Jason Johnson Wins Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals; Launches Lucas Oil ASCS Title Defense! MESQUITE, Texas (March 21, 2009) -- Jason Johnson launched his Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters title defense in strong...
Jason Johnson Wins Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals; Launches Lucas Oil ASCS Title Defense!
MESQUITE, Texas (March 21, 2009) -- Jason Johnson launched his Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters title defense in strong fashion by emerging atop a hotly-contested 30-lap finale at the 36th Annual Devil's Bowl Speedway Spring Nationals on Saturday night.
"The Ragin' Cajun" battled into the lead on the 20th circuit and then outdueled Tony Bruce, Jr., over the final circuits to secure the win in a rousing finale to the series' opening weekend of competition that attracted 67 competitors from 17 different states.
"This thing is tough, there's so much competition here I'm having to work way too hard," Johnson quipped after his first series win of the season aboard Lanny Row's Wesmar-powered The Shop Motorsports/Custom Equipment Design No. 41 Eagle.
Advancing from the sixth position, Johnson raced around Bruce for the lead on a lap 20 restart. But, the race was far from being over, as Bruce battled back in his Rider-powered No. 18 Maxim.
After crossing the stripe in full throttle, wheel-to-wheel formation to complete the 26th lap, the pair locked horns for the $6,000 winner's share with Johnson on the low side and Bruce up high. Johnson drifted up the track exiting turn two on the 27th round and muscled back into the lead as Bruce was forced into uncharted territory beyond the traditional Devil's Bowl backstretch racing surface.
"I apologize if I used up too much track there, I try to race everyone the way they would race me," Johnson explained in victory lane. "I had to what I could though because this is where I want to be standing after the checkered flag flies."
As if coming out on the short end of the lead battle weren't enough, insult was added to injury when Bruce weighed in just five pounds below the required minimum of 1,475 pounds. Bruce was relegated to a 24th place finish following the disqualification, with Shane Stewart escaping the weekend with the series' early points lead after assuming runner-up honors. Gary Wright picked up three positions over the final ten rounds to claim the show position, with Johnny Herrera and Travis Rilat rounding out the top five.
After drawing the pole position for the main event, Bruce outgunned Friday night winner Shane Stewart for the lead at the drop of the green flag and paced the early circuits with Johnson taking third away from Wright by the sixth round.
A three-way scrum for the point between Bruce, Stewart and Johnson was about to fully erupt as traffic came into play, only to have the race's first caution fly after eleven laps when Brian Brown came to a stop on the frontstretch. At the same time, Travis Rilat slid to a stop off the top of turn two. Rilat tagged the tail of the field, while Brown retired to the pit area after attempted repairs.
Back under way, Stewart shot into the lead on the 12th circuit. It was short-lived however, as Bruce returned the favor on the 14th round. Bruce turned up the wick in the ensuing circuits and opened a half straightaway lead as Stewart and Johnson battled for second.
Johnson finally disposed of Stewart for second on the 17th round and was reeling in the leader when action was interrupted with 19 laps in the books after Dustin Morgan came to a stop on the frontstretch following contact with Danny Wood.
Johnson rallied by Bruce on the high side of turns one and two on the restart, setting the stage for the intense final rounds in which Johnson ultimately outlasted Bruce to take the checkered flag with a 0.518-second advantage.
Running among the top three throughout, Stewart assumed runner-up honors aboard Paul Silva's Wesmar-powered ProBilt Construction No. 57 A.R.T. in the final rundown.
Slipping from his third-starting position to as far back as sixth on the 19th round, four-time series champion Gary Wright worked back up to third by race's end in Scott Brown's ASI-powered Lubbock Wrecker Service No. 9x Maxim.
New Mexico's Johnny Herrera posted his second top-five finish in as many nights by crossing the stripe fourth in the No. 45x entry, while 18th-starter Rilat raced back from his early miscue to round out the top five in the Shark-powered F&J Construction No. 29 Triple-X.
