Wayne Wires O'Reilly ASCoT in State Fair Speedway Spring Nationals OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (March 24, 2007) -- Wayne Johnson has had few opportunities to race in front of his hometown crowd in recent years, so the Oklahoma City native made the most...
Wayne Wires O'Reilly ASCoT in State Fair Speedway Spring Nationals
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (March 24, 2007) -- Wayne Johnson has had few opportunities to race in front of his hometown crowd in recent years, so the Oklahoma City native made the most of State Fair Speedway's Spring Nationals finale by wiring the field in Saturday night's 30-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National feature event.
Johnson outgunned current series point leader Gary Wright for the lead at the outset and raced the entire distance virtually unchallenged aboard Mike and Tim Hammers' Wesmar-powered H&H Enterprises/Pearson Farms No. 94 Eagle.
"Beautiful car tonight guys, absolutely great race car," Johnson exclaimed to his team as he climbed out of the mount in victory lane after his second triumph of the season and 22nd career ASCS National Tour victory. "It wasn't that easy, but these guys gave me a car that made it look that way."
Residing in Knoxville, Iowa over the past several years, Wayne commented that, "I raced here in Oklahoma City every week for a long time back in the '80s and early '90s and one thing hasn't changed, the fans here are still great."
Johnson made his way into the evening's Pole Dash by climbing from sixth to second in Brodix Cylinder Heads heat race number one, earning the second highest passing point total for the night behind Aaron Berryhill.
Johnson drew the number one pill and took full advantage by winning the Pole Dash. And aside from one brief period past the midway point of the feature event when Berryhill and Wright closed in, Johnson had the race well in hand.
While Johnson gunned into the lead at the outset, fourth-starter Berryhill battled past Wright for second on the opening round. Johnson's pace was interrupted after five laps when the caution flew for Jason Johnson, who came to a stop off turn four with a cut right rear tire. Jason Johnson's crew changed the tire in short order, with Shane Stewart making a trip to the work area as well under the caution.
Back under way, Wayne Johnson amassed a half straightaway advantage over Berryhill and Wright by the eighth lap. A handful of laps later, Johnson held nearly a straightaway lead as he reached the tail of the field.
Mired behind lapped traffic though, Berryhill and Wright closed to within four car lengths of Johnson by the 18th lap. Johnson then successfully battled past a lapped car to reestablish some breathing room before finding clear track ahead of him when Danny Jennings, who had been on the move early by charging from 17th to seventh in the opening seven circuits, came to a stop in turn four with 22 laps in the books.
It was clear sailing for Johnson the rest of the way. Even when Jason Johnson stopped in turn two with a flat right rear that was rubbing on a kick rail to set up a two-lap dash to the checkered, there was no match for Wayne Johnson.
Berryhill fought off Wright over the closing rounds to claim runner-up honors aboard the Wesmar-powered Americash Advance No. 97 Eagle, with Wright taking the show position in the Wesmar-powered Richwood Construction/Whiteco Commercial Funding No. 9 Maxim, maintaining a 43-point lead over Wayne Johnson in the series $50,000 championship points race.
After starting eleventh, Brian Brown cracked the top five by the tenth round and made his way around Garry Lee Maier for fourth by the midway point. Brown kept Tim and Gina Doogs' Wesmar-powered No. 21x Maxim in fourth the rest of the way, with Rookie of the Year contender Foster Landon rounding out the top five in the Wells-powered Sooner Surplus Sales No. 11F Maxim.
Travis Rilat turned in the race's Hard Charger performance by racing from 16th to sixth, with Maier, 15th-starter Kevin Ramey, 18th-starter Darren Stewart and 19th-starter Joe Wood, Jr. completing the top ten.
Brown, Maier, Chris Schmelzle, B.J. Fay and Johnny Miller topped heat race action. After collecting his first ASCS National Tour heat race win, Canadian racer Schmelzle was forced to the infield with severe engine problems just three laps into the feature.
After starting sixth, Jennings took over the lead for keeps six laps into the first 12-lap "B" Main, with Darren Stewart leading brother Shane Stewart to the stripe in the second "B" Main.
O'Reilly ASCoT State Fair Speedway Spring Nationals Results:
Locked in from Friday's Preliminary Event: 9-Gary Wright, 94s-Natalie Sather, 11F-Foster Landon, X-Chuck Swenson.
