Jason Johnson Tops ASCS Knoxville Nationals Opener KNOXVILLE, Iowa (July 31, 2008) -- Louisiana's Jason Johnson opened up the 18th Annual ASCS Knoxville Nationals in familiar fashion by racing to victory lane in Thursday night's...
Jason Johnson Tops ASCS Knoxville Nationals Opener
KNOXVILLE, Iowa (July 31, 2008) -- Louisiana's Jason Johnson opened up the 18th Annual ASCS Knoxville Nationals in familiar fashion by racing to victory lane in Thursday night's 20-lap preliminary feature event atop the 0x00bd-mile Knoxville Raceway clay oval.
Starting from the second row outside, the current O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National points leader muscled into the lead on the opening circuit and paced the field throughout en route to his tenth series win of the season, with Billy Alley, Travis Rilat, Tyler Walker and Zach Chappell rounding out the top five.
"We were standing right here about a month ago," Johnson explained in reference to his ASCS National Tour triumph at Knoxville Raceway on June 20. "And this is where we want to be Saturday night," as Johnson guns for his the top prize in Saturday night's $10,000 to win ASCS Knoxville Nationals finale.
While 20-year-old Missouri shoe Jonathan Cornell and two-time ASCS Knoxville Nationals champion Billy Alley of Lincoln, NE, led the 24-car feature field to the green flag, it was Jason Johnson making it a three-wide race off of turn two on the opening round for the lead.
Alley led the way down the backstretch, but "The Ragin' Cajun" slid ahead of Alley exiting turn four to take command for keeps aboard Lanny Row's Wesmar-powered The Shop Motorsports/Custom Equipment Design No. 41 Eagle.
Johnson stretched out a half straightaway advantage over the initial handful of laps and maintained his advantage as lapped traffic came into play at the midway point.
"The main thing I was concerned about was making sure I didn't get my left rear tire too hot and blister it," Johnson explained.
The fast-paced affair was interrupted just once, with the caution flying three laps shy of the checkered flag when Bronson Maeschen came to stop on the frontstretch minus a right rear tire. Maeschen had a perfect night in progress before the feature started after setting a quick time of 16.320 seconds among the 50-car field and then winning his heat race.
Johnson broke away from the field on the final restart, charging to the checkered flag with a 1.707-second advantage.
"My crew is doing such a great job right now, they're making my job awful easy," Johnson commented.
Climbing from fifth, Travis Rilat took second away from Billy Alley on the fifth lap and tried unsuccessfully to chase down the leader. Rilat held the position until the final corner, when Alley slid back around the Texas racer to snare runner-up honors with Rilat settling for third.
Cornell held down the fourth position until the experienced trio of Tyler Walker, Terry McCarl and Zach Chappell go the better of him on the lap 18 restart. Walker crossed the stripe in the fourth position, while Chappell battled past McCarl on the final lap to round out the top five.
McCarl was sixth, with Cornell, Jonathan Allard, 24th-starter Scott Winters and 17th-starter Jake Peters completing the top ten.
Maeschen set quick time and then won the opening heat with ensuing heat races won by Cornell, Lee Sowell, Rilat and Johnson.
Cody Petersen won the "C" Main, with Gary Taylor prevailing in an early duel with Ricky Montgomery to win the 12-lap "B" Main.
Washington's Jared Petersen flipped during his qualifying effort and was done for the night.
18th Annual ASCS Knoxville Nationals Thursday Night Preliminary Results:
1. 96-Bronson Maeschen (Pleasantville, IA) 16.320, 2. 24T-Tyler Walker (Los Angeles, CA) 16.341, 3. 0-Jonathan Allard (Chico, CA) 16.362, 4. 29T-Travis Rilat (Forney, TX) 16.393, 5. 41-Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA) 16.422, 6. 5*-Gary Taylor (Sapulpa, OK) 16.472, 7. 9m-Ricky Montgomery (Lakewood, CO) 16.477, 8. 29n-Larry Neighbors (Oklahoma City, OK) 16.560, 9. 10x-George White (Fort Worth, TX) 16.588, 10. 1m-Terry McCarl (Altoona, IA) 16.599, 11. 22-Billy Alley (Lincoln, NE) 16.609, 12. 28-Jonathan Cornell (Sedalia, MO) 16.647, 13. 53-Joe Beaver (Knoxville, IA) 16.648, 14. 39c-Jason Solwold (Burlington, WA) 16.684, 15. 00m-Danny Martin, Jr. (Sarasota, FL) 16.689, 16. 14-Randy Martin (California, MO) 16.707, 17. 23w-Scott Winters (Butterfield, MN) 16.735, 18. 4-Jon Agan (Knoxville, IA) 16.748, 19. 50z-Zach Chappell (Talala, OK) 16.764, 20. 4J-Lee Grosz (Harwood, ND) 16.781, 21. 4L-Brock Lemley (Bellingham, WA) 16.784, 22. 72-Glenn Borden (Raymond, WA) 16.786, 23. 51s-Lee Sowell (Nesbit, MS) 16.789, 24. 29-Russ Hall (Des Moines, IA) 16.799, 25. 11L-Larry Pinegar (Des Moines, IA) 16.799, 26. 7-Dustin Selvage (Indianola, IA) 16.809, 27. 57x-Jake Peters (Sioux Falls, SD) 16.865, 28. 7a-J.J. Hickle (Quilcene, WA) 16.870, 29. k9-Tim Sernett (Burnsville, MN) 16.877, 30. 19T-Matt Tiffany (Daytona Beach, FL) 16.893, 31. Y2-Mike Houseman, Jr. (Des Moines, IA) 16.896, 32. 98r-Joe Ramaker (Choteau, MT) 16.897, 33. 22n-Nate Mosher (Prairie City, IA) 16.906, 34. 16p-Cody Petersen (Hermosa, SD) 16.911, 35. 26J-Jon Corbin (Kansas City, MO) 16.947, 36. 91-Derek Ingalls (Snohomish, WA) 16.965, 37. 9s-Scott Lehman (Hutchinson, KS) 16.997, 38. 10-Jeff Mitrisin (Oskaloosa, IA) 16.998, 39. 99v-Gordy Vogelaar (Worthington, MN) 17.050, 40. 75-Don Young (Bartlett, TN) 17.069, 41. 6-Danny Heskin (St. Michael, MN) 17.075, 42. 21b-D.J. Brink (Sturgis, SD) 17.184, 43. 85-Jerry Bell (Garland, TX) 17.189, 44. 2k-Kevin Ingle (Huron, SD) 17.353, 45. 24J-Justin Carver (Memphis, TN) 17.890, 46. 5ma-Mallory Armfield (St. Joseph, MO) 18.626, 47. 9p-Jared Peterson (Stanwood, WA) NT. Disqualified (Illegal tire): 9a-Steve Dyer (Vancouver, BC) 17.195, 2h-Jason Eckard (Okoboji, IA) 17.406, 5k-Kyle McCutcheon (Alamogordo, NM).