Eric Baldaccini, the 2008 Brodix Rookie of the Year, earned KSE Hard Charger honors by racing from 20th to sixth. After surrendering the fourth position due to a flat left rear tire on the 23rd lap, Joe Wood, Jr., raced back through the field in the final circuits to salvage a solid seventh-place showing.
Zach Chappell raced from 22nd to eighth, with Nick Smith and Tim Crawley completing the top ten.
Koby Barksdale, Smith, Wood, Morgan, Andy Shouse, Sean McClelland and Rilat topped Saturday night's heat races. Barksdale made an early exit from the main event with engine woes.
Wood wired the field in the first "B" Main with ninth-starter Baldaccini making a late move around Brad Welborn for the second and final transfer.
Rilat paced the opening eleven laps of the second "B" Main before Brady Bacon finally made the top side of turns three and four work to his advantage. Bacon spun out of the lead a lap later however, leaving Rilat to take the win in front of Mike Chadd.
McMahan paced the entire distance in the third "B" Main, with Chappell taking advantage of a late caution to overtake Trevor Lewis for the final transfer.
Michael Dupuy ran among the top five much of the way in the main event before fading and then exiting just a few laps shy of the checkered flag.
Sixteen-year-old Trey Robb had climbed from 12th to sixth only to spin off the top of turn two on the 27th round to bring out the race's final caution.
Darren Long got upside down on the opening lap of the second heat race, with Glenn Martin also tumbling entering turn one in the fifth heat. Both drivers were done for the night.
Derrik Ortega tagged the frontstretch wall exiting turn four and got upside down on the initial start of the second "B" Main, with Jerry Bell and Kenneth Walker both tumbling in the same place on the ensuing restart. Walker made repairs in time to use a provisional for the main event as the others watched on.
Action for the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters resumes with next weekend's State Fair Speedway Spring Nationals in Oklahoma City, OK.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters
36th Annual Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals Finale Results:
Locked in From Friday's Preliminary Feature:
57-Shane Stewart, 9x-Gary Wright, 41-Jason Johnson, 21-Brian Brown.
Heat Races (Top 12 in Passing Points to "A" Main; Balance to 3 "B" Mains):
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 22-Koby Barksdale, 2. 4J-Lee Grosz, 3. 3d-Paul McMahan, 4. e85-Zach Chappell, 5. 1a-Robby Wolfgang, 6. 86-Josh Fisher, 7. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 8. 11-Chad Corken, 9. 50-Stephanie Chappell.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 15s-Nick Smith, 2. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 3. 12-Trey Robb, 4. 88-Tim Crawley, 5. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 6. 2-Kenneth Walker, 7. 13k-Kathryne Minter, 8. 9-Brian Parker, 9. 7-Darren Long.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 94-Danny Wood, 2. 17w-Brad Welborn, 3. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 4. 9jr-Derek Hagar, 5. 53-Jack Dover, 6. 91-Gary Taylor, 7. 14k-Kyle Bellm, 8. 74e-Claud Estes, 9. 35-Derrik Ortega.
Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 93-Dustin Morgan, 2. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 3. 81au-Gavin Punch, 4. 55-Donnie Ray Crawford, 5. 21L-Trevor Lewis, 6. 15-Kerry McAlister, 7. 65-Skip Wilson, 8. 3-Mark Shirshekan.
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 27-Andy Shouse, 2. 00-Michael Dupuy, 3. 10-Bryan Dobesh, 4. 95-Matt Covington, 5. 11F-Foster Landon, 6. 51-Jimmy Brooks, 7. 5m-Glenn Martin, 8. 96-Bronson Maeschen.
Heat Six (8 Laps): 1. 1-Sean McClelland, 2. 99-Brady Bacon, 3. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 4. 23-Seth Bergman, 5. 87-Billy Melton, 6. 45k-Kolt Walker, 7. 12w-Dale Wester, 8. 13-Jesse Hockett.
