ASCoT: Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek preview

Jason Johnson Carries Hot Hand into ASCS Speedweek TULSA, Okla. (July 8, 2008) -- As if Jason Johnson weren't already among the favorites to take the 16th Annual Toyota Tundra ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek championship featuring...

Jason Johnson Carries Hot Hand into ASCS Speedweek

TULSA, Okla. (July 8, 2008) -- As if Jason Johnson weren't already among the favorites to take the 16th Annual Toyota Tundra ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek championship featuring the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series, he added a little more fodder for consideration on Tuesday night with a $6,000 victory in the Ollie's Challenge at Ohio's Eldora Speedway.

Tuesday's triumph at Eldora makes "The Ragin' Cajun" eligible for a $50,000 bonus if he can top the final leg of the Ollie's Challenge in Pennsylvania on August 19.

Johnson's Eldora triumph follows on the heels of a recent spate of O'Reilly ASCoT National victories at Iowa's Knoxville Raceway, South Dakota's Dakota State Fair Speedway and Missouri's Lake Ozark Speedway.

He'll try to keep that momentum rolling through Toyota Tundra ASCS Speedweek, which gets under way Friday night at 67 Texarkana Speedway before moving up the Interstate to Little Rock's I-30 Speedway. Ensuing events take place at Creek County Speedway near Tulsa (July 14), Devil's Bowl Speedway near Dallas (July 17), Oklahoma City's State Fair Speedway (July 18) and Lawton Speedway (July 19).

On Saturday night, Johnson racked up his seventh ASCS National Tour victory of the season at Lake Ozark, closing to within eight points of Gary Wright in the series $50,000 championship points race. No other driver has topped more than two main events with 18 nights of action in the books.

Following his Saturday night score in Missouri, Johnson talked about the upcoming event at Eldora. "I've never won there, we've run second a few times but haven't got that first win yet. But if we can somehow get that Eldora win, I think we'll have a real good chance at that $50,000 bonus because I've got a lot of laps around Williams Grove, that's a place we can win at."

Johnson snared that first Eldora win tonight. But before he can finish out the pursuit of that extra $50,000, he has plenty of business to tend to over the next couple of weeks with the 16th Annual Toyota Tundra ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek.

Johnson and four-time and reigning ASCS National champion Gary Wright of Hooks, TX, are already engaged in a fierce battle for the $50,000 crown. And six nights of Speedweek action at six different tracks throughout Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas could prove pivotal in the final outcome.

Toss in another $5,000 in the form of Toyota Tundra ASCS Speedweek point fund money that a record field of competitors is expected to vie for over the course of the week and the action is certain to be intense. The Toyota Tundra ASCS Speedweek champion will collect an extra $1,200 bonus, with second in points receiving $1,100, third earning $1,000, fourth earning $900 and fifth awarded $800.

Johnson has experienced both ends of the Speedweek luck spectrum in recent years. Two years ago, the Eunice, LA, racer topped five of six feature events to capture his first ASCS Speedweek title. But last year, Johnson missed the cut for the final feature event at Lawton Speedway, which not only cost him any chance at a Speedweek crown but also proved costly in National championship pursuit.

Johnson enters Friday night's Toyota Tundra ASCS Speedweek opener at 67 Texarkana Speedway carrying a streak of 37 consecutive top-ten feature finishes in ASCS National Tour action, just three short of Terry Gray's record of 40 in a row established over a span of races nearly a decade ago from July of 1997 to July of 1998.

Johnson will be just one of at least three past ASCS Speedweek champions pursuing another Speedweek title, with five-time Speedweek king Gary Wright aiming for number six and 2004 Speedweek champion Tim Crawley looking to add a second crown.

A number of other top contenders will be vying for a first Speedweek title, including Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK), Zach Chappell (Talala, OK), Garry Lee Maier (Cimarron, KS), Eric Baldaccini (Keller, TX), Kenneth Walker (Sapulpa, OK), Nick Smith (Broken Arrow, OK), Kathryne Minter (Bedford, TX), Gary Taylor (Sapulpa, OK), Aaron Berryhill (Broken Arrow, OK), Jack Dover (Springfield,NE), Matt Covington (Glenpool, OK), Jason Botsford (Tracy, CA), J.J. Hickle (Quilcene, WA) and Brad Bowden (Hernando, MS) among others.

The Series: O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour (ASCoT)

When & Where:16th Annual Toyota Tundra ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek:

Round One - Friday night, July 11 -- 67 Texarkana Speedway at 7:30 p.m.

Round Two - Saturday night, July 12 -- I-30 Speedway at 7:30 p.m.

Round Three -- Monday night, July 14 -- Creek County Speedway at 7:00 p.m.

Round Four -- Thursday night, July 17 -- Devil's Bowl Speedway at 8:00 p.m.

Round Five -- Friday night, July 18 -- State Fair Speedway at 7:30 p.m.

Round Six -- Saturday night, July 19 -- Lawton Speedway at 8:00 p.m.

-credit: ascs

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Aaron Berryhill , Nick Smith , Wayne Johnson , Gary Taylor , Tim Crawley , Matt Covington , Jason Johnson
Teams Williams