JASON JOHNSON GETS THE KNOXVILLE DOUBLE
2016 Knoxville Nationals champion Jason Johnson has blasted back into contention winning the two majors races and announcing himself a serious challenger after the penultimate night’s racing.
By Geoff Rounds
Johnson won the World Challenge and also raced to victory in the main qualifying feature.
Johnson took early leads in both events and blasted away from the field on the half-mile, black-dirt oval at the Marion County Fairgrounds in Iowa.
He acknowledged the team was testing things to prepare for Saturday’s race by using Friday’s doubleheader to his advantage for tomorrow night’s 50-lap race.
Johnson’s sweep came a night after various problems kept the defending Knoxville Nationals winner from transferring into Saturday’s program on his qualifying night.
“It is a mindset. On qualifying night, you want to get as close to the front as possible, but once last night didn’t go the way as planned, you have to realise there is going to be a different outcome. We knew the best we could do tonight was to win the race and start 17th,” Johnson said.
Logan Schuchart charging from 11th to finish second and make his second consecutive Nationals feature while Aaron Reutzel finished third and California’s Cory Eliason was the fourth driver to transfer to Saturday’s $150,000 to win main event. He will start 20th.
In the World Challenge Johnson proved too good beating home reigning World Series Sprintcars champion James McFadden, who started on the pole and led the first six laps, Brad Sweet, who will start third in Saturday night’s feature, charged from 14th to finish third in what was the fastest car on the track throughout the race.
Dominic Scelzi and Brian Brown rounded out the top five, with Americans taking four of the top five positions.
World Challenge finish:
Jason Johnson, James McFadden, Brad Sweet, Dominic Scelzi, Brian Brown, Lynton Jeffrey, Ian Madsen, Greg Hodnett, Logan Schuchart, Shane Stewart, Kerry Madsen, Jamie Veal, Carson Macedo, Terry McCarl, Lucas Wolfe, Skyler Gee, Harli White, Jason Kendrick, Brooke Tatnell, Jordyn Brazier, Thomas Kennedy, Scott Bogucki.
“Last night didn’t pan out the way were looking for it,” Johnson said. It was phenomenal to watch David (Gravel) last night and that inspired me tonight. In our own way, we kind of did the same thing tonight. We won our heat and won the feature. You have to find the best of every situation even when you find a situation when we were down. We did that tonight.”
Johnson was one of four drivers, who transferred into Saturday’s finale, with Logan Schuchart charging from 11th to finish second and make his second consecutive Nationals feature.
Feature (25 laps) J. Johnson, Schuchart, Reutzel, Eliason, Kemenah, Bayston, S. Haudenschild, Tatnell, Kaeding, S. Swindell, Kinser, Allen, Saldana, Marks, Balog, Bacon, Duncan, McFadden, J. Swindell, J. Haudenschild, S. Bogucki, Hafertepe, Lorenc, Jeffrey.
For more of the latest in speedway news, pick up the current issue Auto Action Magazine, in stores now. In the meantime make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates through out the rest of the Knoxville Nationals.
Date posted: August 12, 2017