Heat Seven (8 Laps): 1. 29-Travis Rilat, 2. 4c-Mike Chadd, 3. 85-Jerry Bell, 4. 12J-Jared Ridge, 5. 10a-Ricky Logan, 6. 31m-Matt Clevenger, 7. 65g-Jordan Goldesberry, 8. 14e-Justin Spoerl.
"B" Mains (Top 2 From Each Advance to "A" Main):
First "B" Feature (15 Laps): 1. 94-Danny Wood, 2. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 3. 17w-Brad Welborn, 4. 4J-Lee Grosz, 5. 11F-Foster Landon, 6. 55-Donnie Ray Crawford, 7. 81au-Gavin Punch, 8. 96-Bronson Maeschen, 9. 9jr-Derek Hagar, 10. 10-Bryan Dobesh, 11. 14k-Kyle Bellm, 12. 12w-Dale Wester, 13. 51-Jimmy Brooks, 14. 50-Stephanie Chappell, 15. 14e-Justin Spoerl, 16. 97-Aaron Berryhill
Second "B" Feature (15 Laps): 1. 29-Travis Rilat, 2. 4c-Mike Chadd, 3. 10a-Ricky Logan, 4. 23-Seth Bergman, 5. 53-Jack Dover, 6. 65-Skip Wilson, 7. 11-Chad Corken, 8. 74e-Claud Estes, 9. 15-Kerry McAlister, 10. 99-Brady Bacon, 11. 13k-Kathryne Minter, 12. 1a-Robby Wolfgang, 13. 85-Jerry Bell, 14. 2-Kenneth Walker, 15. 35-Derrik Ortega. DNS: 7-Darren Long.
Third "B" Feature (15 Laps): 1. 3d-Paul McMahan, 2. e85-Zach Chappell, 3. 21L-Trevor Lewis, 4. 13-Jesse Hockett, 5. 91-Gary Taylor, 6. 3-Mark Shirshekan, 7. 45k-Kolt Walker, 8. 87-Billy Melton, 9. 95-Matt Covington, 10. 12J-Jared Ridge, 11. 9-Brian Parker, 12. 65g-Jordan Goldesberry, 13. 31m-Matt Clevenger, 14. 86-Josh Fisher. DNS: 5m-Glenn Martin.
36th Annual Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals Championship "A" Main Event:
"A" Feature (30 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 57-Shane Stewart, 3. 9x-Gary Wright, 4. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 5. 29-Travis Rilat, 6. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 7. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 8. e85-Zach Chappell, 9. 15s-Nick Smith, 10. 88-Tim Crawley, 11. 94-Danny Wood, 12. 12-Trey Robb, 13. 27-Andy Shouse, 14. 4c-Mike Chadd, 15. 3d-Paul McMahan, 16. 2-Kenneth Walker, 17. 00-Michael Dupuy, 18. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 19. 1-Sean McClelland, 20. 93-Dustin Morgan, 21. 50-Stephanie Chappell, 22. 21-Brian Brown, 23. 22-Koby Barksdale, 24. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr. (Disqualified; weighed in below the minimum required weight after finishing second).
Lap Leaders: Tony Bruce, Jr. 1-11, Shane Stewart 12-13, Tony Bruce, Jr. 14-19, Jason Johnson 20-30.
Note: Stephanie Chappell and Kenneth Walker utilized provisionals based on 2008 owner's points to start the "A" Main.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters Points (Top 15): 1. Shane Stewart 296, 2. Jason Johnson 294, 3. Gary Wright 290, 4. Johnny Herrera 282, 5. (tie) Danny Wood and Nick Smith 260, 7. Paul McMahan 258, 8. (tie) Brian Brown and Eric Baldaccini 248, 10. Michael Dupuy 240, 11. Tony Bruce, Jr. 238, 12. Sean McClelland 232, 13. Mike Chadd 226, 14. Dustin Morgan 222, 15. Travis Rilat 215.