Jason Johnson Tops Opening Night of 34th Annual Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals MESQUITE, Texas (October 12, 2007) -- Jason Johnson outlasted Gary Wright in a frantic duel through lapped traffic to take victory honors in Friday night's 20-lap...
Jason Johnson Tops Opening Night of 34th Annual Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals
MESQUITE, Texas (October 12, 2007) -- Jason Johnson outlasted Gary Wright in a frantic duel through lapped traffic to take victory honors in Friday night's 20-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series feature event on the opening night of the 34th Annual Devil's Bowl Speedway Winter Nationals.
The victory over Wright marked Johnson's eighth ASCoT National win of the year aboard Lanny Row's Wesmar-powered The Shop Motorsports/Custom Equipment Design No. 41 Eagle and his 16th overall ASCS win of 2007. Johnson also topped the opening leg of last year's Devil's Bowl Winter Nationals.
Johnson and Wright took the checkered flag in front of Wayne Johnson, who charged all the way to third after starting 18th, with polesitter Nick Smith taking the fourth and final lock-in position to Saturday night's Winter Nationals finale.
Jason Johnson originally gridded the feature field outside the second row, but found himself sliding up to the front row after original second-starter Kevin Ramey spun off the top of turn two and into the retaining barrier after contact with Nick Smith in the opening pair of corners.
Following a second waved off start for Justin Zimmerman, who flipped after jumping two rows deep in the field and climbing over the front of Travis Rilat's car, Jason Johnson gunned into the lead and set sail in front of Wright, who originally started sixth, and Smith.
The leaders reached lapped traffic by the sixth round and the battle was on, with Wright making a bid for his 14th series win of the year. Johnson survived a close call three laps later when he and T.J. Winegardner made contact in turn four, with Winegardner spinning to a stop.
Johnson was able to keep his machine going to retain the lead, and held a safe lead over Wright until lapped traffic again came into play in the final handful of rounds. Wright closed in once again and the pair battled fiercely for the point.
Johnson made a pair of critical moves through traffic in the final two circuits to secure the win, with Wright settling for second aboard the Wesmar-powered Whiteco Commercial Funding/Richwood Construction No. 9 Maxim, preserving his points lead as he closes in on a fourth consecutive ASCS National title. While "The Ragin' Cajun" and "The Texan" battled for the point, Oklahoma City's Wayne Johnson was on the move throughout after winning the second of three "B" Mains. Johnson, the 2000 ASCS National champion, had cracked the top ten by the fifth round and climbed to sixth by lap ten.
Johnson was fifth by the 14th lap and then battled past Kenny Adams and Nick Smith in the final circuits to take the show position aboard Mike and Tim Hammers' Wesmar-powered H&H Enterprises No. 94 Eagle.
Oklahoma's Smith took the critical fourth position aboard the Wesmar-powered Sooner Network Solutions No. 15s J&J, with Florida's Adams rounding out the top five in the Don Ott-powered B&W Enterprises No. 4a Shaw.
Illinois shoe Kaley Gharst raced from 14th to sixth, with Nebraska's Jack Dover, Michigan's Dustin Daggett, Washington native Gary Taylor and defending Winter Nationals champion Travis Rilat completing the top ten.
Dover, Wright, Smith, Adams, current ASCS Rebel Region points leader T.J. Winegardner and ASCS Midwest Region champion Natalie Sather topped heat race action for the 50-car field, with Zach Chappell, Wayne Johnson and Justin Zimmerman winning the "B" Mains.
ASCS Northern Plains Region champion Lee Grosz climbed over Robert Byrom and flipped at the start of the first "B" Main for the only tumble of the night. Grosz was uninjured and returned for later action in the ASCS/Wesmar Challenge.
O'Reilly ASCoT Friday Results from the 34th Annual Devil's Bowl Speedway Winter Nationals:
Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points to "A" Main; Balance to 3 "B" Mains):
Brodix Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 53d-Jack Dover, 2. 2m-Dustin Daggett, 3. 65-Skip Wilson, 4. 71T-Chris Tarrant, 5. 50z-Zach Chappell, 6. 99-Justin Melton, 7. 14b-Robert Byrom, 8. 91-Darren Stewart, 9. 53-Joe Beaver.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 9-Gary Wright, 2. 25-Gary Taylor, 3. 94-Wayne Johnson, 4. 31-Brandon Berryman, 5. 22-Koby Barksdale, 6. 12x-Jason Martin, 7. 71-Keith Rauch, 8. 7-Michael Herrington. DNS: 29n-Larry Neighbors.
