By Bill W
July 7, 2010 – For the last three weeks, Wayne Johnson has been wearing out the right side of the podium in Knoxville Raceway’s Victory Lane. Three straight second place finishes have tagged him quite the bridesmaid, but the strong runs have also given him confidence moving ahead. The Knoxville, Iowa driver is still weighing his options for racing this weekend before heading to the Northwest and then Canada.
Wayne qualified the family #77x ninth in the field, and then ran from fourth to finish second in his heat race. “We were pretty good in qualifying and the heat,” he says. “The track just stayed good all night.”
The Oklahoma native started fifth in the main event. Early on, it was a race to traffic or a caution. “I was trying to run around the curb, there wasn’t a whole lot of bottom really,” Wayne shares. “Once you got in line around the cushion, you couldn’t really make a move. We were kind of strung out.”
Wayne positioned himself in third behind leader Mark Dobmeier, and Brian Brown. He made a move in one of several restarts after the halfway point. “I slid by Brown on the restart, but I lost all my momentum by jumping the cushion,” he says. “That let (Terry) McCarl get a big run off the curb on us down the back straightaway. He slid me going into three. Instead of trying to turn under it…there was nothing on the bottom of the track…I just drove up to his rear bumper down the front straightaway.”
With McCarl now in second and Wayne made a move from third. “I slid him back going into one,” he says. “After looking at the video, it looked like he tried to turn back under me, but there was just nothing down there to work with.”
The late flurry was a good time, but Wayne was happy to see the checkers and finish second. “It was fun,” he says. “I was glad it was over. It was getting slidejob crazy there for awhile. Luckily, no one tore anything up.”
Wayne also drove the backup Steve Wares/Vern Harrison #10x in 360 Twin Features competition on Saturday. “We moved ahead in both features,” he says of his run. “15th to 10th and 10th to 5th. You can’t complain about that. It was ‘Slidejob Crazy’. That was the only way I could pass anyone.”
This weekend’s racing plans are still up in the air. “I’m not sure about this weekend yet,” says Wayne. “The problem with Twin Features is our financial situation…and you’re buying double the tires and double the fuel. When you are not in the point race and you are a car owner…that can be hard to justify for us right now.”
After this weekend, Wayne travels out West to run Harold Main’s #35 for the first time this season when the Lucas Oil ASCS National Series hits Elma, Washington and Cottage Grove, Oregon. The week following that, he will run three World of Outlaws shows in Canada for Miles Hill before returning to Knoxville for the 360 Nationals.
Wayne is still looking for a permanent home in a sprint car. 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!
AC Smith asks: On a typical night, assuming your car is working well from the get-go, how much will you change the setup throughout the night to adapt to a changing/slicking track – do you make a lot of changes, or just minor ones?
Wayne answers: If the car is working well, your adjustments are very minor. You just want to keep the wheels and the car hooked up. Like I said earlier, we haven’t changed much on this car to be honest.
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 is three for three with second place finishes at Knoxville in the 410 class. His previous three seconds at Knoxville with the 410 came on June 4, 2006 in the VanderEcken #10v trailing Kerry Madsen, on July 30, 2005 in the Christoffer #14AJ trailing Skip Jackson, and on July 16, 2005 trailing Madsen.
“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.