By Bill W
May 4, 2011 – A 410 outing at Knoxville Raceway’s season opener was aborted prematurely with a motor issue on practice night Friday. Driver Wayne Johnson and owner/crew chief, Bryan Sumby and the rest of the team changed course, getting the 360 between the frame rails. Unfortunately, a mechanical issue arose right before the feature, sidelining the BDS Motorsports #38 on Saturday night.
Wayne barely spun a lap in the 410 during Friday’s practice. “We had a brand new fuel pump and it malfunctioned, burning a piston,” he says. “That gave us no choice, but to go with the 360 on Saturday. Our Shaver 410 will be back in a couple of weeks.”
The Knoxville, Iowa driver came back strong on Saturday night, and got some important laps in. He started things off by setting quick time over the 27-car field. “That was our goal,” says Wayne. “We were trying some stuff with the Parker engine. We were using Saturday as kind of a 360 Nationals session. That was the biggest thing. It was really good.”
Starting sixth in the first heat, Wayne was ready to surge to the fore. The first start was called back. “On the first try, no one was in line,” he says. “The rule, which I don’t really agree with, is you have to follow the car in front of you. The two guys in front of me were going through the slick, and I didn’t want to. I don’t think it should have been called back because guys are starting in the wrong spot on the track in front of me.”
On the second start, the #38 blasted off the turn at the drop of the green flag, but it was deemed to be too early. Wayne was given the black flag and started scratch in the nine-car event. Nonetheless, he shot forward to a third place finish. “I feel like we were penalized for having such a great motor,” he says. “It really takes off. I hate to be penalized for something like that if the other motors aren’t taking off. It was what it was. We just needed to get into the top five and we did that.”
Wayne’s rough drawing luck continued when he drew a 12-invert for the feature setting him up outside row six. With a one-lane track laying down rubber, it was going to be tough to move forward, but a mechanical issue made that point moot. “We were good to go, but pushing out for the feature, we stripped out a cam spud,” says Wayne. “That took care of the fuel pump and the power steering. With the track the way it was, maybe it was a blessing in disguise. We didn’t chew any tires up anyway.”
The Lucas Oil ASCS National Series hits the “Ditch” in West Memphis, Arkansas this week, but the team is still deciding whether they’ll make the long trip or run at Knoxville for the second week in a row. Their recent motor problems have lent to making some decisions on where to run. “We’re kind of up in the air right now,” says Wayne. “Memphis is a one-day show with a ten-hour drive one way. That was originally our plan, but right now we have some indecision because of our motor program. We’re waiting on a couple of 410’s and a 360.”
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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”!
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Billy Justin asks: You’ve been going to “The Ditch” for a long time. Has it changed much over the years?
Wayne answers: I haven’t been there since 2000, so I haven’t seen it since they redid it. I’m worried a little bit about the Mississippi River there. It’s only about a mile from it. It’s actually below the river’s water line. The river is supposed to crest next Tuesday. Every day until then it is rising a foot. The infield has some water in it, so we’re keeping an eye on that too. They say they are planning on it, so we’ll see.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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’s first two wins at the Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas came exactly one year apart, and both saw Garry Lee Maier in the bridesmaid position. On June 18, 1996 he beat Garry, Danny Wood, Bobby Davis Jr. and Terry Gray to the stripe, and on June 18, 1997 he bested Garry, Gary Wright, Sean Michael and Glenn Forbes.
“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: BDS Motorsports, Parker Machine, Champion Oil, BMRS Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Max Muscle, Butlerbuilt, Hinchman, Schoenfeld Headers, Super Shox, Hoosier Racing Midwest, Rod End Supply, Fuel Safe, Simpson, Conroy Pneu Controls, KSE, Maxim Chassis, Kinsler Fuel Injection, Astro Titanium, ITI Lubricants, DMI, Laser Carwash and Speedway Motors