R.J. Johnson Closes The Deal At 81 Speedway

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R.J. Johnson will chase the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series title this season. (TWC photo)

WICHITA, Kan. — R.J. Johnson let one get away in Wednesday night’s fifth annual USAC Southwest Sprint Cars Freedom Tour opener.

He made up for it by racing to victory lane in Friday night’s third round aboard the Michaels No. 77m atop the three-eighths-mile 81 Speedway.

The $2,500 triumph in the 25-lapper didn’t come without a perilous moment though, as the reigning series champ hit the cushion going into turn one and biked it severely.  Johnson saved it and went on to win by nearly a half-straightaway over Charles Davis Jr.

“I messed up and gave one away to start the week, and I almost pulled off a repeat to give away another one,” Johnson said..

It capped off a perfect night for the Ford-powered Kodiak parts team after Johnson won both his heat race and qualifying race earlier in the evening.

“It was a perfect night, this car was great all night,” Johnson commented.

While Johnson won both his heat and qualifier, Davis earned the pole and gunned into the early lead. Davis paced the initial nine circuits before Johnson slid by to take command for keeps.

Johnson navigated a technical cushion the rest of the way to secure the triumph ahead of Davis with Dennis Gile capturing his second podium finish of the week in third.  Tye Mihocko was a close fourth with Dustin Morgan rounding out the top five.

The finish:

R.J. Johnson, Charles Davis Jr., Dennis Gile, Tye Mihocko, Dustin Morgan, Wyatt Burks, Mike Martin, Jeremy Campbell, Chris Bonneau, Shon Deskins, Ty Hulsey, Craig Carroll, Anthony Nicholson, Forrest Sutherland, Stevie Sussex, Chris Bonneau.