Chase Johnson Sweeps Night at Keller Auto Speedway to Earn Non-Wing Sprint Car Win

Chase Johnson Photo from ILP

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– VENTURA, Calif. (Sept. 14, 2021) – Chase Johnson swept the night last Friday at Keller Auto Speedway, where he set quick time during qualifying before winning both a heat race and the main event.

Johnson guided the May Motorsports entry to the Kings of Thunder Non-Wing Sprint Cars triumph. It was his fifth victory of the year and third with the team.

“It felt really good to do that, especially because running against the 410s the weekend before we were really strong and with an equal opportunity we would have been that much better,” he said. “To back up that weekend and show how fast we were felt really good.”

Johnson was impressive during Labor Day Weekend as he posted results of eighth and fourth at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif., before garnering a runner-up outing at Petaluma Speedway in Petaluma, Calif., to cap a USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series tripleheader with May Motorsports.

“We ran a 360 with the 410 series so I wasn’t too sure of our expectations,” Johnson said. “We won a previous show in Bakersfield, but that was a much smaller track. I thought we fared pretty well for having a 360 in and competing against the 410s. At the end of it we were pretty close to getting a win.”

Momentum was on Johnson’s side from the start last Friday at Keller Auto Speedway, where the night began with quick time during time trials. He then charged from last – eighth – to win a heat race. That lined Johnson up on the inside of the fourth row for the main event.

“At the start of the race I wanted to be patient and take things as I got it,” he said. “Toward the end I felt like I was running out of time so I had to be a bit more aggressive, but still I was able to take the race at my own pace and make smart, timely moves.

“I think we only had one caution so it wasn’t very easy to make up a huge amount of ground. When I got to second the leader had quite a bit of a lead. I kept my head down and made consistent laps. I think we got to second by Lap 10 or Lap 12, right around halfway. We caught the leader and a yellow came out just as we were almost to him. I think there were five laps to go on the restart and I was able to get by him with three laps to go. I got a good run coming out of turn two and was able to exit the corner better. I was side by side with him and slid him into turns three and four. I cleared him and from there it was smooth sailing.”

Johnson’s win also yielded the Hard Charger Award for passing the most cars.

He returned to action on Saturday at Ventura Raceway, where Johnson made his debut in a car owned by Kyle Beilman during the USAC Western States Midgets Series show. He again set quick time during qualifying, this time by nearly four tenths of a second. Johnson advanced from sixth to second place in a heat race to lock himself into the sixth starting position in the A Main.

“It went well,” he said. “It’s a great car and I worked with Brad Loyet as the crew chief so I felt like we’d fare pretty well. We started out with quick time and drove from sixth to second in the heat race. In the main event I was running fifth and got hung up in someone else’s mess on Lap 11, but we were able to come from the back and finish with a top 10.”

Johnson rebounded from the incident to rally back to a sixth-place result.

“I want to thank Kyle for the opportunity to drive his midget,” he said.

Up next for Johnson will be a pair of classes this Sunday at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, Calif., where he will drive for May Motorsports during the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars action and for Six8 Motorsports during Bay Cities Racing Association competition.


Sept. 10 – Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford, Calif. – Qualifying: 1; Heat race: 1 (8); Feature: 1 (7).

Sept. 11 – Ventura Raceway in Ventura, Calif. – Qualifying: 1; Heat race: 2 (6); Feature: 6 (6).


Sunday at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, Calif., with the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars and Bay Cities Racing Association