Wednesdays with Wayne – Cruising in Las Cruces!

Wayne Johnson
Wayne Johnson

From Bill W, Lonnie Wheatley Photo

November 17, 2010 – Wayne Johnson’s first ever trip to the Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces, New Mexico was a success. After locking himself into the Lucas Oil ASCS National Series’ finale with a fourth place run in the prelim, a loss of use of the brakes relegated him to an eighth place finish on Saturday. The Knoxville, Iowa driver now looks forward to the Western World this weekend, held at the USA Raceway in Tucson, Arizona.

Starting dead last (eighth) in his heat race in Friday’s prelim didn’t slow Wayne down a bit as he charged to a second place finish, putting himself in the redraw for the feature. “The racetrack was pretty good all weekend,” he says. “They over-watered a bit the first night, and it took a little while to get racy. It took awhile, but it got racy, and we were able to run up through there in the heat.”

The track stayed heavy in the feature, and Wayne held on in the top five. “We were running fourth there,” he says. “Everyone was running a little tight, including us. It was kind of ‘follow the leader’ for awhile, and I screwed up and bicycled up the track. Steve Kinser was able to get by me for fourth and I was back in fifth, out of a lock-in spot.”

A late restart gave Wayne the break he needed to finish fourth and lock himself into Saturday’s finale. “We were all running around there and a caution came out to set up a green, white, checker,” he says. “Steve had gotten by (Tim) Crawley for third. On the last restart, I was going to try them off their right rear and try to make something happen. Steve screwed up and got sideways down there and Crawley got into the back of him. That opened the door for me to get by Crawley into fourth and getting locked in.”

Sometimes what you hear about a venue is not always true, and that was the case last weekend at the Southern New Mexico Speedway. “Everyone I talked to said the track would be a tire-eater, but it was good both nights,” says Wayne. “It was colder than a well digger’s butt, but it was good racin’!”

After hot lapping, Wayne drew outside row three for the main event, and was suddenly in a battle for second. “Of course, we drew the biggest number, like usual,” he says. “Actually, we were able to start fourth when something happened to (Johnny) Herrera’s car. At one time, I was up battling Gary Wright for second. He got off the track and came back on, and I locked the brakes up. That’s when the brake caliper fell off. That was early in the race, and I just kind of backed up without brakes from there.”

Wayne would hold on the rest of the distance with an eighth place finish. He now turns his focus towards this weekend’s Western World. He will qualify on Thursday, with the finale scheduled for Saturday. “We’ll take eighth considering everything,” he says. “We were pretty fast both nights, we just had a tough Saturday there when the brake caliper fell off. We’re looking forward to Tucson. We were able to run from 10th to 3rd last year on the first night. The second night we were running well but lost the power steering pump.”

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

Buy Your Outlaw Wings from Wayne

Wayne is an Outlaw Wings dealer located in the Knoxville, Iowa area. Wayne credits the new Outlaw top wing for his 2009 wins at Little Rock and Cowtown. Contact Wayne for your Outlaw Wing, as he has some special Holiday deals going! Outlaw Wings – “When Downforce Matters”!

Wayne’s Website

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Wayne’s World

Aaron Bowers asks: What’s the key to getting around USA Raceway in Tucson?

Wayne answers: Actually it’s a smaller racetrack that races really really fast. The biggest thing is keeping your momentum up. That’s the biggest obstacle there.

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, 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 surged from fifth to third on a late restart to complete a good run in last season’s prelim at the Western World in Tucson. He had started outside of row five. Sammy Swindell won, ahead of Shane Stewart. Gary Wright was fourth, and Ricky Logan was fifth. At the midway point of the finale, the power steering pump was lost, resulting in a DNF.

“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!

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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, The Oil Medics, Outlaw Wings, Stone Mountain, Butlerbuilt, Hoosier, Schoenfeld Headers and Cooper Racing Enterprises.