VENTURA, Calif. — After getting bested by Tyler Courtney in the 360 sprint car Dash for Cash Wednesday night at Ventura Raceway, Chase Johnson was determined not to have a repeat.
Johnson rocketed out from the outside pole and never looked back, leading wire to wire in the 41-lap Jason Johnson Tribute Race for his second USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series win of the season.
Though traffic wasn’t too kind to him in the second half of the race, Johnson still opened up more than four seconds over the field before a late caution after the white flag set up a green-white-checkered finish.
But Chris Windom’s trouble and the yellow flag that followed could do nothing to stop Johnson, who fended off Geoff Ensign over the final two revolutions and took the twin checkers in front by .373 seconds.
“Man, wow … what a race,” said Johnson in victory lane. “I have to thank our partners, Pit Stop USA and Johnny Franklin Mufflers, along with everyone that helps out. Honestly tonight, everyone that built the parts and pieces on this race car deserve the thanks, because they held together well.
“I was kind of crossing my fingers there. Last year we had a steering box go, so I knew anything was going to be happening or anything could happen,” Johnson added. “But I’m just really happy that we were able to survive and be right here (on the frontstretch) at the end of it all.”
Johnson’s win came on a night that was not only interrupted mid-way through by a rain shower, but also featured one of the roughest iterations of the beachside, fifth-mile dirt oval in Ventura history.
“Holy moly. I may need a steroid shot or something to get me through the midget main; gosh, dang, it’s wild out there,” noted Johnson. “I’ve never been on a track like that before, so that was definitely a first, but man, it was wild and I knew I had to get the job and just be smooth through a lot of traffic.
“I don’t know what to say really. I had no idea about the gap between me and Tyler; I didn’t know how fast we were. Really, I was just kind of out there cruising and trying to survive, honestly.”
Ensign passed polesitter Courtney with nine to go and held runner-up honors to the finish, with Courtney completing the podium ahead of Brady Bacon and Tyler Edwards.
Troy Rutherford, who ended up seventh, won the Battle at the Beach mini-series championship.
Jason Johnson Tribute Race (41 laps): 1. Chase Johnson , 2. Geoff Ensign , 3. Tyler Courtney , 4. Brady Bacon , 5. Tyler Edwards , 6. Carson Macedo , 7. Troy Rutherford , 8. Austin Liggett , 9. Tanner Carrick , 10. Max Adams , 11. J.J. Ringo , 12. Michael Pickens , 13. T.J. Smith , 14. Ryan Timmons , 15. Jarrett Soares , 16. Ricky Lewis , 17. Chris Windom , 18. Blake Carrick , 19. Rick Hendrix , 20. Geoff Strole , 21. Bruno Bianchi , 22. Trent Williams , 23. Tristan Guardino , 24. Slater Helt , 25. Kaleb Montgomery .
Lap Leader(s): Chase Johnson 1-41.
Hard Charger: #21 – Carson Macedo (+15)