ODESSA, Mo. - Ricky Johnson appeared to have the fastest car at the I-70 Speedway on Saturday evening for the ASA ACDelco Series' running of the Missouri 300. While running tenth on his way up to the front, trouble ensued ahead and Johnson had...
ODESSA, Mo. - Ricky Johnson appeared to have the fastest car at the I-70 Speedway on Saturday evening for the ASA ACDelco Series' running of the Missouri 300. While running tenth on his way up to the front, trouble ensued ahead and Johnson had nowhere to go. Johnson would get hit several times, including a hit that would flip the No. 22 Nationwide Auction Systems/WorldBestBuy.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
After lengthy repairs, the Herzog Motorsports team was able to get Johnson back out on to the track to complete the race and pick up a few positions. Johnson would finish the Missouri 300 in 26th place, completing 183 of the 300 laps.
"We just got caught up in short track racing," Johnson said. "We had a great car and I was just biding my time. We were picking off people one at a time. It's unfortunate to get caught up in a wreck like this where I end up on my roof."
"This Herzog Motorsports team showed their championship form," Johnson continued. "To get me back on the track to finish the race after the damage we sustained is a true show of determination. We never gave up."
Johnson gives his account of the disastrous altercation. "I was coming off turn two and had just got done passing some slow cars. I saw Philip Kranefuss flipping. I got hit from behind a couple times and slid into Kranefuss. A third hit is the one that got me on my roof."
"We were running consistently and if we could've been around at the end, I knew we could've pulled off a great finish," Johnson said. "We had a lot of support here in the stands and I wanted to give them a good run, but we'll get it in Chicago in a few weeks."
Johnson and fellow Herzog Motorsports teammate, Mark Dismore, had a majority of the fans cheering them on in the nearly sold out crowd. Team owners, Bill, Randy and Stan Herzog, are from nearby St. Joseph, Mo. and had several of their employees from Herzog Contracting Corp. attending. Johnson also had several people present from the local Nationwide Auction Systems' Kansas City, Mo. office.
Team co-owner Randy Herzog said, "When there's trouble here, it's big. It's unfortunate it had to happen right in front of Ricky. Ricky was doing a fantastic job moving towards the front. It's sickening to know that this car was capable of pulling off a podium finish, if not a win tonight. This team did a great job of getting the Nationwide Auction Systems/WorldBestBuy.com Chevy back out on the track. They amaze me."
Although Johnson is out of ASA competition for a couple weeks, there is no rest for the weary. Johnson will be competing in the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on July 4. Johnson will be driving an ASA car up the treacherous mountain, as will Herzog Motorsports off-road teammate Layne Schranz and fellow ASA competitor Tristan Dupuis. "It'll be fun and keep me busy," Johnson said.