ASCS: Jason Johnson Finally Breaks Winless Drought With Cocopah Prelim Victory

RaceChaser Staff Dirt Track Racing, Featured, Other Sprint Cars, Sprints & Midgets, West 0 Comments

YUMA, Ariz. — official release — Keenan Wright photo —

The deserts of Arizona like Jason Johnson as the MVT No. 41 finally broke into victory lane with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV American Real in 2014, topping Friday’s $5,000-to-win preliminary feature at Cocopah Speedway.

The 18th different winner of the year in Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour competition, Johnson’s victory at the Cocopah Speedway is his fifth since 2013.

“I tell you what, hats off to this race team. They work their tails off and never give up on their driver,” said Johnson. “We have a good baseline when we come here, and to win here tonight, I don’t know what it did to us points wise but all we could do is win this race and improve ourselves.”

Caution as the initial start was called back, tragedy struck Brad Loyet as drivers in front of him tangled, collecting the No. 05 in the process. Able to roll through the accident, the contact caused the front wing to lay down at the next attempt at green. With the damage, Loyet was relegated to a 17th-place finish.

Underway with Brandon Hanks taking the lead from the pole, Johnson made quick work from sixth; taking the lead as the caution flag waved on lap four. Put to second on the last completed lap, Jason worked past the D&B Farms No. 3h to lead lap five.

Setting a torrid pace into traffic by Lap 10, the remainder of the feature was uninterrupted as Johnson drove to a 6.226-second advantage. Grabbing the runner-up spot on lap seven, Danny Wood was second to the checkered flag.

“I tell what, that was a good race. There were cars everywhere and I hope the fans enjoyed it as much as we did. I know Jason was having fun up there, and I was trying to peek around lapped cars looking for him thinking I might be coming for him to get it at the last lap like we did in 2012,” said Wood. “I just couldn’t quite get there and Jason doesn’t make very many mistakes.”

Making up positions in strides at the start of the race, Aaron Reutzel let the track come to him as the BC Funds No. 87 marched from 20th to third with a highline, three-wide pass in the closing laps with Tony Bruce Jr. and Willie Croft.

“We weren’t that good in the Heat, and it really didn’t feel that good in the B, but we just kept digging and digging,” Reutzel said. “This thing was on a rail. I just wish we’d been further up there because this was a great race track. You don’t come from 20th to third on a one lane track. I love this race track. I know the results haven’t always shown, but I love this track.”

Croft and Bruce rounded out the top five.

With Loyet finishing 17th and Jeff Swindell coming home seventh, the race for the championship has tightened to 11 markers with one race to go on Saturday night.

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