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Wayne Johnson Wins ASCS Knoxville Nationals Thursday Prelim

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Wayne Johnson Wins ASCS Knoxville Nationals Thursday Prelim


by Lonnie Wheatley


KNOXVILLE, Iowa (August 6, 2009) – No driver has ever won the ASCS Knoxville Nationals on three different occasions.


But, Oklahoma City, Okla., native Wayne Johnson has a solid chance of changing that fact after an impressive triumph in Thursday's 20-lap preliminary feature, putting the caps on the opening night of competition at the 19th Annual ASCS Knoxville Nationals atop the famed Marion County Fairgrounds ½-mile clay oval.


Johnson, the reigning event winner after capturing his first ASCS Knoxville crown in 2000, slid past 2007 event winner Shane Stewart on the tenth round and never looked back en route to capturing his 27th career Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters feature win.


"I really didn't think we had that good a chance to become the first three-time winner when we got here, but maybe we finally shook that monkey off our back that's been there all year," Johnson commented after picking up the win aboard the FattFro No. 14aj entry.


After starting the feature event inside the third row, Johnson was up to third behind Stewart and pole starter Dustin Daggett after just four laps. Johnson disposed of Daggett for second by the sixth round, just one circuit before the caution flew for a Lee Grosz spin in turn one.


Lucas Oil Sprint Car title contender Stewart led the way on the restart, but it was only a lap later when fellow Sooner State shoe Johnson slid by for the lead in turns one and two.


Johnson raced the rest of the distance unchallenged, despite encountering lapped traffic over the final rounds.


Stewart, who slid past front row starters Daggett and Chuck Swenson in the opening pair of corners for the early lead, held on for runner-up honors aboard Paul Silva's Wesmar-powered ProBilt Construction No. 57 A.R.T., commenting that, "Paul gives me a great car to work with, but we're fightin' it a little right now. We've got to get a little better if we want a chance of winning this."


Stewart held off eighth-starter Billy Alley over the final rounds. Alley, the back-to-back ASCS Knoxville Nationals winner in 2004 and 2005 that established a quick time of 16.142 seconds earlier in the night, took the show position to give past event winners a sweep of the podium.


"We missed it pretty bad tonight, it's a miracle we got third," the Lincoln, NE, shoe explained after a solid run aboard the Wesmar-powered Bolz Farms/Aeroquip Performance No. 22 JEI. "We can make this car a lot better."


Tony Bruce, Jr. of Liberal, KS, pedaled forward from the fourth row to claim fourth aboard the Rider-powered No. 18 Maxim, with Michigan's Daggett riding the high side of the track throughout to round out the top five in Phil Mott's Gaerte-powered Steve Winnie Auto Sales No. 2m Maxim.


Kaley Gharst climbed ten positions from 16th to finish sixth, while defending Lucas Oil Sprint Car champion Jason Johnson charged from 23rd to seventh. Chuck Swenson was eighth after starting from the front row outside, with Ricky Logan and 21st-starter Johnny Anderson completing the top ten.


After Alley established quick time among the night's 52-car field, Nate Van Haaften, W. Johnson, Gharst, Stewart and Jon Agan topped heat race action. Brad Barickman won the 6-lap "C" Main, while Anderson slid past Matt Covington on the final circuit to win the 12-lap "B" Main. Covington then climbed a tire entering turn one on the opening lap of the main event and flipped without injury.


Originally slated to start the main event outside row three, Ohio's Dale Blaney was unable to fire and watched the main event from the pits.


Rod Richards flipped in turn one in the night's second heat race and was done for the night, while Greg Wilson missed the third heat with driveline woes after timing in third-quick on the night.


In the "B" Main, Ricky Montgomery sailed into the turn one fencing when Tasker Phillips and Kyle Sager tangled in front of him. Jody Rosenboom and Thomas Kennedy suffered race-ending damage in that lap five scrum as well.


The second half of the 19th Annual ASCS Knoxville Nationals field hits the track Friday night at 7:15 p.m., which will set the grid for Saturday night's $10,000-to-win championship finale.


