Johnson blows out the dust at Wagga For the first time in several years the World Series Sprintcar Championship headed to Wagga International Speedway last night and it was American sensation Jason Johnson who set the fastest qualifying time ...
Johnson blows out the dust at Wagga
For the first time in several years the World Series Sprintcar Championship headed to Wagga International Speedway last night and it was American sensation Jason Johnson who set the fastest qualifying time in his Aussiefast Transport/STP Eagle.
The quick time was his second on the Championship and set the 27-year-old up for a good run through the heat races. His teammate Brad Heywood qualified just inside the top 10.
On a track that offered very little traction Johnson drove a superb race in his second heat to take the win in convincing fashion and be the second highest pointscorer going into the dashes. When the top pointscorer, Shane Stewart drew the inversion of three Johnson started from position three in the second dash which decides the starting positions for the outside first six rows of the 30-lap Feature.
Johnson was the only car to make any movement forwards in either of the dash races finishing in second.
Heywood was forced to qualify for the A-Main through the cut throat B-Main event where the top 6 transfer into the A. After moving into third position early in the race officials deemed him to be the cause of a stoppage and relegated him to the rear of the field. In the little amount of laps remaining he moved up several spots but narrowly missed a transfer into the main event.
At the initial start of the A-Main event Johnson slotted himself into second place only to have the red lights be displayed as Karl Enderl rolled on the main straight after contact with Erin Crocker.
At the next attempt Johnson was unable to get the traction on the high groove and he found himself in fourth exiting the opening turn. With the track laying rubber and having only one true racing line there was very little passing. The leading quartet dicing their way through traffic, only a caution period mid race halted proceedings.
Johnson tried everything but was unable to find a way past into third.
The round was won by Darryn Pittman ahead of Joey Saldana followed by Max Dumesny, Johnson and Brooke Tatnell.
The Championship continues with the final two rounds to be held at Adelaide's Speedway City on this Friday and Saturday night.
WHAT THE DRIVER'S SAID
"It was good to get quick time as Craig, Lee and I have worked hard this week under trying conditions in Sydney where it could have been easy to be distracted by sitting back relaxing. We fine tuned the car to give me every shot at winning the Championship.
The track was a little different to everywhere else I've been in Australia as it was fast with long straights and fairly slick which really brings the driver's skill out.
All night the car was pretty good but I just had some problems in the Feature with the motor fueling up through traffic. We are already working to fix that problem for the final two rounds as I want to finish on a high."
"After Brisbane the car was pretty severely bent in the front end. I think we replaced just about every part of the front end and had to also straighten the chassis slightly. The Craft Brothers and Paul Knott did a fine job just to get me here.
I haven't been time trialing too well lately and I was fairly happy with my time tonight but my heat races weren't the best.
Then in the B-Main the car was like it was on rails moving forward but I just pinched the turn a little tight in turn 2 touching the tyres on the infield and the officials put me to the back. From there it was just too far to a transfer spot."