Brodix Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 15s-Nick Smith, 2. 5x-Dave Glennon, 3. 61J-Danny Jennings, 4. 64J-Johnny Miller, 5. 7J-Justin Zimmerman, 6. 10L-Shane Liebig, 7. 45-Chuck Hebing, 8. 20-Eric Lutz.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 4a-Kenny Adams, 2. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 3. 2-Kenneth Walker, 4. 29-Travis Rilat, 5. 21-Brian Brown, 6. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 7. 1w-George White, 8. 13m-Kathryne Minter.
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 11T-T.J. Winegardner, 2. 41-Jason Johnson, 3. 27-Andy Shouse, 4. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 5. 1s-Trey Robb, 6. 45x-C.J. Johnson, 7. 45w-Kolt Walker. DNS: 9m-Ricky Montgomery.
Heat Six (8 Laps): 1. 94s-Natalie Sather, 2. 11F-Foster Landon, 3. 3*-Kaley Gharst, 4. 31c-Matt Clevenger, 5. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 6. 35-Jared Zimbardi, 7. 18-Lorne Wofford, 8. 4J-Lee Grosz.
Pole Dash (Finishing Order Determines Front Three Rows of "A" Main):
Pole Dash (5 Laps): 1. 15s-Nick Smith, 2. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 3. 2m-Dustin Daggett, 4. 41-Jason Johnson, 5. 53d-Jack Dover, 6. 9-Gary Wright.
"B" Mains (Top 2 From Each Advance to "A" Main):
First "B" Main (10 Laps): 1. 50z-Zach Chappell, 2. 1s-Trey Robb, 3. 27-Andy Shouse, 4. 21-Brian Brown, 5. 64J-Johnny Miller, 6. 12x-Jason Martin, 7. 45w-Kolt Walker, 8. 45x-C.J. Johnson, 9. 14b-Robert Byrom, 10. 4J-Lee Grosz. DNS: 7-Michael Herrington, 9m-Ricky Montgomery.
Second "B" Main (10 Laps): 1. 94-Wayne Johnson, 2. 71T-Chris Tarrant, 3. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 4. 22-Koby Barksdale, 5. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 6. 45-Chuck Hebing, 7. 18-Lorne Wofford, 8. 99-Justin Melton, 9. 53-Joe Beaver, 10. 35-Jared Zimbardi, 11. 20-Eric Lutz.
Third "B" Main (10 Laps): 1. 7J-Justin Zimmerman, 2. 2-Kenneth Walker, 3. 31c-Matt Clevenger, 4. 31-Brandon Berryman, 5. 1w-George White, 6. 71-Keith Rauch, 7. 10L-Shane Liebig, 8. 13m-Kathryne Minter, 9. 91-Darren Stewart. DNS: 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 29n-Larry Neighbors.
O'Reilly ASCoT "A" Main Results from Devil's Bowl Speedway (Top 4 Locked into Saturday's 34th Annual Devil's Bowl Speedway Winter Nationals):
"A" Feature (20 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 9-Gary Wright, 3. 94-Wayne Johnson, 4. 15s-Nick Smith, 5. 4a-Kenny Adams, 6. 3*-Kaley Gharst, 7. 53d-Jack Dover, 8. 2m-Dustin Daggett, 9. 25-Gary Taylor, 10. 29-Travis Rilat, 11. 61J-Danny Jennings, 12. 50z-Zach Chappell, 13. 94s-Natalie Sather, 14. 11F-Foster Landon, 15. 5x-Dave Glennon, 16. 65-Skip Wilson, 17. 1s-Trey Robb, 18. 2-Kenneth Walker, 19. 11T-T.J. Winegardner, 20. 71T-Chris Tarrant, 21. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 22. 7J-Justin Zimmerman.
Lap Leaders: Jason Johnson 1-20.
O'Reilly ASCoT Points (Top Twenty): 1. Gary Wright 4,136, 2. Wayne Johnson 4,066, 3. Jason Johnson 4,026, 4. Travis Rilat 3,842, 5. Foster Landon 3,402, 6. Darren Stewart 2,587, 7. Nick Smith 2,150, 8. Eric Baldaccini 1,776, 9. Andy Shouse 1,634, 10. Johnny Miller 1,502.