Heat Races (Top 12 in passing points to "A" Main; Balance to 2 "B" Mains)
Brodix Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 21x-Brian Brown, 2. 94-Wayne Johnson, 3 41-Jason Johnson, 4. 14x-Shane Stewart, 5. 61J-Danny Jennings, 6 81au-Gavin Punch, 7. 33-Gary Owens, 8. 25-Derek Cottrell.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 2. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 3. 29-Travis Rilat, 4. 91-Darren Stewart, 5. 2-Kenneth Walker, 6. 83s-Larry Neighbors, 7. 71-Keith Rauch, 8. 20-Dusty Ballenger.
Brodix Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 57c-Chris Schmelzle, 2. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 3. 15-Jon Corbin, 4. 22-Koby Barksdale, 5. 2x-Whit Gastineau, 6. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 7. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 8. 43-A.J. Selenke.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 15x-B.J. Fay, 2. 27-Andy Shouse, 3. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 4. 87-Brian McClelland, 5. 5$-Danny Smith, 6. 98-J.D. Johnson, 7. 4am-Travis Jenkins, 8. 92-Mike Sitzmann, Jr.
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 64J-Johnny Miller, 2. 21-Nick Smith, 3. 51-Mike Peters, 4. 94x-Cody Branchcomb, 5. 22b-Ben Gregg, 6. 59-Dex Eaton, 7. 93-Bob Schaeffer, 8. 45-Martin Edwards.
Pole Dash (Four Locked in Drivers from Friday Night and Top 2 in Passing Points from Heat Races; Finishing Order Determines Front Three Rows of "A" Main):
Pole Dash (5 Laps): 1. 94-Wayne Johnson, 2. 9-Gary Wright, 3. 11F-Foster Landon, 4. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 5. 94s-Natalie Sather, 6. X-Chuck Swenson.
"B" Mains -- Top 3 From Each Advance to "A" Main
First "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 61J-Danny Jennings, 2. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 3. 2-Kenneth Walker, 4. 15-Jon Corbin, 5. 83s-Larry Neighbors, 6. 98-J.D. Johnson, 7. 20-Dusty Ballenger, 8. 22-Koby Barksdale, 9. 33-Gary Owens, 10. 92-Mike Sitzmann, Jr., 11. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 12. 93-Bob Schaeffer, 13. 51-Mike Peters. DNS: 71-Keith Rauch.
Second "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 91-Darren Stewart, 2. 14x-Shane Stewart, 3. 87-Brian McClelland, 4. 94x-Cody Branchcomb, 5. 5$-Danny Smith, 6. 2x-Whit Gastineau, 7. 22b-Ben Gregg, 8. 81au-Gavin Punch, 9. 25-Derek Cottrell, 10. 59-Dex Eaton, 11. 4am-Travis Jenkins, 12. 45-Martin Edwards, 13. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 14. 43-A.J. Selenke.
O'Reilly ASCoT State Fair Speedway Spring Nationals "A" Main Event:
"A" Feature (30 Laps): 1. 94-Wayne Johnson, 2. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 3. 9-Gary Wright, 4. 21x-Brian Brown, 5. 11F-Foster Landon, 6. 29-Travis Rilat, 7. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 8. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 9. 91-Darren Stewart, 10. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 11. X-Chuck Swenson, 12. 14x-Shane Stewart, 13. 27-Andy Shouse, 14. 94s-Natalie Sather, 15. 21-Nick Smith, 16. 2-Kenneth Walker, 17. 15x-B.J. Fay, 18. 64J-Johnny Miller, 19. 41-Jason Johnson, 20. 61J-Danny Jennings, 21. 87-Brian McClelland, 22. 57c-Chris Schmelzle.
Lap Leaders: Wayne Johnson 1-30.
O'Reilly ASCoT Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Gary Wright 727, 2. Wayne Johnson 684, 3. Chuck Swenson 654, 4. Darren Stewart 641, 5. Travis Rilat 635, 6. Jason Johnson 613, 7. Foster Landon 559, 8. Garry Lee Maier 520, 9. Andy Shouse 496, 10. Danny Jennings 492, 11. Johnny Miller 480, 12. Nick Smith 466, 13. Kevin Ramey 453, 14. Natalie Sather 451, 15. Chris Schmelzle 424.