Wayne Johnson Tops O'Reilly Sprint Bandits Tulsa Tussle TULSA, Okla. (July 5, 2004) - Oklahoma City's Wayne Johnson held off a surging Gary Wright to top Monday night's 30-lap O'Reilly Sprint Bandits feature before a crowd of 3,400,...
Wayne Johnson Tops O'Reilly Sprint Bandits Tulsa Tussle
TULSA, Okla. (July 5, 2004) - Oklahoma City's Wayne Johnson held off a surging Gary Wright to top Monday night's 30-lap O'Reilly Sprint Bandits feature before a crowd of 3,400, the largest throng to attend Tulsa Speedway in at least three years.
While Johnson led in wire-to-wire fashion, his first Sprint Bandits triumph didn't come easy. Series point leader Shane Stewart applied early pressure, then Gary Wright made a charge on the final round that fell a car-length short as the checkered flag flew on Johnson's FATTFRO Motorsports No. 14aj Eagle.
"I kinda shut the door on him (Wright) there at the end, I knew he was comin'," Johnson commented in victory lane. "Since we were leading, we were kind of afraid to really change much on that red flag. I knew Gary would probably make some changes so that he could run the top and that's what he did. Luckily, we were able to hold him off just long enough."
"This really is a pretty special win, we used to run a lot of weekly stuff here," Johnson continued. "The fans here are great, it's really a shame they don't get to see sprints run here much any more. It's great to see that so many people turned out tonight. This is a big win for us."
Johnson accumulated the most points through Classic Trailers heat race and qualifying race action to earn the pole position for the 25-car main event, with local shoe Aaron Berryhill alongside on the front row.
Johnson jumped into the early lead ahead of Berryhill, with fifth-starter Stewart quickly moving into third. After slipping from fourth to fifth on the opening round, Wright regained the fourth position by the fifth lap.
Action was interrupted after nine rounds when Brett Thompson looped his machine turn three. On the ensuing restart, seventh-runner Darren Stewart suffered a broken throttle linkage and spun to a halt against the front stretch wall entering turn one after contact from behind.
Two rounds later, Berryhill surrendered the runner-up slot when he tipped over in turn four. With only minor wing damage, Berryhill returned to action. At the same time, top-ten contenders Zach Chappell and Nick Smith both suffered damage when traffic stacked up exiting turn two. Smith was forced pitside, while Chappell would return after quick repairs.
On the ensuing restart, Knoxville Raceway ace Terry McCarl, who had already raced into fifth after starting 13th, was sent to the rear of the field when he hit the frontstretch cone.
Back under way, Johnson had his hands full holding off Stewart for the lead, with Wright a close third in front of Jason Johnson, Jamie Passmore and Foster Landon. Landon would then bring out the caution after 14 rounds when brake failure precipitated a turn two spin.
Wright charged past Stewart for second on the lap 15 restart and was pressuring Johnson for the point when the red flag flew with 19 laps in the books for Berryhill's second flip of the feature, this one in turn two. Berryhill was uninjured but done for the night.
Set for an eleven-lap dash to the checkered flag, Johnson set a rapid pace running the low groove, with Wright testing the waters up high. Lapped traffic came into play in the final rounds, but Johnson successfully navigated through it, keeping Wright at bay.
As the white flag flew, Wright made charge on the high side in turns one and two, only to have Johnson slide high exiting the corner to block Wright's charge. Wright made one last attempt to snare his second Sprint Bandits feature win of the season in the final two corners, but Johnson beat the veteran shoe to the line by the narrowest of margins to secure the win.
Shane Stewart preserved his series point lead by holding off Jason Johnson to snare the show position, with Australian Troy Little charging from 15th to round out the top five.
Travis Rilat raced from the 25th starting slot to claim sixth, while McCarl recovered from his early miscue to salvage a seventh-place run. Passmore crossed the stripe in eighth, with Chappell edging Jason Martin at the line for ninth.
