A battle of the Jacks resulted in Jack Smith’s first win of the 2017 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour season Saturday night at Salem Speedway (IN).
Smith led most of the 100-lap feature after battling with Corey Deuser early. Deuser spun while running the inside lane, collecting Josh Brock and ending his day.
Jack Dossey III used the ensuing long run to chase down Smith, closing to his rear bumper. Carson Hocevar spun late in the race, disrupting the long green-flag run and giving Dossey III a chance.
Jack Smith told Speed51.com powered By JEGS that he was able to enact a plan to get to the front following a poor qualifying effort.
“I mean, it was unreal, it really was. That last practice I freed it up; I shouldn’t have. That’s typical me. I live by the sword, die by the sword,” Smith said. “You’re either messing with the body or messing with the car before qualifying. Didn’t qualify [well], it was too free. But I knew if I got to the front fast I could dictate the lane. Especially through three and four. Just got way free in one and two, I knew if I could back his entry up I would be okay.”
Jack Dossey III was very disappointed to see the late cautions, believing his car was much better at the end of the long run.
“I think I had something for him there until the restart. That restart kinda put a damper on things. Our car was really good on the long run,” Dossey III said. “It kinda messed us up a little bit. I was really concerned about the 29 [Austin Kunert] and the 14 [Carson Hocevar] on the outside of us on the restart. That’s what had me concerned the most. The car wasn’t spectacular on the bottom but we pulled it off. It was a really great night racing with the best in the country, everybody runs you clean. It’s a really good deal.”
Dossey III’s second-place finish was even more impressive when he revealed that he had no power steering for the last 20 laps.
Dossey III laughed, saying, “It’s probably the worst thing that’s happened to me. Especially here since there are so many bumps. It really bangs your arms around. We were running third when it happened, and there was no way I was going to pull off track for that.”
Twenty laps would have been much more preferred for fifth-place finisher Joe Cooksey. Cooksey and his team battled a broken shifter in practice, then were brought to pit lane early in the feature due to smoke. That smoke was power steering fluid, meaning that Cooksey went 80 laps at Salem with no power steering.
Cooksey, who was visibly drained after gingerly pulling himself out of the car, said that the track made him want to push himself harder.
“This is Salem, if you finish you’ve accomplished something. By God I came here to run 100 laps and I was going to do it. I don’t know, ran 98 or whatever we ran. I’m proud of that one.”
When asked what it was like to drive 80 laps without power steering, he exclaimed, “Oh lord, the hardest thing is just holding on to the wheel. It’s not that it’s so hard to turn, it’s just that every ripple and bump in the race track jerks it out of your hands.”
For Jack Smith, his win at Salem means a bit more to him than usual. At the end of the interview, he wanted to dedicate his win.
“This one is for my brother, really going through some family stuff right now. Means the world for him to be here right now.”
The JEGS / CRA All-Stars Tour heads West for their next race date, a make-up date for the Masters of the Pros 144 at Lebanon I-44 Speedway in Missouri on Monday, July 3. Six days later, the series will head back to Kil-Kare Speedway for a Sunday show on July 9.
Race fans can find on-demand Trackside Now coverage from Saturday’s race by clicking here.
– Patrick Hahe, Speed 51.com State Editor IN / MI / OH
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Unofficial Results
Salem Speedway (IN) – June 17, 2017
|2||20||Jack Dossey III|
|6||5||Michael Clancy Jr|