By Lonnie Wheatley
HIGHLANDS, Texas (April 30, 2011) – Two weekends ago, Jason Johnson suffered through a rare winless weekend of Smiley’s Racing Products ASCS Gulf South Region competition, the first such winless multiple race weekend for “The Ragin’ Cajun” versus the Gulf South forces since March of 2009.
The reigning Lucas Oil ASCS National champion made amends for that Saturday night by charging to victory lane in the 25-lap ASCS Gulf South main event atop the high-banked, 3/8-mile Battleground Speedway for his second overall North American win of the year after topping the Devil’s Bowl Spring Nationals preliminary in March.
While pole starter Chris Sweeney led the initial circuits, Johnson needed just a handful of laps to race from eighth into the lead aboard the Don Ott-powered Haynes/Mesilla Valley Transport No. 41 Maxim.
Johnson went on to become the sixth different winner in as many ASCS Gulf South events contested this year, tallying up his 31st career Gulf South score in 51 feature starts and his 91st overall ASCS feature triumph.
Johnson was chased to the line by 2009 Gulf South champ and current leading Lucas Oil ASCS National Rookie contender Aaron Reutzel, with defending series champion Ray Allen Kulhanek, 11th-starter Tommy Bryant and Oklahoma’s Jeffrey Newell rounding out the top five.
Sweeney was sixth, with George White crossing the stripe seventh to cling to a one-point lead over Bryant in the championship points chase. Logan Bledsoe was eighth, with Gary Watson and John Pate completing the top ten.
Johnson, Channin Tankersley and Newell topped Saturday night’s heat race action.
Smiley’s Racing Products ASCS Gulf South Results from Battleground Speedway:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 21T-Ray Allen Kulhanek, 3. 93-Chris Sweeney, 4. 14e-Tommy Bryant, 5. 10-George White, 6. 25m-Michael McNeil, 7. 35-Greg Rilat, 8. 7w-Dustin Welch. DNS: 51s-Beau Smith.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 71-Channin Tankersley, 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 3. 12b-Logan Bledsoe, 4. 36-John Pate, 5. 31-Brandon Berryman, 6. 17-Bruce Griffith, Jr., 7. 52-Roger Oakes, 8. 5c-Chris Coker.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 11-Jeffrey Newell, 2. 88-Scottie McDonald, 3. 15T-Travis Elliott, 4. 2-Wes Miller, 5. 3-Gary Watson, 6. 69-Larry Howery, 7. 51-Jimmy Brooks, 8. 19-Klint Angelette.
“A” Feature (25 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 3. 21T-Ray Allen Kulhanek, 4. 14e-Tommy Bryant, 5. 11-Jeffrey Newell, 6. 93-Chris Sweeney, 7. 10-George White, 8. 12b-Logan Bledsoe, 9. 3-Gary Watson, 10. 36-John Pate, 11. 35-Greg Rilat, 12. 31-Brandon Berryman, 13. 51s-Beau Smith, 14. 25m-Michael McNeil, 15. 51-Jimmy Brooks, 16. 52-Roger Oakes, 17. 17-Bruce Griffith, Jr., 18. 19-Klint Angelette, 19. 7w-Dustin Welch, 20. 2-Wes Miller, 21. 69-Larry Howery, 22. 88-Scottie McDonald, 23. 71-Channin Tankersley, 24. 15T-Travis Elliott. DNS: 5c-Chris Coker.
Smiley’s Racing Products ASCS Gulf South Region Points (Top Ten): 1. George White 741, 2. Tommy Bryant 740, 3. Ray Allen Kulhanek 644, 4. Chris Sweeney 636, 5. Brandon Berryman 635, 6. Jeffrey Newell 590, 7. Travis Elliott 582, 8. Greg Rilat 574, 9. Michael McNeil 570, 10. Channin Tankersley 554.