grabbing his second Protect the Harvest A-Feature triumph of the season.
Keeping the tradition of different winners at the South Dakota oval, Forler became the sixth different winner in as many races at the track.
“I knew Jeff (Swindell) was starting right there and if he got me on the start, I probably wasn’t going to get him back” commented Forler of the importance to get out front early.
Asked about tire conservation as the track rubbered, Forler replied, “The first probably 15 laps I was babying the car quite a bit but there probably the last seven laps, I knew I had quite a bit of tire left because you can feel when a tire goes away so after then I just drove it for all it was worth to keep Jeff behind me.”
Drawing the pole in the night’s 25-lap feature, Forler quickly worked past fellow front row starter Randy Hibbs to position the Steve Forler Trucking No. 2 on the cushion. Followed quickly by third starting Jeff Swindell and Jason Johnson from fifth, the trio paced into slower traffic on lap eight as the high line began to rubber down.
Mired amongst the back markers, Swindell began looking to the inside of Forler’s No. 2L only to have the caution displayed on lap 10.
“That was really our only real shot going in,” said Swindell of the caution coming out in slower traffic. “Sometimes you get the lucky break, sometimes you don’t, and that’s not to say we would have gotten by him, but that was our only shot. Right now I’m just tickled to death with seven straight podium finishes.”
Clear racetrack continued as the red flag waved on lap 12 for and incident involving the No. 5 of Eric Lutz and No. 97g of Jody Rosenboom. Both drivers were okay.
Underway, the top five shook up as Johnny Herrera worked past Randy Hibbs who was fighting an ill handling racecar with Tony Bruce Jr. in tow as both pursued fourth-running Seth Bergman.
Again, the leaders would begin working into slower traffic. Into the final five laps, the back of the field sat only a quarter straightaway ahead of Forler with Swindell and Johnson again closing in as the caution displayed with four laps to run for the No. 1b of Robby Wolfgang who suffered a broken rear axle.
In the same instance, Bergman saw his night come to a close with a failed ignition system.
The final four laps was all about tire smoke as tire conservation went out the window, but the best trail of blue and white smoke wasn’t enough to catch Logan Forler as the Lucas Oil No. 2L crossed 1.182 seconds ahead of Jeff Swindell.
Jason Johnson crossed third with Johnny Herrera coming from 12th to fourth. Tony Bruce, Jr. advanced three spots to complete the top five.
Logan Forler, Jeff Swindell, Jason Johnson, Johnny Herrera, Tony Bruce Jr., Micah Schliemann, Dustin Morgan, Dylan Peterson, Dusty Ballenger, Brad Loyet, Randy Hibbs, Cole Wood, Bryan Gossel, Joe Riedel, Gregg Bakker, Seth Bergman, Robby Wolfgang, Billy Alley, Jody Rosenboom, Eric Lutz, Troy Schreurs, Cody Ledger.