Wayne Johnson Jams to O'Reilly ASCoT Win at Devil's Bowl MESQUITE, Tex. (March 16, 2007) -- Oklahoma's Wayne Johnson is no stranger to victory lane in O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National competition. It's just that it had...
Wayne Johnson Jams to O'Reilly ASCoT Win at Devil's Bowl
MESQUITE, Tex. (March 16, 2007) -- Oklahoma's Wayne Johnson is no stranger to victory lane in O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National competition. It's just that it had been a while prior to Friday night's 34th Annual Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals preliminary event.
The fifth winningest driver in series history with 20 triumphs, Johnson added victory number 21 by racing to victory lane in Friday's 20-lap preliminary feature event aboard the Wesmar-powered H&H Enterprises/Pearson Farms No. 94 Eagle. It marked Johnson's first ASCS National Tour feature victory since October 4, 2002, which also came at Devil's Bowl Speedway. The triumph also marked the first in series competition for car owners Tim and Mike Hammers.
"I've got to thank these guys (Hammers) for letting me drive this car and I'm happy to get them their first ASCS win," Johnson explained in victory lane. "It got tough in lapped traffic, those lapped cars were fast too and it was hard to get by 'em. Then I looked up and saw that No. 9 in second place (Gary Wright), my hat's off to him because he came from a few rows back."
After earning the pole position by virtue of winning the Pole Dash, Johnson posted the win in wire-to-wire fashion. While Johnson led all 20 rounds, there were some tense moments in lapped traffic with Wright and Darren Stewart nipping at Johnson's heels, only to have a timely caution give Johnson clear track for the final rounds.
Johnson ultimately took the checkered flag in front of Wright, with the South Dakota duo of Jake Peters and Chuck Swenson snaring the final two lock-in positions to Saturday night's 34th Annual Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals finale.
Johnson outgunned fellow front row starter Stewart for the point at the drop of the green flag, with Peters and George White giving chase as Wright battled forward from his seventh starting position.
The pace was interrupted after just two laps when Rookie of the Year contender Chris Schmelzle of Victoria, British Columbia went for a wild ride entering turn one. Schmelzle was uninjured but done for the night.
Back under way, Johnson and Stewart paced the field with White and Wright advancing to third and fourth on the sixth round when Peters slipped in turn two. Wright then raced around White for third just after the midway point as the leaders began working lapped traffic. Stewart and Wright closed in on Johnson's tailtank, with Wright charging underneath Stewart exiting turn two on the 15th lap to snare second with his sights set on the leader. But Wright's move was negated when fourth-running White sailed off the top of turn four in spectacular fashion and crashed into some track equipment. White was uninjured.
Stewart reclaimed the runner-up position on the restart, only to have Wright battle back into second exiting turn four on the 16th lap. Stewart's strong run came to a premature end a half-lap later when he slipped off the turn two banking and flipped after slapping the backstretch wall. Stewart was uninjured as well.
Set for a four-lap dash to the checkered, Johnson kept Wright at bay to secure the win with Wright settling for second aboard the Wesmar-powered Richwood Construction/Whiteco Commercial Funding No. 9 Maxim.
Peters climbed to third in the Weseman-powered Folkens Brothers Trucking No. 57x Schnee, with reigning ASCS Northern Plains Region champion Swenson advancing four positions to snare fourth in the Fisher-powered K&C Conversions No. X Maxim.
After starting ninth, Larry Neighbors rounded out the top five in Roger Leesekamp's No. 83s, with Matt Clevenger advancing from 11th to post a strong sixth after sitting out most of the 2006 season. Jason Johnson earned the Hard Charger award by racing from 21st to seventh, with Travis Rilat enjoying a strong run as well by climbing from 20th to eighth.JJ.D. Johnson raced from 15th to ninth, with Garry Lee Maier completing the top ten.
Danny Jennings, Johnny Miller, White, Peters, Brian Brown and Swenson topped heat race action for Friday night's 45-car field. Jennings scratched from the Pole Dash with engine and rear end problems but was able to make the call for the feature. Miller held down the fifth position in the feature but was unable to refire after the lap 15 red flag for White. Brown burnt a piston while winning his heat race and was forced to scratch from the feature.
Kevin Ramey led the opening seven circuits of the fourth heat race only to suffer rear end failure as the white flag flew. Mired deep in a "B" Main grid, defending Spring Nationals king Ramey was only able to climb to sixth.
Reigning ASCS Midwest Region champion Toby Chapman aced the first "B" Main before racing to 13th in the feature, with Nick Smith besting the second "B" Main. Smith made an early exit from the feature.
