Johnson Outlasts Rilat & the Elements for ASCoT Win at Devil's Bowl MESQUITE, Texas (May 10, 2008) -- A three-hour rain delay at Devil's Bowl Speedway on Saturday night proved to be well worth the wait, as Jason Johnson came away with his...
Johnson Outlasts Rilat & the Elements for ASCoT Win at Devil's Bowl
MESQUITE, Texas (May 10, 2008) -- A three-hour rain delay at Devil's Bowl Speedway on Saturday night proved to be well worth the wait, as Jason Johnson came away with his fourth O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series win of the year in a hotly-contested final leg of the Red River Shootout.
"The Ragin' Cajun" battled past Gary Taylor for the point six laps into the non-stop 25-lapper and then fought off Travis Rilat's late charges to snare his 32nd career ASCS National Tour feature win aboard Lanny Row's Wesmar-powered The Shop Motorsports/Custom Equipment Design No. 41 Eagle.
"There was a time earlier tonight that I don't think anybody thought there was any way we could get this show in, I'm glad we did though," Johnson explained of the torrential downpour and hail storm that hit the speedway at 6:15 p.m., leaving the track and pit area drenched.
But after Lanny Edwards and track crew worked the clay, the first sprint heat race hit the track just before 11:00 p.m. with the checkered flag flying on the feature event less than two hours later.
"All of these guys spent a lot of money to get here and they've got to spend a lot of money to get back home, we may as well do whatever we can to let 'em race tonight instead of spending even more to come back later," Edwards explained of the effort.
After racing from the third row to win his heat race, Johnson drew the second row inside of the main event behind pole starter Gary Taylor and outside polesitter Jack Dover, who topped the opening leg of the Red River Shootout on Friday night at Oklahoma City's State Fair Speedway.
A winner of the two most recent American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region feature events, Washington native Taylor gunned into the lead at the drop of the green flag with Johnson quickly taking the second position.
Johnson stalked Taylor for several rounds before charging by on the low side exiting turn four on the sixth lap to take command. And while Johnson led the rest of the way, it wasn't without a valiant challenge from Rilat.
Running fifth in the early stages, Rilat gained a spot when fourth-running Donnie Ray Crawford did a quick 360-degree spin in turn four on the eighth lap and fell back several positions. Rilat wrestled third from Dover on the tenth lap and then took second from Taylor three laps later.
Rilat closed in on Johnson and challenged for the lead as the pair diced through heavy lapped traffic on the 16th lap. Johnson fought off the bid and finally slipped away from Rilat's advances over the final two laps to secure the victory.
"The wind was blowing so hard, it made turns three and four tricky," Johnson explained. "I thought I saw Travis underneath me there one time and knew I better stay on it."
Rilat settled for runner-up honors in his Shark-powered F&J Construction No. 29 Triple-X, with Taylor claiming third in Mike and Megan Eubanks' Wesmar-powered Tel-Star Communications No. 5* Triple-X.
After struggling in heat race action, four-time and reigning series champion Gary Wright drove the Wesmar-powered Richwood Construction No. 9 Maxim through the field from the 14th starting position to take the fourth position away from Wayne Johnson at the stripe. Wayne Johnson settled for fifth in Mike and Tim Hammers' H&H Enterprises No. 94 Maxim.
Dover crossed the stripe sixth in front of Danny Jennings, with Zach Chappell charging from 22nd to eighth. Garry Lee Maier raced from 17th to ninth, with Kevin Ramey climbing from 23rd to complete the top ten after flipping in the night's opening heat race.
Dover, Wayne Johnson and Jason Johnson topped heat race action.
Slated to start the feature outside row two, Aaron Berryhill scratched from the main event with rear end problems.
O'Reilly ASCoT Red River Shootout Results from Devil's Bowl Speedway:
Brodix Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 53-Jack Dover, 2. 91-Donnie Ray Crawford, 3. 61J-Danny Jennings, 4. 29-Travis Rilat, 5. 95-Matt Covington, 6. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 7. 2-Kenneth Walker, 8. 15s-Nick Smith. DNS: 14e-Todd Evans.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 94-Wayne Johnson, 2. 5*-Gary Taylor, 3. 65-Skip Wilson, 4. 64J-Johnny Miller, 5. 39-Marvin Lough, 6. 9-Gary Wright, 7. 87-Billy Melton, 8. 71-Chris Tarrant, 9. 7m-Kevin Ramey.
Brodix Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 13-Kathryne Minter, 3. 14-Michael Lang, 4. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 5. 29n-Larry Neighbors, 6. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 7. 72-Charlie Brown, 8. 50z-Zach Chappell.
O'Reilly ASCoT "A" Main Event:
"A" Feature (25 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 29-Travis Rilat, 3. 5*-Gary Taylor, 4. 9-Gary Wright, 5. 94-Wayne Johnson, 6. 53-Jack Dover, 7. 61J-Danny Jennings, 8. 50z-Zach Chappell, 9. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 10. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 11. 64J-Johnny Miller, 12. 29n-Larry Neighbors, 13. 91-Donnie Ray Crawford, 14. 14-Michael Lang, 15. 95-Matt Covington, 16. 65-Skip Wilson, 17. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 18. 2-Kenneth Walker, 19. 87-Billy Melton, 20. 13-Kathryne Minter, 21. 71-Chris Tarrant, 22. 15s-Nick Smith, 23. 39-Marvin Lough, 24. 14e-Todd Evans. DNS: 97-Aaron Berryhill, 72-Charlie Brown.
Lap Leaders: Gary Taylor 1-5, Jason Johnson 6-25.
O'Reilly ASCoT Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Gary Wright 1,549, 2. Jason Johnson 1,511, 3. Wayne Johnson 1,499, 4. Zach Chappell 1,407, 5. Travis Rilat 1,364, 6. Garry Lee Maier 1,344, 7. Eric Baldaccini 1,222, 8. Nick Smith 1,170, 9. Kenneth Walker 1,136, 10. Jack Dover 1,039, 11. Jason Sides 1,002, 12. Gary Taylor 967, 13. Kathryne Minter 933, 14. Chris Tarrant 861, 15. Don Droud, Jr. 827.