Johnson qualified 21st quickest before he placed seventh in a heat race. That relegated him to the B Main, where a third-place result earned a transfer into the back of the main event.
"We threw some changes at it and I think we got going pretty good in the B Main," he said. "We had some work to do in the A Main. I really didn't get going early on. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time at the back. I fought trying to get away from guys. We had a long green flag run and we were able to get past a couple of guys who were holding us up. Once we did that we were on a mission forward. We were passing cars until the checkered flag. I think with more laps we would have passed more cars, but 19th to eighth is nothing to complain about."
His eighth-place finish also garnered the Hard Charger Award for passing the most cars.
Johnson climbed into a Shawn and Cyndi Thomas owned sprint car on Saturday for the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series portion. The team timed in fourth quickest during qualifying with Johnson advancing from third to second place in a heat race and from fifth to fourth place in the dash.
"The crew gave me a great car and it was another night we locked into the dash through qualifying," he said. "That's how you're going to be able to win one of these. You have to start in the dash and finish up front.
"We were really, really strong in the beginning of the A Main. We immediately went from fourth to second within five laps. We had an absolute rocket. If the track would have stayed the same as it was the first five or 10 laps I think we could have won. We had a car that was fast enough and capable of doing that. The track slowly went away and when it did the car went away a little bit. Other guys were getting a little bit faster and we were just a tick off. We were still able to hold on for the fifth position."
Johnson ran second until the midpoint of the race when the handling started to go away. He ended with a fifth-place result.
Johnson will return to the Thomas sprint car this Friday and Saturday at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., for the Peter Murphy Classic with the King of the West.
QUICK RESULTS -
July 15 - Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Calif. - Qualifying: 21; Heat race: 7 (6); B Main: 3 (5); Feature: 8 (19).
July 16 - Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Calif. - Qualifying: 4; Heat race: 2 (3); Dash: 4 (5); Feature: 5 (4).
SEASON STATS -
34 races, 2 wins, 8 top fives, 12 top 10s, 20 top 15s, 23 top 20s
UP NEXT -
Friday and Saturday at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., for the Peter Murphy Classic with the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series
MEDIA LINKS -
Johnson has No. 68 t-shirts and sweatshirts as well as Chase Johnson shirts for sale at his race trailer at every race he competes in this season. T-shirts are $25 each and hoodies are $35 apiece.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT - Newman Freeman Racing
During the 1976 auto racing season, actor Paul Newman became interested in forming a professional auto racing team and contacted Bill Freeman from Santa Barbara. Freeman is credited as the man who introduced Newman to professional auto racing management and their company specialized in Can-Am, Indy Cars and other high performance racing automobiles.
"The reason Paul Newman got into racing was because of a guy named Bill Freeman," Johnson said. "Bill hasn't really been involved in racing since Paul's death so we really appreciate his support and partnership."
Johnson would also like to thank Johnny Franklin's Mufflers, PitStopUSA.com, Shifty Illusions, Napa Auto Parts, Flowmaster, Don's Truck Repair, VSR, Oroville Cycle, I-Wear Graphix, Driven Raceway, Nor-Cal Transmission and Chevron Pro-Gas for their continued support.
INSIDE LINE PROMOTIONS -
Inside Line Promotions specializes in affordable public relations and media management for motor sports drivers, teams, sponsors, tracks, series, events, organizations and manufacturers. ILP Founder Shawn Miller leverages professional journalism with new media technologies and social networking to improve your exposure and the return on investment for your sponsors.
To meet the media relations needs of your program by joining Team ILP, contact Shawn at 541-510-3663 or Shawn@InsideLinePromotions.com. For more information on Inside Line Promotions, visit http://www.InsideLinePromotions.com/
*PHOTO BY COLLIN MARKLE PHOTOGRAPHY*