Johnson Celebrates by Winning ASCS Speedweek Opener at Bolivar BOLIVAR, Mo. (July 7, 2006) -- Making the most of his 30th birthday celebration, Jason Johnson captured the opening round of the 14th Annual O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on...
Johnson Celebrates by Winning ASCS Speedweek Opener at Bolivar
BOLIVAR, Mo. (July 7, 2006) -- Making the most of his 30th birthday celebration, Jason Johnson captured the opening round of the 14th Annual O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour COMP Cams Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek by leading the final eight circuits of the 25-lapper to snare his fourth National triumph of the year.
Johnson assumed command when race leader Travis Rilat changed a tire under a lap 18 red flag, then nursed a balding right rear tire over the final rounds to take the checkered flag over a rapidly-closing Nick Smith, who charged from the tail of the field to nail down second.
"What an awesome way to celebrate a birthday, this is great," the happy winner exclaimed in victory lane. "Under that last red flag, some of the fans sitting off turn two gave us some ice to cool down the right rear tire. I knew someone was coming at the end, I just kept hoping that checkered flag would fly."
While Johnson gridded the feature field fifth, it was outside front row starter Jesse Hockett outgunning polesitter Rilat for the point at the drop of the green flag. After a lap two interruption for Forrest Sutherland, who tagged the turn one wall, Johnson battled past Gavin Punch and Gary Wright by the fifth round to take over third.
Hockett, Rilat and Johnson raced away from the field over the ensuing laps, with Johnson taking second from Rilat on the ninth round. A lap later, Johnson streaked by Hockett to take command. But Rilat was hot on his heels, charging to the front on the twelfth lap, with the caution flying moments later when Randy Martin tagged the backstretch wall.JMartin was done for the night.
One more lap was completed before current ASCS National Tour point leader Smith came to a stop. Smith rejoined the chase after a quick visit to the work area.
Rilat fought off Johnson over the next four rounds before the red flag flew for Natalie Sather, who made hard contact with the frontstretch wall after contact with another car exiting turn four. Sather was uninjured.
Under the ensuing red flag period, both leader Rilat and fourth-runner Wright elected to change right rear tires. With Johnson, Hockett and Tony Bruce, Jr., leading the way on the restart, Rilat and Wright rejoined the field at the tail and were caught up in a wild backstretch skirmish a lap later when Sean McClelland's mount suddenly lost power on the backstretch.As McClelland slowed, he was clipped by Toby Brown and then took a hard hit from Faron Crank. As McClelland flipped, both Rilat and Wright flipped as well in the aftermath. Wright was done for the night, while Rilat's crew made quick repairs as medical personnel tended to McClelland. McClelland eventually walked away shaken, but otherwise uninjured.
With tire wear a factor, Johnson's hard compound tire on Lanny Row's Wesmar-powered The Shop Diesel Service No. 41 Eagle held up over the final seven laps, with the checkered flag flying none too soon as Smith was on the charge.
After originally starting 19th then tagging the tail of the field following his trip to the work area on the 13th lap, Smith was as far back as 15th on the lap 18 restart. But Smith was on the charge in the final rounds aboard the Ostrich-powered MPHG Promotions No. 15s J&J, taking second from Hockett on the 23rd lap.
Jerrod Hull made a last-corner pass of Hockett to snare the show position in the Hammers-owned Wesmar-powered H&H Enterprises No. 94H Avenger, with Hockett settling for fourth aboard the Wesmar-powered VKCC Motorsports No. 75 DRC.
Bruce rounded out the top five in the Salina-powered Best Well Service No. 18 Maxim, with Rilat rebounding from his lap 19 flip to claim sixth.JOregon's Roger Crockett raced from 18th to finish seventh, with Darren Stewart, Gavin Punch and 14-year-old Trey Robb completing the top ten.
Hockett, Punch, Zach Chappell and Cody Branchcomb topped heat race action for the 35-car field, with Sather holding off Crockett to win the 12-lap "B" Main.
Rilat made a last-corner slide around Hockett to win the Pole Dash.
