By Lonnie Wheatley
PLACERVILLE, Cal. (July 30, 2011) – Oklahoma City native Wayne Johnson proved to be a master of Placerville Speedway’s Bullring Nationals by completing a sweep of the weekend’s Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National action with a $6,000 score in Saturday’s night’s 35-lap main event.
Johnson chased down current Lucas Oil Sprint Car points leader Shane Stewart in traffic on the 11th round and held the lead the rest of the way for his second win in as many nights aboard Bryan Sundby’s Parker-powered No. 38 Maxim.
“Bryan gave me one hell of a race car here at Placerville and now we’re going home with some momentum,” Johnson commented after his 30th career ASCS National win with next weekend’s 21st Annual ASCS Knoxville Nationals in the crosshairs for the Lucas Oil Sprint Cars.
Friday night’s preliminary Bullring Nationals feature winner, Johnson redrew the pole position for Saturday’s finale but it was front row outside starter Stewart battling into the lead on the opening lap.
The Oklahoma trio of Stewart, Johnson and fourth-starter Brady Bacon slipped away from the field in the early laps with Johnson turning up the heat on Stewart as they approached the tail of the field after eight laps.
With Stewart working the top side along with most of the field, Johnson dipped to the low side in traffic and surged into the lead on the 11th circuit.
Stewart stayed within striking distance throughout as Johnson weathered four cautions over an eight-lap stretch from 15 to 23, but Johnson kept Stewart at bay to take the checkered flag with a four car-length advantage.
Stewart settled for runner-up honors, maintaining his series points lead with his 11th top-five and 14th top-ten in 14 Lucas Oil Sprint Car feature events thus far in 2011.
“It’s really disappointing, this is a race I really wanted to win,” Stewart commented of the runner-up finish in the Wesmar-powered Rockstar Energy Drink No. 57 A.R.T. near car owner and crew chief Paul Silva’s hometown.
Bacon posted his second third-place finish in as many nights aboard the Wesmar-powered Fatheadz Eyewear No. 99 Triple X, explaining that, “It was another good points night, we beat everybody ahead of us and close to us in points except for Shane so we’ll take it.”
Defending Lucas Oil Sprint Car champion Jason Johnson rebounded from a tough Friday night to climb from ninth to fourth aboard the Don Ott-powered Haynes No. 41 Maxim, with four-time series champion Gary Wright working the low line to round out the top five after starting 13th in his No. 9 Maxim.
After a lap 23 skirmish while battling for fourth with Tim Crawley that brought out the race’s final caution, Jeff Swindell slipped to sixth in the final circuits minus a cylinder with Greg DeCaires the top-finishing California shoe in seventh. Tim Kaeding climbed from 15th to eighth, with Sean Becker and 16th-starter Zach Chappell completing the top ten.
The initial 15 laps of the feature ran off in non-stop fashion with the first caution then flying when Stephen Allard spun exiting turn four after contact. After Colby Wiesz stopped off turn two on the restart, Mason Moore spun in turn one with 17 laps in the books. The final caution flew when Crawley caught the bad end of the on-track action with Swindell after 23 laps.
Wright, DeCaires, Jason Johnson and Wiesz topped Saturday night’s heat race action, with Andy Forsberg and Johnny Herrera winning the 12-lap “B” Main.
Jonathan Allard flipped in turn four in the second heat race after getting a taste of a right rear Hoosier tire. Allard returned for “B” Main action but fell one spot short of a transfer.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters
Bullring Nationals Finale
Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA)
Locked in from Friday Night’s Preliminary Feature:
38-Wayne Johnson, 87-Aaron Reutzel, 99-Brady Bacon, 57-Shane Stewart.
Heat Races (Top 12 in Passing Points to “A” Main, including the four heat race winners; Balance to Two “B” Mains):
Heat One (10 Laps): 1. 9-Gary Wright, 2. 88-Tim Crawley, 3. 0-Zach Chappell, 4. 5h-Mason Moore, 5. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 6. 85-C.J. Humphreys, 7. 8-Jim Richardson, 8. 28b-Brenton Nugent, 9. 98-Chris Masters.