19th Annual ASCS Knoxville Nationals Thursday Night Preliminary Results:




1. 22-Billy Alley (Lincoln, NE) 16.142, 2. 18T-Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS) 16.292, 3. w20-Greg Wilson (Benton Ridge, OH) 16.311, 4. 95-Matt Covington (Glenpool, OK) 16.325, 5. 2a-Johnny Anderson (Indianola, IA) 16.337, 6. 41-Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA) 16.380, 7. 40-Clint Garner (Sioux Falls, SD) 16.392, 8. 11-Chad Corken (Highlands Ranch, CO) 16.399, 9. 4-Eric Baldaccini (Keller, TX) 16.404, 10. 44w-Austen Wheatley (Lake Stevens, WA) 16.430, 11. 6b-Dale Blaney (Hartford, OH) 16.447, 12. 14aj-Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK) 16.454, 13. 33a-Austin Alumbaugh (Higginsville, MO) 16.483, 14. 57-Shane Stewart (Bixby, OK) 16.509, 15. X-Chuck Swenson (Watertown, SD) 16.528, 16. 71-R.J. Johnson (Tampa, FL) 16.537, 17. 4x-Jon Corbin (Carrollton, MO) 16.546, 18. 51-Dave Hall (Des Moines, IA) 16.630, 19. 26-Tayler Malsam (Monroe, WA) 16.633, 20. 2mx-Dustin Daggett (Portland, MI) 16.656, 21. 71r-Ryan Anderson (Charter Oak, IA) 16.665, 22. 28-Jonathan Cornell (Sedalia, MO) 16.665, 23. 6-Danny Heskin (St. Michael, MN) 16.690, 24. 22n-Nate Mosher (Prairie City, IA) 16.709, 25. 10a-Ricky Logan (Little Rock, AR) 16.717, 26. 3-Nate Van Haaften (Otley, IA) 16.746, 27. 17-Austin McCarl (Altoona, IA) 16.795, 28. 7k-Kaley Gharst (Decatur, IL) 16.814, 29. 99jr-Justin Henderson (Sioux Falls, SD) 16.855, 30. 54-Jon Agan (Knoxville, IA) 16.879, 31. 14-Randy Martin (California, MO) 16.905, 32. 98-J.D. Johnson (Goddard, KS) 16.914, 33. 4J-Lee Grosz (Harwood, ND) 16.937, 34. 2m-Matt Moro (Des Moines, IA) 16.955, 35. 20k-Thomas Kennedy (Winnipeg, MB) 16.975, 36. 3d-Paul McMahan (Hendersonville, TN) 16.996, 37. 7taz-Tasker Phillips (Pleasantville, IA) 17.059, 38. 33-Alan Zoutte (Knoxville, IA) 17.065, 39. 51s-Lee Sowell (Nesbit, MS) 17.071, 40. 20ks-Kyle Sager (Alto, NM) 17.072, 41. 34b-Brad Barickman (Richfield, MN) 17.140, 42. 1m-Chad Humston (Giltner, NE) 17.143, 43. 27-Jody Rosenboom (Rock Rapids, IA) 17.198, 44. 18v-Tim Newman (Cameron, MO) 17.208, 45. 9-Brian Parker (Midlothian, TX) 17.208, 46. 7L-Darren Long (Elida, OH) 17.332, 47. 12-Rod Richards (Runnels, IA) 17.421, 48. 9m-Ricky Montgomery (Lakewood, CO) 17.594, 49. 5-Kyle McCutcheon (Alamogordo, NM) 18.109, 50. 2k-Kevin Ingle (Huron, SD) 18.471, 51. 7-Dustin Selvage (Indianola, IA) No Time, 52. 78-Joe Miller (Vail, IA) No Time.


Heat Races (Top 4 Advance to "A" Main; Positions 5-8 to "B" Main; Positions 9-10 to "C" Main)


Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 3-Nate Van Haaften, 2. 6b-Dale Blaney, 3. 22-Billy Alley, 4. 71r-Ryan Anderson, 5. 41-Jason Johnson, 6. 14-Randy Martin, 7. 3d-Paul McMahan, 8. 71-R.J. Johnson, 9. 34b-Brad Barickman, 10. 7L-Darren Long.


Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 14aj-Wayne Johnson, 2. 17-Austin McCarl, 3. 28-Jonathan Cornell, 4. 18T-Tony Bruce, Jr., 5. 7taz-Tasker Phillips, 6. 1m-Chad Humston, 7. 4x-Jon Corbin, 8. 98-J.D. Johnson, 9. 40-Clint Garner, 10. 7taz-Tasker Phillips.


Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 7k-Kaley Gharst, 2. 33a-Austin Alumbaugh, 3. 4J-Lee Grosz, 4. 6-Danny Heskin, 5. 51-Dave Hall, 6. 9m-Ricky Montgomery, 7. 11-Chad Corken, 8. 27-Jody Rosenboom, 9. 33-Alan Zoutte, 10. w20-Greg Wilson (DNS).


Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 57-Shane Stewart, 2. 99jr-Justin Henderson, 3. 22n-Nate Mosher, 4. 2m-Matt Moro, 5. 95-Matt Covington, 6. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 7. 26-Tayler Malsam, 8. 51s-Lee Sowell, 9. 5-Kyle McCutcheon, 10. 18v-Tim Newman.


Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 54-Jon Agan, 2. 10a-Ricky Logan, 3. X-Chuck Swenson, 4. 2mx-Dustin Daggett, 5. 2a-Johnny Anderson, 6. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 7. 20ks-Kyle Sager, 8. 20k-Thomas Kennedy, 9. 2k-Kevin Ingle, 10. 9-Brian Parker.


"C" Main – Top 2 Advance to "B" Main


"C" Feature (6 Laps): 1. 34b-Brad Barickman, 2. 33-Alan Zoutte, 3. 2k-Kevin Ingle, 4. 18v-Tim Newman, 5. 9-Brian Parker, 6. 7L-Darren Long. DNS: w20-Greg Wilson, 40-Clint Garner, 12-Rod Richards, 5-Kyle McCutcheon, 78-Joe Miller, 7-Dustin Selvage.


"B" Main – Top 4 Advance to “A” Main


"B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 2a-Johnny Anderson, 2. 95-Matt Covington, 3. 41-Jason Johnson, 4. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 5. 3d-Paul McMahan, 6. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 7. 4x-Jon Corbin, 8. 51-Dave Hall, 9. 26-Tayler Malsam, 10. 1m-Chad Humston, 11. 14-Randy Martin, 12. 34b-Brad Barickman, 13. 71-R.J. Johnson, 14. 11-Chad Corken, 15. 7taz-Tasker Phillips, 16. 20ks-Kyle Sager, 17. 98-J.D. Johnson, 18. 51s-Lee Sowell, 19. 27-Jody Rosenboom, 20. 9m-Ricky Montgomery, 21. 20k-Thomas Kennedy, 22. 33-Alan Zoutte (DNS).


19th Annual ASCS Knoxville Nationals Thursday Preliminary "A" Main Event:


“A” Feature (20 Laps): 1. 14aj-Wayne Johnson, 2. 57-Shane Stewart, 3. 22-Billy Alley, 4. 18T-Tony Bruce, Jr., 5. 2mx-Dustin Daggett, 6. 7k-Kaley Gharst, 7. 41-Jason Johnson, 8. X-Chuck Swenson, 9. 10a-Ricky Logan, 10. 2a-Johnny Anderson, 11. 54-Jon Agan, 12. 22n-Nate Mosher, 13. 71r-Ryan Anderson, 14. 4j-Lee Grosz, 15. 6-Danny Heskin, 16. 33a-Austin Alumbaugh, 17. 17-Austin McCarl, 18. 3-Nate Van Haaften, 19. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 20. 2m-Matt Moro, 21. 99jr-Justin Henderson, 22. 28-Jonathan Cornell, 23. 95-Matt Covington, 24. 6b-Dale Blaney (DNS).


Lap Leaders: Shane Stewart 1-9, Wayne Johnson 10-20.

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