From Lance Jennings
SAPULPA, OK (August 18, 2016) — Taking command from Dennis Gile on the twenty-eighth lap, R.J. Johnson (Tempe, Arizona) claimed the checkered flags at Sapulpa, Oklahoma’s Creek County Speedway. Continuing to write series history, Johnson’s fourth $2,500 USAC SouthWest “Freedom Tour” win marked his 40th career triumph and the eighth victory of the season. In addition, the three-time champion set a new record with five consecutive main event wins. Josh Hodges, Gile, Koby Barksdale, and Shon Deskins rounded out the top-five drivers.
Driving Bill Michael’s #77M Kodiak Products / Beal’s Auto Body entry, R.J. Johnson dominated the event and swept the program. The three-time series champion began his night by winning the night’s third 8-lap heat race, claiming the night’s top-qualifier award out of 33 racers, and won the main event from sixth.
After running third at Lawton, Josh Hodges (Tijeras, New Mexico) had a last lap pass to claim second at Creek County. Racing the family owned #74X Jackson Compaction / Mesilla Valley Transportation Maxim, Hodges placed fourth in his heat race and ranked fifth in the night’s passing points.
Starting on the pole position, Dennis Gile (Phoenix, Arizona) led the first twenty-seven laps before falling to third at Creek County. Piloting the family owned #13 Quarterback Academy / Bobby Q Ellis, Gile ran second to Jordon Mallett in his heat race and ranked sixth in passing points.
Koby Barksdale (Norman, Oklahoma) charged from ninth to score fourth at the second round of the “Freedom Tour.” Driving his #22 entry, the veteran driver won the night’s second 8-lap heat race and was seated ninth in passing points.
Shon Deskins (Phoenix, Arizona) had another solid night at the “Freedom Tour” with a fifth place finish. Racing his #20 Spike Chassis / Performance Plus Engines Maxim, Deskins ran second to Koby Barksdale in his heat race and ranked fourth in passing points.
In his first USAC SouthWest start, Alex DeCamp (Locust Grove, OK) earned the night’s “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors with a ninth place run from nineteenth. Piloting his #84 machine, DeCamp scored ninth in his heat race and was seated nineteenth in passing points.
For the second night in a row, Jordon Mallett (Greenbrier, Arkansas) won the night’s first 8-lap heat race. Driving his #14 machine, Mallett ranked eighth in passing points and claimed eleventh at Creek County Speedway.
Cameron Hagin (Broken Arrow, Oklahoma) won the night’s fourth heat race in his first USAC SouthWest start. Racing his #5H entry, Hagin ranked second in passing points and seventeenth in the feature after an early exit.
Kyle Clark (Sand Springs, Oklahoma) raced to victory in the night’s first 12-lap semi-main. Piloting his #9$ machine, Clark scored fourth in his heat race and charged from fifteenth to score eighth in the feature.
Anthony Nicholson (Bartlett, Tennessee) took the checkered flags in the night’s second 12-lap semi-main. Driving his #16X entry, Nicholson placed fifth in his heat race and charged to tenth in the main event after starting sixteenth.
The “4th Annual Freedom Tour” will continue to 81 Speedway (Wichita, Kansas) and will close this Saturday at Dodge City Raceway Park (Dodge City, Kansas).
For more information on the USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Series, visit www.southwestsprintcars.com, www.usacracing.com, or follow the series on Facebook.
USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR (Special Event) RACE RESULTS:
August 18, 2016 – Sapulpa, Oklahoma – Creek County Speedway – “Freedom Tour”
FIRST HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Jordon Mallett (#14 Mallett), 2. Dennis Gile (#13 Gile), 3. Wyatt Burks (#11W Burks), 4. Josh Hodges (#74X Hodges), 5. Charles Davis Jr. (#50 Massey), 6. David Stephenson (#22S Stephenson), 7. Cody Brewer (#96 Brewer), 8. Brian McClelland (#87F McClelland), 9. Alex DeCamp (#84 DeCamp). NT
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Koby Barksdale (#22 Barksdale), 2. Shon Deskins (#20 Deskins), 3. Kade Morton (#8M Morton), 4. Kyle Clark (#9$ Clark), 5. Layne Himebaugh (#24L Himebaugh), 6. Danny Smith (#5$ Smith), 7. Kyle Chady (#57 Chady), 8. Tim Kent (#79 Kent). NT
THIRD HEAT: (8 laps)
1. R.J. Johnson (#77M Michael), 2. Craig Carroll (#24C Carroll), 3. Blake Hahn (#52 Hahn), 4. Andrew Deal (#15D Deal), 5. Anthony Nicholson (#16X Nicholson), 6. Brett Wilson (#53 Wilson), 7. Grant Wresche (#13W Wresche), 8. Casey Wills (#31 Wills). NT
FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Cameron Hagin (#5H Hagin), 2. Waylon Weaver (#92 Weaver), 3. Tye Mihocko (#5 Mihocko), 4. Shannon McQueen (#7 Decker), 5. Jamie McDonald (#3 McDonald), 6. Kevin Cummings (#97 Cummings), 7. William Scribner (#54 Scribner), 8. David Dutton (#23 Dutton). NT
FIRST SEMI: (12 laps)
1. Clark, 2. Wilson, 3. DeCamp, 4. Kent, 5. Scribner, 6. Morton, 7. McClelland, 8. Cummings, 9. Smith. NT
SECOND SEMI: (12 laps)
1. Nicholson, 2. Himebaugh, 3. Deal, 4. Chady, 5. Wresche, 6. McDonald, 7. Brewer, 8. Dutton. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. R.J. Johnson (6th), 2. Josh Hodges (2nd), 3. Dennis Gile (1st), 4. Koby Barksdale (9th), 5. Shon Deskins (3rd), 6. Tye Mihocko (4th), 7. Charles Davis Jr. (13th), 8. Kyle Clark (15th), 9. Alex Decamp (19th), 10. Anthony Nicholson (16th), 11. Jordon Mallett (8th), 12. Layne Himebaugh (18th), 13. Wyatt Burks (14th), 14. Brett Wilson (17th), 15. Shannon McQueen (10th), 16. Blake Hahn (7th), 17. Cameron Hagin (5th), 18. Andrew Deal (20th), 19. Waylon Weaver (12th), 20. Craig Carroll (11th). NT
**Wills flipped during the third heat. Brewer flipped during the second semi.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-27 Gile, Laps 28-30 Johnson.
HARD CHARGER: Alex DeCamp (19th to 9th)