O'Reilly ASCoT 34th Annual Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals Preliminary Event Results:
Heat Races (Top 16 in passing points to "A" Main; Balance to 2 "B" Mains)
Brodix Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 61J-Danny Jennings, 2. 91-Darren Stewart, 3. 94-Wayne Johnson, 4. R19-Scott Winters, 5. 53-Jack Dover, 6. 14-Michael Lang, 7. 7h-Rob Hartman, 8. 1x-Matt Linder.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 64J-Johnny Miller, 2. 81au-Gavin Punch, 3. 27-Andy Shouse, 4. 41-Jason Johnson, 5. 11F-Foster Landon, 6. 18-Lorne Wofford, 7. 25-Derek Cottrell, 8. 97-Aaron Berryhill.
Brodix Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 1s-George White, 2. 9-Gary Wright, 3. 65-Skip Wilson, 4. 21-Nick Smith, 5. 29-Travis Rilat, 6. 43-A.J. Selenke, 7. 6-Justin Spoerl, 8. 2h-Mason Hill.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 57x-Jake Peters, 2. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 3. 83s-Larry Neighbors, 4. 84-Toby Chapman, 5. 10-Jeff Mitrisin, 6. 2-Neil Stevens, 7. 7m-Kevin Ramey.
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 21x-Brian Brown, 2. 31c-Matt Clevenger, 3. 35-Brad Best, 4. 4-Mike Chadd, 5. 22-Koby Barksdale. DNS: 14e-Todd Evans, 31-Mark Pace.
Heat Six (8 Laps): 1. X-Chuck Swenson, 2. 57c-Chris Schmelzle, 3. 98-J.D. Johnson, 4. 94x-Cody Branchcomb, 5. 94s-Natalie Sather, 6. 13m-Kathryne Minter, 7. 14b-Robert Byrom.
Pole Dash (Top 6 in Passing Points from Heat Races; Finishing Order Determines Front Three Rows of "A" Main):
Pole Dash (5 Laps): 1. 94-Wayne Johnson, 2. 91-Darren Stewart, 3. 57x-Jake Peters, 4. 64J-Johnny Miller, 5. 1s-George White. DNS: 61J-Danny Jennings.
"B" Mains -- Top 2 From Each Advance to "A" Main
First "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 84-Toby Chapman, 2. 65-Skip Wilson, 3. 41-Jason Johnson, 4. R19-Scott Winters, 5. 11F-Foster Landon, 6. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 7. 10-Jeff Mitrisin, 8. 2h-Mason Hill, 9. 13m-Kathryne Minter, 10. 1x-Matt Linder, 11. 14-Michael Lang, 12. 43-A.J. Selenke, 13. 7h-Rob Hartman. DNS: 94x-Cody Branchcomb, 31-Mark Pace.
Second "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 21-Nick Smith, 2. 29-Travis Rilat, 3. 53-Jack Dover, 4. 4-Mike Chadd, 5. 18-Lorne Wofford, 6. 94s-Natalie Sather, 7. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 8. 6-Justin Spoerl, 9. 25-Derek Cottrell, 10. 14b-Robert Byrom, 11. 35-Brad Best, 12. 2-Neil Stevens. DNS: 22-Koby Barksdale, 14e-Todd Evans.
O'Reilly ASCoT "A" Main Event:
"A" Feature (20 Laps): 1. 94-Wayne Johnson, 2. 9-Gary Wright, 3. 57x-Jake Peters, 4. X-Chuck Swenson, 5. 83s-Larry Neighbors, 6. 31c-Matt Clevenger, 7. 41-Jason Johnson, 8. 29-Travis Rilat, 9. 98-J.D. Johnson, 10. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 11. 65-Skip Wilson, 12. 53-Jack Dover, 13. 84-Toby Chapman, 14. 27-Andy Shouse, 15. 91-Darren Stewart, 16. 1s-George White, 17. 64J-Johnny Miller, 18. 61J-Danny Jennings, 19. 81au-Gavin Punch, 20. 21-Nick Smith, 21. 57c-Chris Schmelzle, 22. 21x-Brian Brown.
Lap Leaders: Wayne Johnson 1-20.
Note: Brian Brown scratched from the "A" Main with engine problems.
O'Reilly ASCoT Points (Top Ten): 1. Gary Wright 293, 2. Wayne Johnson 268, 3. Travis Rilat 245, 4. Chuck Swenson 240, 5. Darren Stewart 235, 6. Jason Johnson 223, 7. Nick Smith 196, 8. Chris Schmelzle 168, 9. Foster Landon 163, 10. Jake Peters 144.