Lonnie Wheatley, OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (July 14, 2006) – The "Ragin' Cajun", Jason Johnson, resumed his winning ways by fending off a late bid from Gary Wright to top Friday night's 25-lap O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour feature at State Fair Speedway. The triumph was Johnson's fourth in five rounds of the 14th Annual COMP Cams ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek.
"I saw someone's nose underneath me and I knew I better get on the gas," Johnson explained in victory lane after climbing to second in the season-long ASCoT championship points chase and establishing a commanding Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek point lead entering Saturday night's Speedweek finale at Lawton Speedway. "Lapped traffic can be tough when you're leading, sometimes it works for you and sometimes it works against you. You just have to make good decisions."
After winning the Pole Dash, Johnson gunned into the early lead in the feature aboard Lanny Row's Wesmar-powered The Shop Diesel Service No. 41 Eagle in front of outside front row starter George White. But it was fifth-starter Wright wasting little time climbing to second, needing less than two laps to claim the runner-up slot.
The leaders began working through lapped traffic after just six circuits, with Wright shadowing Johnson's every move. Wright stayed within a handful of car-lengths until the halfway point, when he began to reel in the leader.
Wright closed in on Johnson and actually raced underneath him in turns one and two on the 19th lap to take command. But Johnson fought back on the high side through turns three and four to retain the point as the lap was completed.
Johnson then made quick work of several lapped cars directly ahead of the duo to open some daylight between himself and two-time and defending series champion. It proved to be enough for Johnson to take his seventh O'Reilly ASCoT feature win of the year and 17th National triumph of his career by a comfortable margin over Wright's Wesmar-powered Southwest Express/The Shop/Richwood Construction No. 9 Maxim.
White, Jesse Hockett and Zach Chappell diced for the show position much of the way with Hockett ultimately snaring third in the Wesmar-powered VKCC Motorsports No. 75 DRC. Chappell crossed the stripe fourth in Terry Henry's No. 92 J&J, with Travis Rilat climbing from 19th to claim fifth in the final laps aboard the Motor Mike-powered F&J Construction No. 29 Maxim.
Sam Hafertepe, Jr., snared sixth despite a brief, mid-race off track excursion in turn two, with Skip Wilson racing from 13th to finish seventh. After utilizing his Speedweek provisional to join the "A" Main lineup, Sean McClelland charged from 23rd to eighth. White slipped to ninth in the final laps, with Kevin Ramey completing the top ten.
The entire 25-lap distance was run in non-stop fashion after the initial start was red flagged for Abe Sherwood and Cody Wampler, who both flipped entering turn one. There were no injuries.
Wright, Hafertepe, White, Hockett and Ramey topped heat race action for the 43-car field, with Tony Bruce, Jr., and Aaron Berryhill winning the twin 12-lap "B" Mains.
In an unusual incident, Wampler was flipped by a push truck prior to the third heat race. Forced to scratch from a front row starting position in his heat due to the incident, Wampler was awarded a provisional starting position for the "A" Main.
Heat Races (Top 16 in passing points to “A” Main – Top 6 to Pole Dash; balance to Twin "B" Mains)
Brodix Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 9-Gary Wright, 2. 41-Jason Johnson, 3. 13-Strike Hill, 4. 65-Skip Wilson, 5. 29-Travis Rilat, 6. 11p-Preston Peebles II, 7. 16$-Eddie Ramsey, 8. 25-Derek Cottrell, 9. 36-Mitchell Gosey.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 2. 97x-Robert Sellers, 3. 14-Michael Lang, 4. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 5. 22-Koby Barksdale, 6. 59-Dex Eaton, 7. 33-Gary Owens, 8. 94s-Natalie Sather, 9. 1-Sean McClelland.
Brodix Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 1s-George White, 2. 61-Earnest Jennings, 3. 15x-B.J. Fay, 4. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 5. 52-Roy Larkin, 6. 6g-John Kilmer, 7. 83s-Larry Neighbors, 8. 35c-Wendy Chapa. DNS: 10w-Cody Wampler.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Four (8
Laps): 1. 75-Jesse Hockett,
2. 61J-Danny Jennings, 3. 92-Zach Chappell, 4. 15s-Nick Smith, 5. 10-
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 2. 57-Roger Crockett, 3. 12-Trey Robb, 4. 64J-Johnny Miller, 5. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 6. 91-Darren Stewart, 7. 94-Cody Branchcomb, 8. 26-Rafe Essary.
Pole Dash (Finishing Order Determines Front Three Rows of “A” Main):
Pole Dash (5 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 1s-George White, 3. 75-Jesse Hockett, 4. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 5. 9-Gary Wright, 6. 13-Strike Hill.
First "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 2. 29-Travis Rilat, 3. 11F-Foster Landon, 4. 52-Roy Larkin, 5. 22-Koby Barksdale, 6. 33-Gary Owens, 7. 59-Dex Eaton, 8. 83s-Larry Neighbors, 9. 94-Cody Branchcomb, 10. 25-Derek Cottrell, 11. 36-Mitchell Gosey, 12. 64J-Johnny Miller. DNS: 78-Kevin Pickard, 10w-Cody Wampler.
Feature (12 Laps): 1. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 2. 15s-Nick Smith, 3. 11p-Preston Peebles II, 4.
Feature (25 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson,
2. 9-Gary Wright, 3. 75-Jesse Hockett, 4. 92-Zach
Chappell, 5. 29-Travis Rilat, 6. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 7. 65-Skip Wilson, 8. 1-Sean McClelland, 9.
1s-George White, 10. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 11. 97x-Robert Sellers, 12. 11F-Foster Landon,
Lap Leaders: Jason Johnson 1-25.
Note: Abe Sherwood
utilized an O'Reilly ASCoT provisional for the
O’Reilly ASCoT Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Gary Wright 2,466, 2. Jason Johnson 2,418, 3. Nick Smith 2,415, 4. Jesse Hockett 2,389, 5. Travis Rilat 2,364, 6. Darren Stewart 2,204, 7. Sean McClelland 2,202, 8. Trey Robb 2,027, 9. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 2,024, 10. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,960, 11. Jan Howard 1,940, 12. Abe Sherwood 1,634, 13. Zach Chappell 1,618, 14. Jerrod Hull 1,214, 15. Dustin Daggett 1,153.
ASCS COMP Cams Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek Points (Top Fifteen Through Round Five of Six): 1. Jason Johnson 746, 2. (tie) Travis Rilat and Gary Wright 682, 4. Jesse Hockett 678, 5. Sean McClelland 656, 6. Tony Bruce, Jr. 634, 7. Roger Crockett 632, 8. (tie) Nick Smith and Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 630, 10. Trey Robb 602, 11. Darren Stewart 564, 12. Foster Landon 526, 13. Zach Chappell 516, 14. B.J. Fay 447, 15. Abe Sherwood 445.