Jason Johnson Takes O'Reilly ASCoT Honors in OKC's Spring Nationals Finale! Jason Johnson became this year's first repeat winner in O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series action by earning a hard-fought victory in Saturday night's...
Jason Johnson Takes O'Reilly ASCoT Honors in OKC's Spring Nationals Finale!
Jason Johnson became this year's first repeat winner in O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series action by earning a hard-fought victory in Saturday night's 30-lap Spring Nationals championship main event at State Fair Speedway.
In the series seventh feature event of 2008, Johnson outdueled Daryn Pittman over the middle portion of the race and then withstood late pressure from Friday night winner Danny Lasoski and four-time series champion Gary Wright to snare his second win of the year aboard Lanny Row's Wesmar-powered The Shop Motorsports/Custom Equipment Design No. 41. Eagle.
"I knew someone was back there, but I wasn't sure who it was," Johnson explained after his 30th career ASCS National Tour feature win.
After trading the point with Pittman several times between the eighth and twelfth laps, the feature event's only caution after a dozen rounds may have proven to be a saving grace for "The Ragin' Cajun".
"I got a little too excited there and about overheated my left rear tire because we got to racing so hard," Johnson explained. "I settled down under that caution and the tire cooled down too. They were still on me at the end, I was just trying to hold on to the win."
Pittman kept up the chase most of the way and was poised to make a run for the lead when he clipped an infield with less than four laps to go. Pittman wrestled his damaged machine the rest of the way, slipping to ninth. "That's about par for the course," the dejected Pittman commented afterward. "We hit that tire, don't know how we didn't wreck. Couldn't hardly drive it after that."
Johnson and Pittman drew the front row for the feature event, setting the stage for the battle that was to follow. Starting from the pole position, Johnson gunned into the lead at the outset and paced the opening rounds in front of Pittman, third-starter Wright and fifth-starter Lasoski.
Pittman began turning up the heat after a handful of laps and shot underneath Johnson for the lead entering turn one on the eighth lap.
"Daryn kinda' showed me the bottom side of the track getting into one, and that also helped me figure out how to diamond off the bottom of two to get a good run," Johnson later explained.
Racing through traffic, Pittman held off Johnson for a pair of laps until Johnson used that move off the bottom of turn two to recapture the lead on the eleventh lap. With a couple of other mid-lap lead changes taking place along the way, action was interrupted when Josh Higday spun to a stop in turn three with twelve laps in the books.
Johnson and Pittman led the way on the restart in front of Lasoski, who had worked his way past Wright for third. With the leaders sticking to the low side of the racetrack, Pittman began picking up the pace in the final ten laps as Lasoski began working the top side of turns one and two to challenge for second.
Pittman closed in on Johnson and just as he was ready to make his move, the slightest contact with an infield tire derailed his run as Lasoski and Wright charged by on either side. Lasoski, Wright and a surging Hafertepe picked up the pursuit but were unable to chase down Johnson, as he took his second State Fair Speedway Spring Nationals checkered flag by two-car lengths over Lasoski's Kistler-powered American Compressed Steel No. 5 JEI.
Wright extended his current series point lead by taking the show position, his 20th consecutive top-five finish in ASCS National Tour feature action, aboard the Wright-Cooper Motorsports Wesmar-powered Richwood Construction No. 9 Maxim.
After gridding the field in 12th, Hafertepe had climbed to sixth by the lap 12 caution and briefly slipped around Wright for position on the 24th lap before settling for fourth in the G-H Plumbing No. 15. "I got around Gary and decided to try his line, that was a mistake," Hafertepe surmised.
Jason Sides raced from 14th to round out the top five in his No. 7s Maxim, with Garry Lee Maier crossing the stripe in sixth. Leading Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Eric Baldaccini posted his best career ASCS National Tour feature finish by taking the checkered flag in seventh, with 17th-starter Brian Brown slipping past Pittman on the final lap to snare eighth. Wayne Johnson climbed from 20th to complete the top ten.
Jack Dover, Koby Barksdale, Higday, Gary Taylor, Dustin Morgan and Hafertepe topped heat race action, with Brown, Travis Rilat and Zach Chappell winning the "B" Mains.
O'Reilly ASCoT State Fair Speedway Spring Nationals Finale Results:
Locked in from Friday's Preliminary Event:
5-Danny Lasoski, 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 21T-Daryn Pittman, 41-Jason Johnson.
