Johnson Stays Hot With Merrittville Score


THOROLD, Ontario – Danny Johnson is on a roll, picking up his second consecutive Super DIRTcar Series big-block modified victory Monday night at Merrittville Speedway.

The Rochester, N.Y., modified driver rocketed to victory in Merrittville’s annual 100-lap Bob St. Amand Sr. Memorial, fending off challenges from strong local runners.

“It feels awewome,” said Johnson, who is fresh off an impressive victory at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Brett Hearn’s The Big Show 6. “I just tried staying focused and got good laps.”

After finishing second in his heat to 2012 race winner Mike Bowman and drawing the pole for the feature, Johnson admitted that some good fortune played a role in his success Monday night.

“We drew the pole, and that makes life a lot easier. It’s a lot of luck,” said Johnson, whose redraw position started the Traction Grabber / Bicknell Racing Products No. 27J on the front row and helped Johnson pilot his ride to the initial lead.

However, in a long-distance race fraught with a lapped traffic on the challenging one-third-mile, D-shaped Merrittville track, it would take more than luck to keep Johnson ahead of the stout field of contenders. Series regular Billy VanInwegen gave chase to Johnson at the green flag, and by lap eight, Chad Brachmann had taken over the second spot and was running wheel-to-wheel with the leader in turn three.

Johnson shut the door on Brachmann, but a lap 11 caution brought the two back together for a double-file restart. Brachmann’s No. 3 was fast on the high side and claimed the lead, but Johnson roared ahead to take back the top spot in lap 20.