Dominant Jason Johnson Conquers Devil’s Bowl

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Jason Johnson is hoping to add another trophy from 81 Speedway to his collection this weekend. (Chris Seelman Photo)

MESQUITE, Texas — Jason Johnson dominated night one of the Texas Outlaw Nationals at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, leading all 25 laps after turning the quickest qualifying time and winning the Craftsman Club Dash.

“It’s one of these nights you always imagine and you dream of,” said Johnson. “We set quick time, won a heat, won a dash, won a feature. That’s a first for me, so hats off to this crew: Jeff, Jacob, Phillip. They’re working their tails off, and it’s a lot of fun to drive right now. It feels great to be back in victory lane.”

Johnson’s second win of the season leaves him fourth in the standings. It’s also his seventh career series victory, the first one having been at Texas Motor Speedway 14 years ago.

While Johnson led flag to flag, Brad Sweet was patiently working his Napa Auto Parts/ Kasey Kahne Racing No. 49 up from five to make a late-race push for the lead. Running the bottom, he made a pass for second over Jason Sides between turns three and four, but then chose to follow Johnson on the top and came in after him.

“It was a fine line. I moved up to the top a little bit,” explained Sweet. “I think if I would have committed to the bottom and hit it a few more times we would have been a lot closer there at the end. Or maybe I would have been able to get in there. But hats off to [Jason Johnson]. He did a great job.”

Sides, who had been running second throughout the race, lost steam in the final laps and dropped back to eighth, leaving the final podium spot to Logan Schuchart.

Eight-time Series champion Donny Schatz washed way up the track in the first half of lap one and never fully recovered. He finished 16th

The previous night’s winner, David Gravel, managed to work his way up from the back, but it just wasn’t enough, leaving him in 14. But last year’s night one winner, Joey Saldana barely missed the podium with a fourth-place finish.

Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne finished 22nd and 11th, respectively.

 

World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, Devil’s Bowl Speedway, Mesquite, Texas, April 14, 2017

Qualifying: 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 13.707; 2. 7S-Jason Sides, 13.78; 3. 67-Christopher Bell, 14.076; 4. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 14.135; 5. 49-Brad Sweet, 14.166; 6. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 14.229; 7. 2C-Wayne Johnson, 14.253; 8. 2-Shane Stewart, 14.263; 9. 17-Joey Saldana, 14.27; 10. 15-Donny Schatz, 14.308; 11. 19-Brent Marks, 14.367; 12. 4K-Kasey Kahne, 14.44; 13. 33-Danny Lasoski, 14.465; 14. 9-Daryn Pittman, 14.479; 15. 13-Clyde Knipp, 14.49; 16. 1A-Jacob Allen, 14.501; 17. 14-Tony Stewart, 14.519; 18. 81W-Danny Wood, 14.52; 19. 2X-Parker Price-Miller, 14.552; 20. 99-Brady Bacon, 14.564; 21. 4-Paul McMahan, 14.584; 22. 5-David Gravel, 14.588; 23. W20-Greg Wilson, 14.612; 24. 82-Cap Henry, 14.686; 25. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild, 14.754; 26. 99T-Skylar Gee, 14.92; 27. 29-Travis Rilat, 15.237; 28. 1X-Gary Taylor, 23.157; 29. 84-Scott Bogucki, 23.278

First Heat (8 laps): J. Johnson, Schuchart, W. Johnson, Schatz, Lasoski, Price-Miller, Allen, Haudenschild, Gravel, Taylor.

Second Heat (8 laps): Sides, Sweet, S. Stewart, Marks, Pittman, Bacon, T. Stewart, Wilson, Gee, Bogucki.

Third Heat (8 laps): Bell, Saldana, Kahne, Kinser, McMahan, Wood, Rilat, Henry, Knipp.

Craftsman Club Dash (6 laps): J. Johnson, Sides, Bell, Schuchart, Sweet, Saldana.

Last Chance Showdown (12 laps): 1. Allen; 2. T. Stewart; 3. Gravel; 4. Haudenschild; 5. Henry; 6. Rilat; 7. Gee, $300; 8. Wilson, $250; 9. Taylor, $225; 10. Knipp, $200; 11. Bogucki, $200.

Feature (25 laps): 1. J. Johnson, $8,000; 2. Sweet, $4,000; 3. Schuchart, $2,500; 4. Saldana, $2,200; 5. Kinser, $2,100; 6. S. Stewart, $2,000; 7. Pittman, $1,800; 8. Sides, $1,600; 9. Marks, $1,500; 10. Lasoski, $1,300; 11. Kahne, $1,200; 12. Bacon, $1,100; 13. W. Johnson, $1,000; 14. Gravel, $700; 15. McMahan, $600; 16. Schatz, $600; 17. Haudenschild, $600; 18. Bell, $600; 19. Henry, $600; 20. Price-Miller, $600; 21. Wood, $600; 22. T. Stewart, $600; 23. Allen, $600; 24. Rilat, $600.