Wayne Johnson Picks Brainerd for O'Reilly ASCoT Win BRAINERD, Minn. (June 20, 2007) -- Oklahoma native Wayne Johnson snapped an eleven-race winless streak with the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series by topping...
Wayne Johnson Picks Brainerd for O'Reilly ASCoT Win
BRAINERD, Minn. (June 20, 2007) -- Oklahoma native Wayne Johnson snapped an eleven-race winless streak with the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series by topping the third leg of the inaugural ASCS Northern Plains Speedweek in Wednesday night's 25-lap feature at North Central Speedway.
Johnson held off an early charge from Gary Wright then outlasted a closing Jason Johnson in the final rounds to capture his third series win of the year aboard Mike and Tim Hammers' Wesmar-powered H&H Enterprises/Pearson Farms No. 94 Eagle.
"It's fun to win one this far away from home," Johnson commented in victory lane. "My car owners are in Mississippi so to be able to call them and say we won one in Minnesota will be pretty cool. The track was slick for the feature, just the way I like it, we usually go good on this kind of track."
After posting two wins in the opening seven events of the season, Johnson has been tantalizingly close to that third win over the past eleven features with nine top-five runs, including four runner-up showings and seven podium showings. Johnson's consistent runs, bolstered by his 23rd career ASCS National Tour win on Wednesday night, have allowed him to close to within ten points of three-time and reigning series champion Wright in the series $50,000 championship points race.
"You've got to give it to Gary Wright, to win that many titles it just means he's one heck of a racecar driver," Johnson commented. "But we've just been chip-chip-chipping away at it, that's what we've gotta do."
Wayne Johnson gridded the feature field on the outside shoulder of Jason Johnson, who topped the Pole Dash for the sixth time in the last ten events. But it was Wayne Johnson gunning into the lead at the drop of the green, with sixth-starting Wright needing just one lap to charge into third.
With the unrelated duo of Johnson & Johnson working the low lines in the early rounds, Wright was hustling around the topside. Wright battled his way past Jason Johnson for second on the sixth lap and was mounting a charge on Wayne Johnson for the lead when the caution flew for Dave Becker's turn two spin with eight laps in the books.
Sensing a challenge from the cushion, Wayne Johnson moved up top on the restart and briefly slipped away from Wright and Jason Johnson until the race's second and final caution flew after twelve laps for Natalie Sather, who spun to a stop in turn two with front end damage after contact from Mike Sitzmann, Jr.
Back under way, Wayne Johnson once again opened up a several car-length advantage as Wright and Jason Johnson battled for second. Jason Johnson recaptured second from Wright on the 14th circuit and as the laps clicked off, he began to reel in the leader.
Encountering lapped traffic in the final rounds, Wayne Johnson held steady to maintain the lead and took the checkered flag just moments before a skirmish that sent Wade Nygaard into the frontstretch wall directly in front of the leaders. Wayne Johnson made slight contact, but was able to successfully make his way to victory lane as the checkered flag had already flown.
After capturing the opening two rounds of ASCS Northern Plains Speedweek, Jason Johnson settled for second in Lanny Row's Wesmar-powered The Shop Motorsports No. 41 Eagle, while Wright fought off Travis Rilat for the show position in the Wesmar-powered Richwood Construction No. 9 Maxim.
Rilat was a close fourth in the Motor Mike-powered F&J Construction No. 29 Triple-X, with Clint Garner rounding out the top five in the Johnson No. 27 Maxim.
A third-place finisher in 2006 ASCS Northern Plains Region points, Curt Lund claimed sixth, while Jody Rosenboom earned Hard Charger honors by racing from 16th to seventh. Nineteen-year-old Lee Grosz crossed the stripe eighth, with Dave Glennon and Jerry Richert, Jr., completing the top ten.
Jason Johnson, Wright and Wayne Johnson topped heat race action.
Leading Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Foster Landon went for a wild ride on the opening lap of the evening's first heat race, sailing over the turn one retaining wall. Landon's crew made repairs that enabled him to take the green flag for the main event. Rosenboom was caught up in the incident as well, but returned for a strong feature drive.
The inaugural ASCS Northern Plains Speedweek concludes on Saturday night at Dakota State Fair Speedway in Huron, SD.
O'Reilly ASCoT Northern Plains Speedweek Round 3 Results from North Central Speedway:
Brodix Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 87-Curt Lund, 3. 57x-Jake Peters, 4. 14-John Nelson, 5. 94s-Natalie Sather, 6. k9-Jody Rosenboom, 7. 11F-Foster Landon.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 9-Gary Wright, 2. 27-Clint Garner, 3. 62-Jerry Richert, Jr., 4. 37-Sye Anderson, 5. 7-Dave Becker, 6. 35a-Adam Main, 7. X-Chuck Swenson.
Brodix Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 94-Wayne Johnson, 2. 29-Travis Rilat, 3. 4J-Lee Grosz, 4. 5-Dave Glennon, 5. 9n-Wade Nygaard, 6. 9L-Micah Schliemann, 7. 92-Mike Sitzmann, Jr.
Pole Dash (Finishing Order Determines Front Three Rows of "A" Main):
Pole Dash (5 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 94-Wayne Johnson, 3. 27-Clint Garner, 4. 87-Curt Lund, 5. 57x-Jake Peters, 6. 9-Gary Wright.
O'Reilly ASCoT "A" Main Results from North Central Speedway:
"A" Feature (25 Laps): 1. 94-Wayne Johnson, 2. 41-Jason Johnson, 3. 9-Gary Wright, 4. 29-Travis Rilat, 5. 27-Clint Garner, 6. 87-Curt Lund, 7. k9-Jody Rosenboom, 8. 4J-Lee Grosz, 9. 5-Dave Glennon, 10. 62-Jerry Richert, Jr., 11. 92-Mike Sitzmann, Jr., 12. 57x-Jake Peters, 13. 7-Dave Becker, 14. 9L-Micah Schliemann, 15. 35a-Adam Main, 16. 9n-Wade Nygaard, 17. 14-John Nelson, 18. 37-Sye Anderson, 19. 94s-Natalie Sather, 20. X-Chuck Swenson, 21. 11F-Foster Landon.
Lap Leaders: Wayne Johnson 1-25.
O'Reilly ASCoT Points (Top Ten): 1. Gary Wright 2,390, 2. Wayne Johnson 2,380, 3. Jason Johnson 2,351, 4. Travis Rilat 2,283, 5. Foster Landon 2,020, 6. Darren Stewart 1,781, 7. Andy Shouse 1,559, 8. Chris Schmelzle 1,318, 9. Johnny Miller 1,047, 10. Chuck Swenson 1,042.