Johnson Wings It At Knoxville

Wayne Johnson won Friday's 360 sprint car feature at Knoxville Raceway. (Julia Johnson photo)
Wayne Johnson won Friday's 360 sprint car feature at Knoxville Raceway. (Julia Johnson photo)

KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Wayne Johnson passed Terry McCarl on the final lap to win a thrilling 360 sprint car feature Friday night at Knoxville Raceway.

Brady Bacon won the non-winged sprint car feature that headlined the Corn Belt Nationals opener.

The 18-lap 360 feature started ugly. Austin McCarl and Rob Kubli took wild rides, but walked away.  An eight-car pileup saw six cars eliminated. Joining the pair who flipped were the point leader coming in, Ryan Giles, as well as Trey Starks, Thomas Kennedy and Matt Juhl.

Once underway, the race went non-stop. Carson McCarl took the early lead over Matt Moro and Terry McCarl. Clint Garner worked his way from row six into the top five by lap three. Terry McCarl used the low side to gain second from Moro on the same lap. Wayne Johnson used the same move to work into the show position on lap five, with Garner taking fourth two laps later.

Johnson’s car was working well on the bottom and he shot by Terry McCarl for second on lap nine.  A three-wide battle for the lead commenced, with Terry getting by his son for point on lap 11. Johnson worked his way into second with six to go as the leaders approached traffic.

Johnson slowly reeled in Terry McCarl and when the leader slipped in turn one, he pounced using the low side. The win was Johnson’s 13th here in a 360, and came ahead of Terry McCarl, Garner, who gained third on the last lap, Carson McCarl and Gio Scelzi.

“I’m a little bit rejuvenated here at Knoxville,” said Johnson. “I’ve been away a little bit racing some 360 stuff.  I have to thank Todd and Kelly Carlile for letting me go race and do what I want to do.  I love this place and this is where I want to race. My guys have been busting their butt.  That’s a brand new racecar. Anytime you can beat Terry McCarl here, you’ve done something. You know that. He just made a mistake in traffic, and my car was really good on the bottom.”

The finish:

Feature (18 laps): 1. Wayne Johnson (6); 2. Terry McCarl (4); 3. Clint Garner (11); 4. Carson McCarl (1); 5. Gio Scelzi (9); 6. Jon Agan (12); 7. Matt Moro (2); 8. Ryan Roberts (3); 9. Calvin Landis (19); 10. Kelby Watt (17); 11. Davey Heskin (20); 12. Jamie Ball (23); 13. Mason Daniel (18); 14. Josh Higday (7); 15. Joe Beaver (15); 16. Jason Martin (21); 17. Ryan Bowers (14); 18. Tom Lenz (24); 19. Trey Starks (5); 20. Austin McCarl (8); 21. Ryan Giles (10); 22. Thomas Kennedy (13); 23. Matt Juhl (16); 24. Rob Kubli (22).