By David Smith Jr.
Dodge City, Kansas – July 17, 2010 – J.D. Johnson of Goddard, Kansas took advantage of race long leader Garry Lee Maiers misfortune as he became the sixth different feature winner in as many races on the 2010 race season as he took home his fourth career O’Reilly/NCRA sprint car series feature Saturday night at Dodge City Raceway Park in Dodge City, Kansas during the tracks running of the third annual Steve King Memorial.
Luke Cranston started on the pole for the thirty lap feature finale with Maier alongside. After a couple of starts delegated the start, the third time was a charm with Maier charging into the lead as the green flag fell and set a torrid pace on the rest of the field. Cranston settled into the runner up position with Johnson giving chase throughout the early portion of the event.
Maier, aboard the familiar Ochs Brothers #1x, used the top of the three-eighths mile speed plant to perfection and had opened a half stretch lead on Cranston before entering lapped traffic on lap six.
Behind those two, a four car battle for position waged between Johnson, Jeremy Campbell, Jason Martin and Mike Peters throughout the early stages of the race.
Maier looked to be in control of the feature and the first repeat winner on the 2010 race season before disaster struck on lap twelve. Jeff Heffner appeared to slow coming out of turn four. Series rookie contender Trevor Grossenbacher had nowhere to go and collided with Heffner, causing Grossenbacher to flip. Maier, who was full throttle coming out of turn four, couldn’t check up in time and hit Grossenbacher head on. Grossenbacher climbed out of his destroyed mount shaken but uninjured while it took awhile for Airflow Racing Products hard luck driver Maier to climb out of his destroyed Midwest Ag Professionals/Millart Management/Mid-States Hay Inc. /Ruff Bailey Cattle Co. sponsored Maxim chassis. He was also shaken but appeared to be uninjured.
Once the carnage was cleared from the track, the racing action continued as Johnson, aboard the Alternative Pest Management/Evans Building Company Inc. /Auto Masters sponsored JE chassis, powered his way past Cranston in between turns three and four to take the lead on lap thirteen.
There was no stopping Johnson from there as he went the final seventeen laps unchallenged to pick up his first feature victory of the season and first with the series since 2006.
“We kind of struggle there early but once the fuel went away we were a lot better, “said an elated Johnson. “I knew on that restart that I was going to have to make my move then or he (Cranston) was going to get away from me and hard to pass. I knew once we were out front that it would be hard for that second place guy to get around me. I have learned you never slow up in one of these things, no matter how big of a lead you think you have.”
Current series points leader Campbell, aboard the Danny King owned ICM/Ethanol #E85 sponsored sprinter, got around Cranston down the back stretch with one lap to go to finish second. Cranston settled for third with Peters and Martin rounding out the top five. Sherman Davis of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, who used a promoters provisional, started 22nd and came home with a strong seventh place finish.
The eight lap heat races for the twenty-seven car field were won by Cranston, Maier, Johnson and Gavin Punch while Dennis Park wired the field to take home the twelve lap “B” feature.
The next stop for the O’Reilly/NCRA sprint car division will take place on Saturday night, August 7th, as the tour attempts to complete the previously rained out 54th annual Hutchinson Grand Nationals finale on the Kansas State Fairgrounds.
The O’Reilly/NCRA sprint car series is entering its 21st consecutive season while the series itself is in the midst of their 40th season of sanctioning dirt track races throughout the Plains.
The series would like to thank the following for their partnership with the O’Reilly/NCRA sprint car series for the 2010 race season.
2010 NCRA sprint car sponsors: O’Reilly Auto Parts, Hoosier Race Tires, Sunoco Race Fuels
2010 NCRA sprint car contingency partners: Arizona Sports Shirts, Airflow Racing Products, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Hooker Harness, Keizer Racing Wheels, Pro Shocks, Racing Optics, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, Super Shox, Taylor Cable Products, The Joie of Seating, Ultra-Shield Race Products, Vertex Magnetos and Winters Performance Parts
ARP Hard Luck: Maier
Saldana Racing Products 2nd Place: Campbell
The Joie of Seating 2nd Place= Campbell
Rod End Supply 3rd Place= Cranston
Super Shox 5th Place= Martin
Dodge City Raceway Park/Dodge City, Kansas
July 17, 2010
A Feature: 1) J.D. Johnson 2) Jeremy Campbell 3) Luke Cranston 4) Mike Peters 5) Jason Martin 6) Aaron Berryhill 7) Sherman Davis 8) Gavin Punch 9) Patrick Stasa 10) Jon Freeman 11) Taylor Velasquez 12) Whit Gastineau 13) Scott Cochran 14) A.J. Selenke 15) Cody Forshee 16) Garry Lee Maier 17) Trevor Grossenbacher 18) Jeff Heffner 19) Taylor Milton 20) Dennis Park 21) Steve Richardson 22) Mark Wallender
B Feature: 1) Dennis Park 2) Scott Cochran 3) Jeff Heffner 4) Taylor Velasquez 5) Bob Schaffer 6) Sherman Davis 7) Steve Richardson 8) Brian Hardman 9) Jeff Stasa 10) Jordan Whitehead DNS: Jake Martens
1st Heat: 1) Luke Cranston 2) Mark Wallinder 3) A.J. Selenke 4) Trevor Grossenbacher 5) Jeff Stasa 6) Bob Schaffer 7) Steve Richardson
2nd Heat: 1) Garry Lee Maier 2) Mike Peters 3) Aaron Berryhill 4) Taylor Milton 5) Scott Cochran 6) Jake Martens 7) Sherman Davis
3rd Heat: 1) J.D. Johnson 2) Cody Forshee 3) Whit Gastineau 4) Jason Martin 5) Dennis Park 6) Taylor Velasquez 7) Brian Hardman
4th Heat: 1) Gavin Punch 2) Jeremy Campbell 3) Patrick Stasa 4) Jon Freeman 5) Jeff Heffner 6) Jordan Whitehead