Johnson started the night by qualifying 15th quickest before he finished where he started - fourth - in a heat race to lock into the 15 th starting position in the main event.
"I timed in well and it made the rest of the night easy," he said. "We knew if we raced well in the heat race we'd be in the A Main. In the feature we moved forward a couple of positions and then backed up a couple. I made too many mistakes and that cost us. If I had eliminated those mistakes we could have got a couple positions."
Johnson finished only one spot shy of tying his career-best overall World of Outlaws result.
"It was a brand new car and we were getting the bugs worked out," he said. "Overall you can't hang your head about a 16th-place finish. The guys I was running with have had five or six races this season. To get rolling good this early feels great."
The weekend concluded on Saturday when Johnson timed in 34th quickest.
"We didn't time in well and it made the rest of the night difficult," he said. "Coming to the checkered flag for the first lap I got the car sideways so that hurt the first lap and my momentum going into my second lap. We knew that where we timed in we were going to have our work cut out for us."
Johnson rallied from ninth to sixth place in a heat race to miss locking into the main event by only one position.
"We tried our best and went from ninth to sixth and barely missed the transfer coming to the checkered," he said. "The Last Chance Showdown reverted back to qualifying times so that made us start third to last. Unfortunately, it went green to checkered with no yellows. It was hard for us to pass a lot of cars to get in the show, but we still went from 14 th to seventh. We were fast, but it didn't play out in our favor."
Johnson said the team will compete in approximately two dozen 410ci winged sprint car races, a dozen 410 non-wing sprint car races and 15 360 winged sprint car races this season.
The next event is this Friday and Saturday at Stockton Dirt Track in Stockton, Calif., for the FVP Western Spring Shootout with the World of Outlaws.
QUICK RESULTS -
March 17 - Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif. - Qualifying: 15; Heat race: 4 (4); Feature: 16 (15).
March 18 - Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif. - Qualifying: 34; Heat race: 6 (9); B Main: 7 (14).
SEASON STATS -
7 races, 1 win, 3 top fives, 3 top 10s, 3 top 15s, 4 top 20s
UP NEXT -
Friday and Saturday at Stockton Dirt Track in Stockton, Calif., for the FVP Western Spring Shootout with the World of Outlaws Craftsman 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 - PitStopUSA.com
PitStopUSA.com is an online motor sports superstore that offers more than 40,000 different circle track parts, supplies, tools and accessories from more than 400 of the premier brands in the industry. PitStopUSA.com specializes in racing safety equipment and is proud to offer the widest assortment anywhere. For more information, visit http://www.PitStopUSA.com.
"Pit Stop USA has been a huge supporter of mine since the beginning of my sprint car career in 2010," Johnson said. "Pit Stop USA not only makes sure that I have the correct safety equipment needed, but offers only the best products we bolt onto our race cars. They have made race shopping easy with their great customer service and a top of the line website. I couldn't be happier to represent the online motor sports superstore."
Johnson would also like to thank Newman Freeman Racing, Johnny Franklin's Mufflers, Flowmaster, Woodland Napa Auto Parts, Wesmar Racing Engines, Bell Helmets, Champion Machine, VanLare Steering Repair, Swift Metal Finishing, Shifty Illusions, Oroville Cycle 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.
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*PHOTO BY COLLIN MARKLE PHOTOGRAPHY*