Johnson and Heywood carve through the field
In the final round of the Jumbuck Speedweek that coincided with the tenth round of the World Series Sprintcar Championship Aussiefast Transport/STP pilots Jason Johnson and Brad Heywood both recorded top ten finishes in sensational fashion.
It was the first time that the American had seen the track while Heywood hadn't raced at the historic venue for over 10 years. 27-year-old Johnson qualified eleventh fastest while Heywood was disappointed with his effort placing him 33rd after his 2-lap session.
Heywood showed great form after starting on the front row to run away with both of his heat races while Johnson battled hard in his 10- lap journeys to record a pair of seventh place finishes.
The duo were forced to qualify for the 35-lap A-main event through the sudden death B-Main event for the second round in a row. Starting on the front row they starred in the 15-lap event claiming a one-two finish in dominating fashion.
Both drivers emerged from a multiple car pile up at the start of the A-main unscathed to be just outside the top 10 within a matter of laps. Exiting turn four on the fourth lap a car got all out of shape collecting the wall bringing out the second red light of the event.
Shortly after the restart Johnson made an inside pass on his teammate exiting turn two and was on the move through the field using his familiar high line to perfection. Heywood was also following suit to be placed just outside the top five.
When the red lights were displayed for an upturned car on the back straight crew chief, Dave Ferrall "tightened" Johnson's car up a little while Heywood simply asked for oxygen and a bit viagra for the run home.
Johnson moved into second with 10-laps remaining but was unable to chase down the leader before the finish. Heywood lost his momentum late in the race to finish seventh.
Max Dumesny won the round ahead of Johnson and American Brent Antill. At the completion of Speedweek Dumesny won the Proton Jumbuck with Johnson a close second.
The team transporters are already on the road north to the next round of the Championship in Queensland on Saturday night.
WHAT THE DRIVER'S SAID
"We had trouble coming to terms with the track early which hurt our qualifying time and with a track like the way it was tonight it made things even tougher.
I think the team changed just about everything on the car at least once trying to find the right set up. In the A I think we almost got it right which was pleasing as we seemed to excel as the track came to us.
Right now I feel like I am back in America with an a guy similar to Steve (Kinser) running up front and kicking out young guys butts on night's like this. Then again he has had thousands of laps around this joint."
"To say I was disappointed after the qualifying was an understatement.
The car was really locked down in the heat races and felt real good.
We didn't have the car set up right to suit the last 10-laps in the feature cause I think we seemed to become a little complacent with our set up following the good heat wins and finishing second to Jason in the B.
That makes it another top 10 finish in the Championship and also another Extreme Race Products front wing for the lucky seventh spot."