Johnson kicked off the action by qualifying 23rd quickest. He then led most of a heat race before placing second, which locked him into the main event.
“We were getting our feet wet trying to get comfortable,” he said. “In the feature we got up to around 12th and got into the fence. We had a flat right rear tire and had to go to the work area. We got it fixed and came back out and finished 17th.”
The results improved the ensuing night at the half-mile oval, where Johnson timed in 11th quickest in qualifying before placing fifth in a heat race and second in the B Main. That lined him up on the outside of the sixth row for the feature.
“We drove it into sixth, but with a few laps to go there was a big flip,” he said. “The car flipping landed on top of us and we weren’t able to continue.”
Johnson gained confidence during the weekend and that propelled him into Round 3 last Monday at Petaluma Speedway, where he opened the night by setting quick time during qualifying. Johnson finished sixth in a heat race and second in the B Main to advance into the main event, where he battled into the top five to garner a career-best fifth-place result.
“I was really looking forward to getting back home,” he said. “Having the two days of racing at Calistoga boosted our confidence. The second day at Calistoga you could see it and we brought that over to Petaluma and we were great right out of the gate. It was a great night.”
Johnson piloted an outlaw kart for McClish Motorsports on Tuesday at Cycleland Speedway in Chico, Calif., for Kyle Larson’s Outlaw Kart Showcase. Unfortunately, a mechanical problem relegated him to a DNF in a heat race. The team pulled down the backup car and Johnson charged from 10th to win a Last Chance Qualifier. He then rallied from 22nd to eighth in the C Main, but was unable to finish the race because of a different mechanical problem.
Johnson returned to the non-wing sprint car on Thursday at Silver Dollar Speedway, where he timed in ninth quickest and ended sixth in a heat race. That relegated him to the B Main.
“We were running third about five laps in and the throttle stuck,” he said. “It stuck straight to the floor. I hit the brakes and it spun the car around and it went back end over end. That’s the first time that’s happened to me in a sprint car. That was a bummer. We were getting faster each race and the results were showing.”
The crash ended his night and weekend early.
“I want to thank Shawn and Cyndi Thomas for the opportunity,” he said. “They have a great team to drive for and I’m blessed. Also, a big thanks to McClish Motorsports for their support.”
Johnson will climb back into a kart this Saturday at Cycleland Speedway in Chico, Calif., before resuming sprint car competition on Sept. 24 at Placerville Speedway in Placerville, Calif., with the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series.
QUICK RESULTS –
Sept. 3 – Calistoga Speedway in Calistoga, Calif. – Qualifying: 23; Heat race: 2 (1); Feature: 17 (23).
Sept. 4 – Calistoga Speedway in Calistoga, Calif. – Qualifying: 11; Heat race: 5 (5); B Main: 2 (4); Feature: DNF (12).
Sept. 5 – Petaluma Speedway in Petaluma, Calif. – Qualifying: 1; Heat race: 6 (6); B Main: 2 (1); Feature: 5 (7).
Sept. 6 – Cycleland Speedway in Chico, Calif. – Heat race: DNF (-); Last Chance Qualifier: 1 (10); C Main: DNF (22).
Sept. 8 – Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif. – Qualifying: 9; Heat race: 6 (5); B Main: DNF (4).
SEASON STATS –
45 races, 2 wins, 10 top fives, 15 top 10s, 23 top 15s, 27 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Saturday at Cycleland Speedway in Chico, Calif.
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 – PitStopUSA.com
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“We’ve been partnered together for the last few years and it’s great to have their continued support,” Johnson said. “All that they do really helps out and we couldn’t do what we do without them. Make sure to check out their website and give them a call today. They have great products at great prices. Everyone at PitStopUSA is great and I couldn’t be happier to represent such an amazing company.”
Johnson would also like to thank Johnny Franklin’s Mufflers, Newman Freeman Racing, 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: Korie Layne Lafond Images