Heat Two (10 Laps): 1. 18T-Greg DeCaires, 2. 14s-Kyle Hirst, 3. X1-Andy Forsberg, 4. 23-Seth Bergman, 5. 83jr-Tim Kaeding, 6. 69c-Chad Compton, 7. 28x-Billy Strange, 8. 14r-Scott Russell, 9. 64-Jonathan Allard.
Heat Three (10 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 28-Jeff Swindell, 3. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 4. 83-Stephen Allard, 5. 3F-Jeff Ensign, 6. 25-Justin Johnson, 7. 20-Nicole Miller, 8. 1x-Brett Miller, 9. 57x-Billy Butler.
Heat Four (10 Laps): 1. 21-Colby Wiesz, 2. 86-Marc Mackay, 3. 2sb-Sean Becker, 4. 94-Steven Tiner, 5. 33T-Jimmy Trulli, 6. 53-Andy Gregg, 7. 3-R.C. Smith, 8. 17m-Nick McColloch, 9. 3c-Cody Lamar.
“B” Mains (Top 3 from Each Advance to “A” Main):
First “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. X1-Andy Forsberg, 2. 83-Stephen Allard, 3. 23-Seth Bergman, 4. 25-Justin Johnson, 5. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 6. 1x-Brett Miller, 7. 3-R.C. Smith, 8. 8-Jim Richardson, 9. 98-Chris Masters, 10. 28b-Brenton Nugent, 11. 3c-Cody Lamar, 12. 69c-Chad Compton.
Second “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 2. 5h-Mason Moore, 3. 85-C.J. Humphreys, 4. 64-Jonathan Allard, 5. 20-Nicole Miller, 6. 33T-Jimmy Trulli, 7. 57x-Billy Butler, 8. 17m-Nick McColloch, 9. 14r-Scott Russell, 10. 53-Andy Gregg, 11. 3F-Jeff Ensign, 12. 28x-Billy Strange.
Bullring Nationals Championship “A” Main:
“A” Feature (35 Laps): 1. 38-Wayne Johnson, 2. 57-Shane Stewart, 3. 99-Brady Bacon, 4. 41-Jason Johnson, 5. 9-Gary Wright, 6. 28-Jeff Swindell, 7. 18T-Greg DeCaires, 8. 83jr-Tim Kaeding, 9. 2sb-Sean Becker, 10. 0-Zach Chappell, 11. 5h-Mason Moore, 12. 85-C.J. Humphreys, 13. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 14. 94-Steven Tiner, 15. 86-Marc Mackay, 16. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 17. 83-Stephen Allard, 18. 88-Tim Crawley, 19. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 20. 23-Seth Bergman, 21. 14s-Kyle Hirst, 22. 21-Colby Wiesz, 23. X1-Andy Forsberg.
Lap Leaders: Shane Stewart 1-10, Wayne Johnson 11-35.
Note: Tony Bruce, Jr., utilized his mid-season full-point provisional to start the main event. Bruce, Jr., has just one partial point provisional remaining.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Driver Points (Top 15): 1. Shane Stewart 1,816, 2. Johnny Herrera 1,674 3. Jeff Swindell 1,622 4. Brady Bacon 1,578, 5. Gary Wright 1,537, 6. Tim Crawley 1,502, 7. Seth Bergman 1,454, 8. Aaron Reutzel 1,432, 9. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,350, 10. Jason Johnson 1,274, 11. Zach Chappell 1,237, 12. Wayne Johnson 1,096, 13. Logan Forler 1,091, 14. Dustin Morgan 877, 15. Tim Kaeding 776.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Owner Points (Top 15): 1. Jason Johnson Racing #41 – 1,826, 2. Paul Silva #57 – 1,816, 3. Herrera/Main #45x – 1,674, 4. Swindell Group #28 – 1,622, 5. Bacon/Tel-Star #99 – 1,578, 6. Mike Ward #88 – 1,502, 7. Petersen Motorsports #23 1,454, 8. Kenny Reutzel #87 – 1,432, 9. Bruce Racing #18 – 1,350, 10. Randy Washburn #0 – 1,237, 11. Bryan Sundby #38 – 1,096, 12. Steve Forler #2L – 1,091, 13. Gary Wright #9 – 941, 14. M&M Motorsports #2 – 877, 15. Cooper/Sperry #01/51 – 872.