GREENWOOD, Neb. — official release — Rob Kocak photo — For the first time since 2012, Wayne Johnson returned to victory lane with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV American Real, taking night one of the Casey’s General Store Midwest Fall Brawl III at the I-80 Speedway.
Racing with vigor, Johnson led the distance for his 42nd career Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour win, and setting up for what could be the Oklahoma driver’s largest payday of the year. The win is also Johnson’s first at the I-80 Speedway in ASCS competition.
“We’ve struggled for about a year now trying every kind of car and everything we can do,” Johnson said. “The guys that work on this thing, they bust their butts. We’ve been sucking pretty badly so it’s tough to get motivated but I’ve got to thank Eric Slade. He built these shocks this week, it was just something we’ve never tried, and Donny Schatz is going pretty damn good on these shocks so we figured we’d try a set — completely different race car.”
Asked about the idea of taking home the Durst Motorplex/Hotrod Paintless Dent Repair Double Down Back to Back $50,000 Challenge, Johnson chuckled a bit, “As bad as our year’s been, and as empty as my bank account is if we can win this thing tomorrow, we might get to have Christmas.”
Red on the start for Trevor Grossenbacher going upside down, the second start yielded a six car pile-up as Ian Madsen went sideways after contact from another driver, sent the No. 18m into traffic with Terry McCarl, Jeff Swindell, Cody Ledger, Don Droud Jr., and Sam Hafertepe Jr. all collected.
On the third attempt, Wayne Johnson battled briefly with Seth Bergman to lead the opening lap. With the green lights staying on from there, the race was from second back as Johnson opened up his advantage to over two seconds.
Working past Bergman on lap six, ASCS National point’s leader, Brad Loyet, gave chase as the leaders all raced through traffic. Stalked by Jason Johnson, the pair traded slide jobs at both ends of the I-80 Speedway with Jason gaining the advantage on lap 24 for the second podium step.
Asked about the battle with Loyet, Johnson commented that the race was good and gave thanks to the track crew, “Hats off to the I-80 crew, they really did a great job. We had a top and a bottom and for a driver, that’s a driver’s dream to have something to race on like that.”
After fighting with traffic, Loyet crossed third for the Missouri shoe’s 11th podium of the season, “Unfortunately lapped cars just didn’t play into our hand. I thought I was running Wayne down for a little bit but lapped cars got in the way. Good thing, we’re locked into the show and it was really good points night for us and that’s the big picture here.”
Seth Bergman and Dusty Zomer rounded out the top five.
Loyet leads Jason Johnson by 112 points in the title race.