Johnson, who was making his season debut in his family owned sprint car, opened the night by qualifying fourth quickest at Petaluma Speedway.
“We weren’t that great right out of the box,” he said. “We struggled in hot laps and threw quite a big change at it going into qualifying. It really turned around.”
Johnson then advanced from fourth to third place in a heat race.
“We had to make it through the heat and make sure we finished in the top four to make the feature redraw,” he said. “We were definitely fast enough to finish second, but we didn’t have the room to make something happen and I wasn’t going to force the issue.”
That locked Johnson into the feature redraw, where he pulled the No. 4 during the random redraw to line up on the outside of the second row for the 25-lap feature.
“I ran fourth for about 11 laps,” he said. “I got by (Seth Nunes) for third and then I ran there for a few more laps. Around Lap 17 to 19 the leader at the time ended up having motor issues and pulled off the track so that put us up to second. We caught Andy (Forsberg) in lapped traffic. I didn’t think we were faster than him. He was able to run a higher line than I was and I had to cheat the corners to make sure our car was happy and free.”
A late-race caution allowed Johnson to close to the bumper of the leader for the final shootout.
“We had a restart with four laps to go,” he said. “I found something that was working for my car. I didn’t know that line would be able to get around Andy because he was so fast on the top. I drove it in as hard as I could and it played out in our favor.”
Johnson kept pace with Forsberg for two laps following the restart before pulling even exiting turn four heading toward the white flag. Johnson led by a nose as the flag was waved and he held onto the top spot throughout the final lap to score the victory.
Click on the link to watch the main event: https://youtu.be/uAPegeoyCGA
He is slated to return to action driving for Shawn and Cyndi Thomas this Saturday at Stockton Dirt Track in Stockton, Calif., for the Salute to LeRoy VanConett with the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series.
QUICK RESULTS –
May 14 – Petaluma Speedway in Petaluma, Calif. – Qualifying: 4; Heat race: 3 (4); Feature: 1 (4).
SEASON STATS –
20 races, 2 wins, 5 top fives, 5 top 10s, 8 top 15s, 11 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Saturday at Stockton Dirt Track in Stockton, Calif., for the Salute to LeRoy VanConett 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 Devin Mayo Photography