By Bill W
July 25, 2012 – In 2010, Wayne Johnson nearly lost his right foot racing at the Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Washington. Saturday night, he finished on top racing against the very driver, Shane Stewart, who he had crashed with two years prior. The irony of the whole situation hit Wayne with an emotional Victory Lane interview. Tonight, the Wayne Johnson Racing #77x team hits a venue he won at a year ago, Placerville (CA) Speedway. Things move on to King’s Speedway in Hanford on Saturday, and the Santa Maria Speedway on Sunday.
The event in Elma was scheduled for two nights, with the first falling to rain after the heat races. “Friday was kind of uneventful,” says Wayne. “When you start on the pole of the heat race and win…that’s uneventful.”
Saturday night saw two features, with the prelim running first. “That put us in the redraw and we drew four,” says Wayne of Friday’s heat race win. “Shane (Stewart) started second and we were fourth. We chased him around there for a little while. We got to lapped traffic and I got to running the bottom. We were able to get by him for the lead.”
It was smooth sailing until the final lap. “On the white flag lap, we got hung up by a lapped car and (Stewart) got me back,” says Wayne. “The car was good, I just had nowhere to go. I was a sitting duck.”
The second place run locked Wayne into the finale. “I drew the two and (Stewart) drew the four this time,” he says. “I didn’t get the lead for three or four laps. Sam (Hafertepe) was out front there. I was able to get by him, and kind of checked out there for a little while.”
The race would see several stoppages, including one on the last lap. “Cautions ended up playing a big part in it,” says Wayne. “In the end, a red flag came out as we were coming for the checkers. Someone in the stands had been hit by a rock. We got a one-lap restart to the checkers and we were able to hold them off.”
Some advice from the crew kept Wayne out front to the checkers. It was his seventh Lucas Oil ASCS National Series win. “The guys said that Shane was really fast on the bottom of three and four, so on the restart I blocked him coming for the checkers,” he says.
The 2011 edition of the race in Elma was rained out, so this was the chance Wayne needed for some redemption after his injury. “I had been looking forward to that race for a couple years,” he says. “It was ironic that Shane and I were racing for the win in both features. We were the ones involved in the wreck two years ago. That was cool. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”
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Outlaw Wings – “The Wing with an Attitude”!
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Wayne’s Fast Facts
Wayne swept a two-night outing at Placerville Speedway last year. In the prelim, he defeated Aaron Reutzel, Brady Bacon, Shane Stewart and Sean Becker. In the finale, he won over Stewart, Bacon, Jason Johnson and Gary Wright.
Partner of the Week – Super Shox
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Wayne Johnson Racing would like to thank Vern Rengen and Missile Motorsports, Sebastian Sandblasting & Powdercoating, City Vending, Outlaw Wings, Team Achieve, The Oil Medics, Century Signs, Smiley’s Racing Products, Hoosier Tire Southwest, Simpson, Butlerbuilt, Super Shox, Maxim, Speedway Motors, Rod End Supply, Schoenfeld Headers and RCM Design.