Chase Johnson Rallies From 16th to Win USAC/CRA Event With Last-Lap Pass

Chase Johnson USAC Photo

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (May 10, 2021) – Victory tasted sweet on Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway, where Chase Johnson charged from 16th to earn his second win of the season.

Johnson made the most of his debut behind the wheel of a May Motorsports race car during the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car event at the dirt oval, where he was at a disadvantage from the start of the 410ci non-wing sprint car show.

“They didn’t have a 410 and I knew going to Bakersfield it’s one of the few tracks where a 360 will be able to compete,” he said. “I knew we’d be down on power and wouldn’t qualify that well. We were 16th so that put us in a little hole for the rest of the night, but we were able to overcome that.”

Johnson qualified 16th quickest of the 23 entrants before he rallied to win his heat race.

“I fell back to third or fourth and slowly made my way to first with two laps to go, but it didn’t matter where we finished as we still had to start 16th in the feature,” he said.

Johnson lined up on the outside of the eighth row for the 30-lap main event.

“It was hairy the first couple of laps,” he said. “As we spaced out I was able to pick off positions one by one and we were up to third by the halfway point. We slowly worked at it and I got more comfortable.

“I got to second and found the rubber before the leader did, but I wasn’t able to sneak past him before I showed him where the rubber was. The last eight to 10 laps we were pushing him around the track. On the last lap I made a move to take the lead down the backstretch. I’ve always raced people how they race me and this time it worked out in our favor.”

Johnson’s last-lap pass for the win also earned him the Hard Charger Award as he passed the most cars – 15 – in the feature.

Johnson will be piloting a 410ci winged sprint car this weekend during the Peter Murphy Classic, which runs Friday at Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford, Calif., and Saturday at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., with the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Series.


May 8 – Bakersfield Speedway in Bakersfield, Calif. – Qualifying: 16; Heat race: 1 (1); Feature: 1 (16).


Friday at Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford, Calif., and Saturday at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., during the Peter Murphy Classic with the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Series