Jason Johnson tonight took his Aussiefast Transport/STP Eagle to victory lane for the first time in the World Series Sprintcar Championship when he captured the second round of the Proton Jumbuck Series at Murray Bridge Speedway.
After qualifying 8th fastest the American used his hard charging style on a dry dusty surface during the heat races to be 3rd highest in points. His Craft Disbury Racing team mate Brad Heywood timed just outside the top ten but endured a couple of incidents in his heat races forcing him to transfer through the B-Main.
Starting from the inside of the third row of the 15-lap B-Main event Heywood, the former World Series Champion, carved his way to the front to take out the event showing true form of what the experienced 46-year-old is capable of.
Johnson won the his dash race in convincing fashion for the second night running to claim pole position for the all important 35-lap A-Main, setting a new track record in the process.
The Louisiana native got the jump heading into turn one at the start of the A-Main and immediately began to distance himself from the field. Within five laps Johnson was on the tail of the back markers allowing the second placed runner to narrow the gap. Heywood meanwhile had moved up several spots to be just outside the top 10.
Just after half race distance Johnson had his heart in his mouth when lapped car spun in right in front of the him. Johnson literally missed him by inches as he roared past the spinning machine.
From the ensuing restart Johnson again asserted his dominance on the field and had a 10-car lead when he caught lapped traffic with under 10-laps remaining. Exiting turn two on lap 31 Heywood was left with nowhere to go when a car in front of him spun causing front end damage to Heywood's car and effectively ending his event early.
With only a handful of laps remaining Johnson was able to drive his own race to cross the line 8-car lengths ahead of Luke Dillon who finished second ahead of Shane Stewart who was followed by Max Dumesny and Robbie Farr.
Johnson victory elevates him into second place in the race for the Proton Jumbuck that will be awarded to the winner of the Jumbuck Speedweek.
The team have already travelled in the World Series Sprintcar Championship convey to South Australia's South East where the next round will be held tomorrow night at Borderline Speedway in Mount Gambier.
WHAT THE DRIVER'S SAID
"It was a good night. We really needed it.
Dave, Bazz, Craig and team has worked so hard to be up the front and finally we have broken through for a win after coming so close recently. I'd like to especially thank the Disbury family who have been great to me since the day I got into Australia.
I'd also like to thank the sponsors of the team, Aussiefast, STP, GT Bobcat, Sealants and Pavement Adhesives and everyone else who is a part of the team. Also Sean from Gotta Getta Gutter but I think the GGG for Gotta Getta Gutter should now stand for Gotta Get Guts.
"I am disappointed with the way it all ended up.
I had a shocker of a run in one of my heats which sort of put me down the points a bit but we continued to battle on through the B.
The car is fast, as I showed in the B-Main but it all turned out to nought when I got into trouble in the final few laps of the A. We just have to keep our heads up and keep fighting on. If winning was easy everyone would be doing it."