Heat Races (Top 4 Advance to "A" Main; Positions 5-8 to "B" Main; Positions 9-10 to "C" Main)
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 96-Bronson Maeschen, 2. 22-Billy Alley, 3. 7-Dustin Selvage, 4. 14-Randy Martin, 5. 5*-Gary Taylor, 6. 4L-Brock Lemley, 7. 91-Derek Ingalls, 8. 6-Danny Heskin, 9. 5ma-Mallory Armfield.JDNS: Y2-Mike Houseman, Jr.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 28-Jonathan Cornell, 2. 57x-Jake Peters, 3. 24T-Tyler Walker, 4. 72-Glenn Borden, 5. 23w-Scott Winters, 6. 98r-Joe Ramaker, 7. 9m-Ricky Montgomery, 8. 9s-Scott Lehman. DNS: 21b-D.J. Brink, 9p-Jared Peterson.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 51s-Lee Sowell, 2. 53-Joe Beaver, 3. 7a-J.J. Hickle, 4. 0-Jonathan Allard, 5. 4-Jon Agan, 6. 10-Jeff Mitrisin, 7. 22n-Nate Mosher, 8. 29n-Larry Neighbors, 9. 85-Jerry Bell, 10. 9a-Steve Dyer.
Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 29T-Travis Rilat, 2. 50z-Zach Chappell, 3. 29-Russ Hall, 4. 99v-Gordy Vogelaar, 5. 10x-George White, 6. 39c-Jason Solwold, 7. k9-Tim Sernett, 8. 2h-Jason Eckard, 9. 2k-Kevin Ingle, 10. 16p-Cody Petersen.Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 4J-Lee Grosz, 3. 1m-Terry McCarl, 4. 19T-Matt Tiffany, 5. 26J-Jon Corbin, 6. 11L-Larry Pinegar, 7. 00m-Danny Martin, Jr., 8. 75-Don Young, 9. 24J-Justin Carver, 10. 5k-Kyle McCutcheon.
"C" Main -- Top 2 Advance to "B" Main
"C" Feature (8 Laps): 1. 16p-Cody Petersen, 2. 2k-Kevin Ingle, 3. 85-Jerry Bell, 4. 24J-Justin Carver, 5. 5k-Kyle McCutcheon, 6. 9a-Steve Dyer, 7. 5ma-Mallory Armfield, 8. 21b-D.J. Brink. DNS: Y2-Mike Houseman, Jr., 9p-Jared Peterson.
"B" Main -- Top 4 Advance to "A" Main
"B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 5*-Gary Taylor, 2. 39c-Jason Solwold, 3. 9m-Ricky Montgomery, 4. 23w-Scott Winters, 5. 29n-Larry Neighbors, 6. 00m-Danny Martin, Jr., 7. 4-Jon Agan, 8. 4L-Brock Lemley, 9. 10-Jeff Mitrisin, 10. 75-Don Young, 11. 26J-Jon Corbin, 12. 11L-Larry Pinegar, 13. 91-Derek Ingalls, 14. 98r-Joe Ramaker, 15. 6-Danny Heskin, 16. 22n-Nate Mosher, 17. k9-Tim Sernett, 18. 9s-Scott Lehman, 19. 2h-Jason Eckard, 20. 2k-Kevin Ingle, 21. 16p-Cody Petersen, 22. 10x-George White.
18th Annual ASCS Knoxville Nationals Thursday Preliminary "A" Main Event:
"A" Feature (20 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 22-Billy Alley, 3. 29T-Travis Rilat, 4. 24T-Tyler Walker, 5. 50z-Zach Chappell, 6. 1m-Terry McCarl, 7. 28-Jonathan Cornell, 8. 0-Jonathan Allard, 9. 23w-Scott Winters, 10. 57x-Jake Peters, 11. 39c-Jason Solwold, 12. 14-Randy Martin, 13. 5*-Gary Taylor, 14. 7a-J.J. Hickle, 15. 29-Russ Hall, 16. 19T-Matt Tiffany, 17. 4J-Lee Grosz, 18. 7-Dustin Selvage, 19. 99v-Gordy Vogelaar, 20. 72-Glenn Borden, 21. 9m-Ricky Montgomery, 22. 51s-Lee Sowell, 23. 53-Joe Beaver, 24. 96-Bronson Maeschen.
Lap Leaders: Jason Johnson 1-20.