By Lonnie Wheatley
BEAUMONT, Texas (September 3, 2010) – Jason Johnson kicked off the American Sprint Car Series Gulf South Region Labor Day weekend triple by racing to victory lane in Friday night’s 25-lap main event at Golden Triangle Raceway Park.
Johnson needed just four laps to charge into the lead from the sixth starting position and led the rest of the way for his 12th overall ASCS win of 2010 aboard the JJR Don Ott-powered Haynes No. 41 Maxim and sixth in Gulf South action.
While Skip Wilson jumped into the early lead from the pole position, Johnson raced around the top side of the ¼-mile clay oval into third on the opening circuit behind Wilson and Reutzel.
Johnson disposed of Reutzel for second the next time around and then dove underneath Wilson entering turn three on the fourth circuit to snare a lead he would never relinquish although Reutzel kept pace throughout after taking second from Wilson a lap after Johnson took command.
While Johnson found some breathing room after a lap 13 restart, one final caution with six laps to go put Reutzel on Johnson’s tailtank and in position to challenge for the point in the final circuits. But, Johnson worked the top of one and two and the bottom of turns three and four flawlessly over the final half dozen rounds to secure the win over the defending ASCS Gulf South champion.
Tommy Bryant chased Johnson and Reutzel to the line, with Wilson and Travis Elliott rounding out the top five. Chris Sweeney was sixth, with Wes Miller, current ASCS Gulf South points leader Ray Allen Kulhanek, 17th-starter Andy Shouse and Greg Rilat completing the top ten.
Channin Tankersley, Johnson, Bryant and Wilson topped heat race action for the 27-car field, with Larry Howery making a last-lap pass of Gary Watson to win the 12-lap “B” Main. After starting eighth in the main event, Tankersley was sideline after tagged the turn one wall on the third lap.
ASCS Gulf South Results from Golden Triangle Raceway Park:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 71-Channin Tankersley, 2. 15T-Travis Elliott, 3. 21T-Ray Allen Kulhanek, 4. 12b-Logan Bledsoe, 5. 69-Larry Howery, 6. 8-Bruce Crockett, 7. 5c-Chris Coker.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 93-Chris Sweeney, 3. 51w-Wes Miller, 4. 27-Andy Shouse, 5. 31-Brandon Berryman, 6. 52-Roger Oakes, 7. 76-John Ricketts.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 85-Tommy Bryant, 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 3. 16-Koty Adams, 4. 3-Gary Watson, 5. 17-Bruce Griffith, Jr., 6. 30x-Bean Elliott, 7. 45k-Kolt Walker.
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. 65-Skip Wilson, 2. 51s-Beau Smith, 3. 35-Greg Rilat, 4. 51-Jimmy Brooks, 5. 7-Michael McNeil, 6. 19-Klint Angelette.
“B” Main (12 Laps): 1. 69-Larry Howery, 2. 3-Gary Watson, 3. 27-Andy Shouse, 4. 7-Michael McNeil, 5. 30x-Bean Elliott, 6. 31-Brandon Berryman, 7. 8-Bruce Crockett, 8. 45k-Kolt Walker, 9. 5c-Chris Coker, 10. 76-John Ricketts, 11. 52-Roger Oakes, 12. 19-Klint Angelette, 13. 12b-Logan Bledsoe.
“A” Feature (25 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 3. 85-Tommy Bryant, 4. 65-Skip Wilson, 5. 15T-Travis Elliott, 6. 93-Chris Sweeney, 7. 51w-Wes Miller, 8. 21T-Ray Allen Kulhanek, 9. 27-Andy Shouse, 10. 35-Greg Rilat, 11. 16-Koty Adams, 12. 3-Gary Watson, 13. 30x-Bean Elliott, 14. 7-Michael McNeil, 15. 17-Bruce Griffith, Jr., 16. 51-Jimmy Brooks, 17. 51s-Beau Smith, 18. 31-Brandon Berryman, 19. 71-Channin Tankersley, 20. 69-Larry Howery.
ASCS Gulf South Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Ray Allen Kulhanek 1,996 2. Tommy Bryant 1,895, 3. Aaron Reutzel 1,843, 4. Brandon Berryman 1,811, 5. Travis Elliott 1,692, 6. Chris Sweeney 1,605, 7. Wes Miller 1,564, 8. Beau Smith 1,482, 9. Scottie McDonald 1,462, 10. Logan Bledsoe 1,443.