Nick Smith, Martin and Berryhill kicked off the evening by topping the Classic Trailers heat races, with Jason Johnson, Wayne Johnson and Jamie Passmore topping qualifying race action.
O'Reilly Sprint Bandits Results:
First Classic Trailers Heat (8 Laps): 1. #15s Nick Smith, 2. #14aj Wayne Johnson, 3. #91 Darren Stewart, 4. #45x C.J. Johnson, 5. #3J Joel Howard, 6. #80 Brett Thompson, 7. #18 Tony Bruce, Jr., 8. #61 Earnest Jennings.
Second Classic Trailers Heat (8 Laps): 1. #36 Jason Martin, 2. #14 Sean Walden, 3. #50z Zach Chappell, 4. #20au Troy Little, 5. #11f Foster Landon, 6. #1 Sean McClelland, 7. #75 Kevin Battles. DNS: #61J Danny Jennings.
Third Classic Trailers Heat (8 Laps): 1. #97 Aaron Berryhill, 2. #24 Terry McCarl, 3. #4m Shane Stewart, 4. #9 Gary Wright, 5. #60 Colin Northway, 6. #50d Jason Johnson, 7. #4 Jamie Passmore, 8. #24x Kevin Risley, 9. #29 Travis Rilat.
First Qualifying Race (8 Laps): 1. #50d Jason Johnson, 2. #9 Gary Wright, 3. #11f Foster Landon, 4. #61J Danny Jennings, 5. #91 Darren Stewart, 6. #18 Tony Bruce, Jr., 7. #24 Terry McCarl, 8. #61 Earnest Jennings, 9. #36 Jason Martin.
Second Qualifying Race (8 Laps): 1. #14aj Wayne Johnson, 2. #50z Zach Chappell, 3. #97 Aaron Berryhill, 4. #24x Kevin Risley, 5. #80 Brett Thompson, 6. #20au Troy Little, 7. #3J Joel Howard, 8. #75 Kevin Battles.
Third Qualifying Race (8 Laps): 1. #4 Jamie Passmore, 2. #4m Shane Stewart, 3. #60 Colin Northway, 4. #1 Sean McClelland, 5. #15s Nick Smith, 6. #14 Sean Walden, 7. #45x C.J. Johnson, 8. #29 Travis Rilat.
A Feature (30 Laps - Starting position in parentheses): 1. #14aj Wayne Johnson (1), 2. #9 Gary Wright (4), 3. #4m Shane Stewart (5), 4. #50d Jason Johnson (6), 5. #20au Troy Little (15), 6. #29 Travis Rilat (25), 7. #24 Terry McCarl (13), 8. #4 Jamie Passmore (10), 9. #50z Zach Chappell (3), 10. #36 Jason Martin (14), 11. #61J Danny Jennings (19), 12. #1 Sean McClelland (16), 13. #45x C.J. Johnson (18), 14. #24x Kevin Risley (20), 15. #14 Sean Walden (12), 16. #3J Joel Howard (21), 17. #80 Brett Thompson (17), 18. #11f Foster Landon (9), 19. #97 Aaron Berryhill (2), 20. #61 Earnest Jennings (24), 21. #60 Colin Northway (11), 22. #18 Tony Bruce, Jr. (22), 23. #15s Nick Smith (8), 24. #91 Darren Stewart (7), 25. #75 Kevin Battles (23).
Lap Leaders: Wayne Johnson 1-30.
O'Reilly Sprint Bandits Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Shane Stewart 1,106, 2. Travis Rilat 1,068, 3. Danny Jennings 1,038, 4. Zach Chappell 1,018, 5. Jason Martin 970, 6. Aaron Berryhill 952, 7. Foster Landon 939, 8. Wayne Johnson 874, 9. Terry McCarl 786, 10. Colin Northway 779, 11. Jason Johnson 656, 12. Gary Wright 652, 13. Nick Smith 606, 14. Sean Walden 588, 15. Tony Bruce, Jr. 547.