Johnson Spoils Brown’s Surprise Visit at I-70 Motorsport Park’s 360 Nationals!

Wayne Johnson ASCS Win at I-70 Lonnie Wheatley Photo

By Lonnie Wheatley
ODESSA, Mo. (June 25, 2022) – Brian Brown’s unexpected visit to I-70 Motorsports Park very nearly netted a $5,000 payday in Saturday night’s Inaugural 360 Nationals atop the ½-mile clay oval.

But an ailing powerplant coupled with a late caution opened the door for Oklahoma City’s Wayne Johnson to slide into the lead and pace the final two rounds to collect the payday with his third Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour feature win of the season aboard the Select Coatings Two-C Racing No. 2c Sprint Car.

Johnson gunned into the lead from the pole position in the 30-lapper, countered a Brown slider in the opening pair of corners and proceeded to set the pace for 15 rounds before Brown capitalized on lapped traffic to take command at the midway point.

“I knew he had to be back there somewhere, but I wasn’t sure how close he was,” Johnson explained in victory lane. “I was trying to be cautious through traffic and I guess I was being a little too cautious.”

Traffic was a factor from the early going with the lead duo of Johnson and Brown reaching the tail of the filed by the sixth round as Jason Martin and Blake Hahn kept them within striking distance as well.

Playing a high-speed game of chess through heavy traffic over the next 13 circuits, Brown pressured Johnson before taking advantage to race into the lead on the 16th lap.

Brown kept Johnson at bay over the ensuing rounds, but trouble was brewing for the Casey’s/FVP No. 21b Sprint Car with smoke beginning to emanate from the machine.

Brown held the point even after a lap 19 caution for Ben Brown, staying ahead of Johnson and Martin, who joined in on the lead chase.

As Brown’s engine continued to sour, a final caution setting up a two-lap dash to the stripe proved too much to overcome as Johnson charged past Brown in turns one and two and raced on to the checkered flag ahead of Brown and Martin.

“I could tell there was something wrong with his car, but wasn’t sure what it was,” Johnson explained. “You could tell he wasn’t accelerating off the corners as well as he should have been.”

Brown concurred, explaining that, “I could still go pretty well as long we kept going, I just kept changing lines and trying to make myself as wide as possible. But I just couldn’t take off that well on that last restart, and with a guy like Wayne behind me, he’s experienced enough to know how to take advantage.”

Martin settled for third, commenting that, “I thought I might have a shot at getting those two guys on that last restart. I thought they might get to sliding each other and mess each other up, but that didn’t quite work out.”

Brandon Anderson raced to the stripe in fourth with Garet Williamson charging through the field from 17th to round out the top five.

Matt Covington was sixth with Austin Neal picking off a handful of positions to rank as the top-finishing ASCS Warrior Region representative in seventh. Tony Shilling crossed the stipe in eighth as the final car on the lead lap with Jake Griffin and 21st-starter Landon Britt completing the top ten.

Hahn held down fourth for 28 rounds before losing power and coming to a stop to precipitate the race’s final caution.

Johnson kicked off the night by establishing a new 360-ci track record of 14.449 seconds in qualifying with Kyler Johnson, Shilling, Tim Crawley and Anderson picking off heat race wins.

Williamson scored the “B” Main win before his charge through the feature field. Austin Alumbaugh held second in the “B” Main until reaching the white flag and suffering rear end failure that cut his drive short, allowing Ryan Bickett to snare the eighth and final transfer position.

I-70 Motorsports Park 360 Sprint Car Nationals – Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour vs. ASCS Warrior Region

Saturday, June 25, 2022 Results:

Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour/ASCS Warrior Region

Qualifying Group One: 1. 21b-Brian Brown 14.580, 2. 187-Landon Crawley 14.898, 3. 0-Jake Griffin 14.900, 4. 45x-Kyler Johnson 14.982, 5. 7c-Chris Morgan 14.998, 6. 50z-Zach Chappell 15.139, 7. 10p-Dylan Postier 15.349, 8. 16-Dustin Clark 15.457.