O'Reilly ASCoT COMP Cams Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek Round One Results:
Heat Races (Top 16 in passing points to "A" Main -- Top 6 to Pole Dash; balance to "B" Main)
Brodix Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 75-Jesse Hockett, 2. 94h-Jerrod Hull, 3. 12-Trey Robb, 4. 61a-Toby Brown, 5. 57-Roger Crockett, 6. 94s-Natalie Sather, 7. 46-Jan Howard, 8. 38-Devin Frisbie, 9. 48-David Brown.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 81au-Gavin Punch, 2. 9-Gary Wright, 3. 29-Travis Rilat, 4. 1-Sean McClelland, 5. 85s-Forrest Sutherland, 6. 43-Frank Brown, 7. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 8. 35-Brad Best, 9. 23F-Matthew Fox.
Brodix Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 92-Zach Chappell, 2. 41-Jason Johnson, 3. 11F-Foster Landon, 4. 28-Andy Korte, 5. 9m-Dale McCarty, 6. 12c-Faron Crank, 7. 44J-Abe Sherwood, 8. 04-Brad Graham, 9. 8-Jeff Wingate.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 94-Cody Branchcomb, 2. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 3. 14-Randy Martin, 4. 91-Darren Stewart, 5. 15s-Nick Smith, 6. 72-Curtis Boyer, 7. 59-Dex Eaton, 8. 23-Jimmy Taylor.
Pole Dash (Finishing Order Determines Front Three Rows of "A" Main):
Pole Dash (5 Laps): 1. 29-Travis Rilat, 2. 75-Jesse Hockett, 3. 81au-Gavin Punch, 4. 9-Gary Wright, 5. 41-Jason Johnson, 6. 94-Cody Branchcomb.
"B" Main -- Top 6 Advance to "A" Main
"B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 94s-Natalie Sather, 2. 57-Roger Crockett, 3. 15s-Nick Smith, 4. 43-Frank Brown, 5. 85s-Forrest Sutherland, 6. 72-Curtis Boyer, 7. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 8. 44J-Abe Sherwood, 9. 35-Brad Best, 10. 9m-Dale McCarty, 11. 23F-Matthew Fox, 12. 38-Devin Frisbie, 13. 8-Jeff Wingate, 14. 04-Brad Graham, 15. 12c-Faron Crank, 16. 48-David Brown, 17. 59-Dex Eaton. DNS: 46-Jan Howard, 23-Jimmy Taylor.
O'Reilly ASCoT COMP Cams Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek Round One "A" Main Event:
"A" Feature (25 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 15s-Nick Smith, 3. 94h-Jerrod Hull, 4. 75-Jesse Hockett, 5. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 6. 29-Travis Rilat, 7. 57-Roger Crockett, 8. 91-Darren Stewart, 9. 81au-Gavin Punch, 10. 12-Trey Robb, 11. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 12. 92-Zach Chappell, 13. 46-Jan Howard, 14. 72-Curtis Boyer, 15. 11F-Foster Landon, 16. 94-Cody Branchcomb, 17. 1-Sean McClelland, 18. 61a-Toby Brown, 19. 9-Gary Wright, 20. 12c-Faron Crank, 21. 43-Frank Brown, 22. 94s-Natalie Sather, 23. 28-Andy Korte, 24. 14-Randy Martin, 25. 85s-Forrest Sutherland.
Lap Leaders: Jesse Hockett 1-9, Jason Johnson 10-11, Travis Rilat 12-17, Jason Johnson 18-25.
Note: Sam Hafertepe, Jr., and Jan Howard both used provisional starting positions for the "A" Main, with Faron Crank utilizing a Winged Outlaw Warriors provisional to start the feature.
O'Reilly ASCoT Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Nick Smith 1,931, 2. Gary Wright 1,896, 3. Jesse Hockett 1,853, 4. Jason Johnson 1,822, 5. Travis Rilat 1,820, 6. Darren Stewart 1,774, 7. Jan Howard 1,702, 8. Sean McClelland 1,662, 9. Trey Robb 1,553, 10. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 1,522, 11. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,466, 12. Abe Sherwood 1,266, 13. Zach Chappell 1,228, 14. Dustin Daggett 1,153, 15. Jerrod Hull 950.
ASCS COMP Cams Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek Points (Top Ten Through Round One of Seven): 1. Jason Johnson 150, 2. Nick Smith 146, 3. Jerrod Hull 144, 4. Jesse Hockett 142, 5. Tony Bruce, Jr., 140, 6. Travis Rilat 138, 7. Roger Crockett 136, 8. Darren Stewart 134, 9. Gavin Punch 132, 10. Trey Robb 130.