By Bill W
June 30, 2010 – Wayne Johnson turned in two more sensational performances making it three for three in top five finishes since putting together his #77x race team with his wife, Erin. Another second place finish (from 14th) at Knoxville Raceway on Saturday, was followed by a strong fifth place showing with the World of Outlaws last night in Sedalia, Missouri. This weekend, plans are to race at Knoxville only as he continues to try secure more partnerships or a solid full-time ride.
A miscalculation in time trials really cost Wayne in putting himself in position to win at Knoxville on Saturday. “I screwed up, that was all there was to it,” he says of his 17th quick effort in time trials. “I ran the top of one and two, and I don’t know why. I was watching it, and in hot laps I was too tight on the bottom. I didn’t want to miss, but I didn’t want to be quick time either. I wanted to be sixth or so, but that strategy backfired on me.”
He found the right line in the heat and won going away in front of a stout field. “What’s crazy is we haven’t changed much on the car,” says Wayne. “Everything is working well.”
Wayne would start outside of row seven in the 20-lap main event. “We got a good start rolling on the bottom early,” says the Knoxville, Iowa driver. “After everyone got up to speed, I had to kind of abandon it because I wasn’t running them down anymore.”
Wayne was into the top ten before a restart on lap three, sixth for a restart on lap 11, fifth for a restart on lap three, and third on a restart with six laps to go. “The restarts were really to my advantage,” he says. “When the other guys were getting up to speed, my car was good on the bottom and I was going by them.”
He eyed the win on the last restart. “I thought I had a shot at winning it from third on that last restart,” says Wayne. “I planned on running the bottom, and Skip (Jackson) had been running the top on every restart. We went through the cone, and Skip started going to the bottom. I committed to going around him on the top. He turned up at the last minute and ran the top and that blocked me.”
Finally, Wayne took the second spot. “It took me an extra lap to get by him,” he says. “The only reason I got by him, was that he smacked the fence halfway down the backstretch. I got a big run on him and it looked like he was going to the bottom in three and four, but he came higher. I put all four wheels above the cushion to get by him. After that, Brown had stretched it out to five car lengths and that’s what it ended up.”
Wayne found a way to race with the WoO last night by using Steve Wares’ trailer. Making the heat invert with the World of Outlaws at Kasey Kahne’s “King of Sedalia” was important, and he qualified tenth. After winning his heat from the pole, he drove from eighth to seventh in the dash on the ½ mile. “First of all, I’d like to thank Steve Wares for the opportunity to even race down there,” he says. “He didn’t want anything but fuel and a pit pass.”
Starting seventh in the 25-lap feature, Wayne proved he had a top five car with steady advancement. The track started taking rubber low in one and two first, and then a bit in three and four. He used the high side of three and four to his advantage and came home fifth. “I felt like I let myself get pushed around in the dash a little, and I wasn’t going to let that happen again,” he says. “The car is just balanced really well right now with the tires. I don’t know how it could have been any better. When most of the guys were going low, we were able to go around the top of three and four and pass Jason Meyers for fifth. Towards the end, we also got by (Donny) Schatz for fourth, but a caution called that back. Obviously, we were happy with how we ran.”
You can catch Wayne in action Saturday at the Knoxville Raceway.
If you would like to inquire about a partnership with Wayne, you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buy Your ARP Wings from Wayne
Wayne is an ARP Wings dealer located in the Knoxville, Iowa area. Wayne credits the new ARP top wing for his 2009 wins at Little Rock and Cowtown. Contact Wayne for your ARP Wing, as he has some special Holiday deals going! ARP Wings – “When Downforce Matters”!
To learn more about Wayne and the team, log on to www.WayneJohnsonRacing.com!
Adam Pepper asks: You mentioned you were getting some spares together last week. Are you just saving up the money that you can, or is someone helping you out financially?
Wayne answers: We’re really doing it as we can afford it. I know we have some things on the car, and the Canadians (Miles Hill and Glenn Styres) are helping us a bit, but not with cash flow. They are helping with a spare part here and there. The cash flow is still on the low end. I needed to put something on the car for those guys.
Got a question for Wayne? Each week, Wayne will answer your questions about “Tech Tips”, or anything that’s on your mind. If you ever wondered what a part on a sprint car is all about, send an e-mail to us at email@example.com, and we may answer it in this section! Put “? for Wayne” in your subject line. He’ll try to keep it clean if you do!
Wayne’s Fast Facts
Wayne has three career wins at Sedalia’s State Fair Speedway in limited competition. He won an ASCS race there on August 1, 1997 in Bobby Sparks #91. He topped an ASCS National field in the Fred & Jo Threatt #29 on May 27, 2000 in front of Jason Johnson, Randy Martin, Michael Dupuy and Steve Gennetten. On May 25, 2003 he drove the Bob Vielhauer #12x to a win with the Winged Outlaw Warriors ahead of Tracy Nichols, Jimmy Sills, Martin and Rusty Potter.
“Wednesday’s with Wayne”
“Wednesday’s With Wayne” is an up close look at the past, present and future of colorful and talented sprint car driver Wayne Johnson. You’ll never know what to expect next with Wayne, so don’t miss us on Wednesdays!
To receive “Wednesday’s with Wayne”, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Wayne” in the subject line.
Wayne would like to thank the following for making this possible: E-Rate Complete, Iroquois Poker, Townline Variety, Ohsweken Speedway, Brett Smith Motorsports, FattFro Motorsports, ARP Wings, Butlerbuilt, Hoosier, Schoenfeld Headers, Tim and Gina Doogs and Cooper Racing Enterprises.