Heat Races (Top 12 in passing points to "A" Main; Balance to 3 "B" Mains)
Brodix Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 53-Jack Dover, 2. 51-Foster Landon, 3. 15s-Nick Smith, 4. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 5. 4J-Jamie Passmore, 6. 28-Chris Lloyd, 7. 95-Matt Covington, 8. 71-Chris Tarrant.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 43x-Koby Barksdale, 2. 22-Billy Alley, 3. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 4. 21-Brian Brown, 5. 92-Mike Sitzmann, Jr., 6. 94s-Natalie Sather, 7. 1p-Curtis Evans, 8. 24-Terry McCarl.
Brodix Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 2x-Josh Higday, 2. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 3. 86-Josh Fisher, 4. 15k-Kerry McAlister, 5. 1-Derek Drown, 6. 25-Robert Sellers, 7. 20s-Sheldon Barksdale.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 5*-Gary Taylor, 2. 7s-Jason Sides, 3. 29-Travis Rilat, 4. 91-Don Droud, Jr., 5. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 6. 81au-Gavin Punch, 7. 77-Colt Treharn.
Heat Five (8 Laps): q. 8h-Dustin Morgan, 2. 9-Gary Wright, 3. 43-A.J. Selenke, 4. 50z-Zach Chappell, 5. 87-Brian McClelland, 6. 13-Kathryne Minter, 7. 10-Eric VanderPloeg.
Heat Six (8 Laps): 1. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 2. 27-Andy Shouse, 3 . 94-Wayne Johnson, 4. 2-Kenneth Walker, 5. 61J-Danny Jennings, 6. . 45x-C.J Johnson, 7. 5$-Danny Smith .
"B" Mains -- Top 2 From Each Advance to "A" Main
First "B" Feature (10 Laps): 1. 21-Brian Brown, 2. 94-Wayne Johnson, 3. 86-Josh Fisher, 4. 15k-Kerry McAlister, 5. 87-Brian McClelland, 6. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 7. 95-Matt Covington, 8. 81au-Gavin Punch, 9. 77-Colt Treharn, 10. 43-A.J. Selenke, 11. 71-Chris Tarrant.
Second "B" Feature (10 Laps): 1. 29-Travis Rilat, 2. 91-Don Droud, Jr., 3. 4J-Jamie Passmore, 4. 2-Kenneth Walker, 5. 15s-Nick Smith, 6. 28-Chris Lloyd, 7. 25-Robert Sellers, 8. 13-Kathryne Minter, 9. 1p-Curtis Evans, 10. 24-Terry McCarl. DNS: 10-Eric VanderPloeg.
Third "B" Feature (10 Laps): 1. 50z-Zach Chappell, 2. 27-Andy Shouse, 3. 61J-Danny Jennings, 4. 92-Mike Sitzmann, Jr., 5. 1-Derek Drown, 6. 45x-C.J. Johnson, 7. 20s-Sheldon Barksdale, 8. 5$-Danny Smith, 9. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 10. 94s-Natalie Sather.
O'Reilly ASCoT "A" Main Event:
"A" Feature (30 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 5-Danny Lasoski, 3. 9-Gary Wright, 4. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 5. 7s-Jason Sides, 6. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 7. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 8. 21-Brian Brown, 9. 21T-Daryn Pittman, 10. 94-Wayne Johnson, 11. 53-Jack Dover, 12. 29-Travis Rilat, 13. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 14. 50z-Zach Chappell, 15. 2-Kenneth Walker, 16. 5*-Gary Taylor, 17. 51-Foster Landon, 18. 43x-Koby Barksdale, 19. 91-Don Droud, Jr., 20. 22-Billy Alley, 21. 15s-Nick Smith, 22. 27-Andy Shouse, 23. 2x-Josh Higday, 24. 8h-Dustin Morgan.
Lap Leaders: Jason Johnson 1-7, Daryn Pittman 8-10, Jason Johnson 11-30.
Note: Nick Smith and Kenneth Walker utilized provisionals to start the "A" Main.
O'Reilly ASCoT Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Gary Wright 723, 2. Wayne Johnson 677, 3. Jason Johnson 645, 4. Jason Sides 614, 5. Garry Lee Maier 595, 6. Eric Baldaccini 584, 7. Zach Chappell 573, 8. Travis Rilat 546, 9. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 522, 10. Don Droud, Jr. 496, 11. Jack Dover 475, 12. Brian Brown 453, 13. Nick Smith 416, 14. Aaron Berryhill 410, 15. Kenneth Walker 408.