Qualifying Group Two: 1. 52-Blake Hahn 14.530, 2. 21-Gunner Ramey 14.638, 3. 7-Tony Shilling 14.725, 4. 11a-Austin O’Neal 15.008, 5. 2-Dylan Opdahl 15.539, 6. 9c-Tony Crank 15.658, 7. 38-Kevin Frisbie 17.306.

Qualifying Group Three: 1. 36-Jason Martin 14.462, 2. 3p-Sawyer Phillips 14.565, 3. 98p-Miles Paulus 14.879, 4. 1x-Tim Crawley 14.927, 5. 2J-Zach Blurton 15.002, 6. 86-Timothy Smith 15.062, 7. 10-Landon Britt 15.074.

Qualifying Group Four: 1. 2c-Wayne Johnson 14.449. 2. 95-Matt Covington 14.522, 3. 24-Garet Williamson 14.560, 4. 55b-Brandon Anderson 14.721, 5. 7b-Ben Brown 14.729, 6. 33-Austin Alumbaugh 14.758, 7. 17b-Ryan Bickett 15.118.

Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 45x-Kyler Johnson (1), 2. 21b-Brian Brown (4), 3. 0-Jake Griffin (2), 4. 187-Landon Crawley (3), 5. 50z-Zach Chappell (6), 6. 7c-Chris Morgan (5), 7. 16-Dustin Clark (8), 8. 10p-Dylan Postier (7).

Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 7-Tony Shilling (2), 2. 52-Blake Hahn (4), 3. 11a-Austin O’Neal (1), 4. 21-Gunner Ramey (3), 5. 9c-Tony Crank (6), 6. 2-Dylan Opdahl (5), 7. 38-Kevin Frisbie (DNS).

Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 1x-Tim Crawley (1). 2. 36-Jason Martin (4), 3. 3p-Sawyer Phillips (3), 4. 98p-Miles Paulus (2), 5. 2J-Zach Blurton (5), 6. 86-Timothy Smith (6), 7. 10-Landon Britt (7).

Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 55b-Brandon Anderson (1), 2. 2c-Wayne Johnson (4), 3. 95-Matt Covington (3), 4. 7b-Ben Brown (5), 5. 33-Austin Alumbaugh (6), 6. 24-Garet Williamson (2), 7. 17b-Ryan Bickett (7).

“B” Main (12 Laps): 1. 24-Garet Williamson (1), 2. 50z-Zach Chappell (4), 3. 2J-Zach Blurton (3), 4. 7c-Chris Morgan (6), 5. 10-Landon Britt (9), 6. 2-Dylan Opdahl (8), 7. 16-Dustin Clark (11), 8. 17b-Ryan Bickett (10), 9. 10p-Dylan Postier (12), 10. 86-Timothy Smith (7), 11. 33-Austin Alumbaugh (2), 12. 9c-Tony Crank (5), 13. 38-Kevin Frisbie (13).

“A” Main (30 Laps): 1. 2c-Wayne Johnson (1), 2. 21b-Brian Brown (3), 3. 36-Jason Martin (2), 4. 55b-Brandon Anderson (6), 5. 24-Garet Williamson (17), 6. 95-Matt Covington (9), 7. 11a-Austin O’Neal (12), 8. 7-Tony Shilling (8), 9. 0-Jake Griffin (11), 10. 10-Landon Britt (21), 11. 17b-Ryan Bickett (24), 12. 52-Blake Hahn (4), 13. 7c-Chris Morgan (20), 14. 2-Dylan Opdahl (22), 15. 3p-Sawyer Phillips (10), 16. 187-Landon Crawley (16), 17. 2J-Zach Blurton (19), 18. 50z-Zach Chappell (18), 19. 7b-Ben Brown (14), 20. 21-Gunner Ramey (13), 21. 98p-Miles Paulus (15), 22. 16-Dustin Clark (23), 23. 1x-Tim Crawley (5), 24. 45x-Kyler Johnson (7).

Lap Leaders: Wayne Johnson 1-15, Brian Brown 17-28, Johnson 29-30.