KILGORE, Texas — When all was said and done, Wayne Johnson stood atop the podium at Saturday’s second annual Lone Star Sprint Car Nationals at Kilgore’s Lone Star Speedway.
Taking his biggest payday of the year, it was Johnson’s ninth victory of the season and proved to be a great belated birthday present for his wife, Erin. “It was my wife’s birthday on Friday and I told her I’d bring her home a big check,” said Johnson.
With Johnson starting seventh, the first two starts dramatically changed the landscape of the feature as Shane Stewart found a rut in turn three; sending the Digital Delivery Network No. 3g flipping violently into the fence followed by the No. 39c of Travis Rilat. Justin Henderson also saw his night end with rear suspension damage.
Sam Hafertepe Jr. crashed into the wall after contact with another car on the restart, collecting Tony Bruce Jr., Matt Covington, John Carney II and Mark Huddleston in the process.
Taking the green for the third time, Johnson found himself on the point with Jeff Swindell now alongside. Johnson took full advantage of his newly found staring position as the City Vending No. 77x bolted into the top spot with Swindell in tow.
Battling into the top five by lap 10, Johnny Herrera chased as Kevin Swindell worked on getting third from Seth Bergman. Tightening into a three-car battle, the trio began exchanging slide jobs at both ends of the Lone Star Speedway.
Stopping on lap 26 for the flipped car of Shawn Petersen, the race resumed with the battle for second between Jeff Swindell and Herrera. The pair made contact on lap 28, with both spinning and restarting at the back.
Taking the green flag for the final time, Johnson ran away and hid as the final laps yielded a battle for the runner-up spot between 19th-starting Jason Johnson and 13th-starting Kevin Swindell.
Johnson won the battle with K. Swindell finishing third. Bergman and Blake Hahn filled the top five.
Wayne Johnson, Jason Johnson, Kevin Swindell, Seth Bergman, Blake Hahn, Dustin Morgan, John Carney II, Matt Covington, Terry McCarl, Jamie Passmore, Johnny Herrera, Jeff Swindell, Kyle McCutcheon, Joe Wood Jr., Shawn Petersen, Brady Bacon, Mark Huddleston, Justin Melton, Zach Pringle, Shane Stewart, Justin Henderson, Travis Rilat, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Tony Bruce Jr., Danny Wood.