Stories

C.J. Johnson claims second NCRA 360 sprint victory

By DAVID SMITH JR.

Special to The Hays Daily News

PARK CITY -- Two time and defending series champion C.J. Johnson made it two victories in a row as he took the lead early and held off a late race charge by Jeremy Campbell to win the "Hoosier Daddy" Bill Hall Memorial Father's Day NCRA sprint car feature Sunday night at 81 Speedway in Park City.

J.D. Johnson and Taylor Velasquez started on the front row for the 25 lap feature with Velasquez jumping out into the early lead as the green flag fell.

Third-starting C.J. Johnson quickly moved into the runner up position, followed by Mike Peters, Campbell and J.D. Johnson.

Velasquez would open up a five-car length advantage by lap three before the first of two caution flags fell when Ty Williams and Brodix rookie of the year contender Wyatt Burks both spun in turns one and two.

With the field lined up single file on the restart, Velasquez saw C.J. Johnson on his tail and would lead one lap after the restart before C.J. C.J. Johnson drove low exiting turn two and out ran Velasquez down the backstretch to take the lead on lap five.

Johnson quickly would open a 10-car length lead on the rest of the field and would stretch that advantage by lap seven. That is when Campbell, who had challenged Velasquez for the runner-up position for several laps, finally took over the position and looked to run down the leader.

At the races midway point, it was C.J. Johnson and Campbell, who both came into the night tied atop the current series point standings, both running first and second, respectively. Velasquez sat third along with 13th-starting Danny Lasoski and Mike Peters -- who both battled for the fourth position for several laps before Lasoski took control of the position at the halfway mark.

Lap 17 saw J.D. Johnson spin in turn four to bring out the caution and bunch up the field. However, the restart was delayed when Luke Cranston got sideways in turns one and two, causing Rick Wright to have nowhere to go and spin for the final caution of the evening.

The final restart saw Campbell line up on Johnson's tail. But the former series champion could not get close enough to make a move, and despite closing in on the leader's bumper entering turns three and four on the final lap, Johnson would hold on to take his second series feature victory in a row.

Velasquez came home a career best third with the series, while Lasoski and Peters rounded out the top five.

The 10-lap heat races for the 27-car field were won by J.D. Johnson, Velasquez, Jon Freeman and C.J. Johnson.

Gary Taylor won the first of two, 10-lap B features, while Wright claimed the second B feature.

The next event for the NCRA 360 sprint cars will be July 14 during the running of the 56th annual Hutchinson Grand Nationals, with that night's feature paying $3,000 to win.

NCRA 360 Sprints

81 Speedway/Park City, Kansas

6/17/2012

27 Cars

1st Heat: 1) 99 J.D. Johnson (Wichita, Ks), 2) 51 Mike Peters (Wichita, Ks), 3) 97 Brian Herbert (Dodge City, Ks), 4) 35g Barry Gifford (Ponca City, Ok), 5) e85 Luke Cranston (Plains, Ks), 6) 85 Forest Sutherland (Cherryvale, KS), 7) 91 Taylor Milton (Fargo, Ok)

2nd Heat: 1) 21x Taylor Velasquez (Turpin, Ok), 2) 33 Kris Miller (Woodward, Ok), 3) 0 Gary Taylor (Catoosa, Ok), 4) 21 Marc Robe (Wichita, Ks), 5) 77w Michael Williams (Dodge City, Ks), 6) 8w Jordan Whitehead (Andover, Ks), 7) 91 Jeff Stasa (Kingman, Ks)

3rd Heat: 1) 81 Jon Freeman (Salina, Ks), 2) 10c Jeremy Campbell (Wichita, Ks), 3) 1 Ty Williams (Liberal, Ks), 4) 81au Gavin Punch (Collinsville, Ok), 5) 8 Danny Lasoski (Higginsville, Mo), 6) 05 Justin Medlock (Colorado Springs, CO), 7) 16k Kaden Taylor (Forgan, Ok)

4th Heat: 1) 45x CJ Johnson (Quinter, Ks), 2) 11w Wyatt Burks (Topeka, Ks), 3) 35 Rick Wright Jr (Ponca City, Ok), 4) 72 Raymond Seeman (Jetmore, Ks), 5) 2j Zach Blurton (Jetmore, Ks), 6) 22 Koby Barksdale (Norman, Ok), 7) 92 Jordan Weaver (Woodward, Ok)

1st B Feature: 1) Gary Taylor (Catoosa, Ok), 2) Danny Lasoski (Higginsville, Mo), 3) Barry Gifford (Ponca City, Ok), 4) Taylor Milton (Fargo, Ok), 5) Marc Robe (Wichita, Ks), 6) Forest Sutherland (Cherryvale, KS), 7) Michael Williams (Dodge City, Ks), 8) Jordan Whitehead (Andover, Ks), 9) Kaden Taylor (Forgan, Ok)

2nd B Feature: 1) Rick Wright Jr (Ponca City, Ok), 2) Raymond Seeman (Jetmore, Ks), 3) Gavin Punch (Collinsville, Ok), 4) Luke Cranston (Plains, Ks), 5) Zach Blurton (Jetmore, Ks), 6) Jordan Weaver (Woodward, Ok), 7) Koby Barksdale (Norman, Ok), 8) Jeff Stasa (Kingman, Ks), 9) Justin Medlock (Colorado Springs, CO)

A Feature: 1) CJ Johnson (Quinter, Ks), 2) Jeremy Campbell (Wichita, Ks), 3) Taylor Velasquez (Turpin, Ok), 4) Danny Lasoski (Higginsville, Mo), 5) Mike Peters (Wichita, Ks), 6) Gary Taylor (Catoosa, Ok), 7) Jon Freeman (Salina, Ks), 8) Zach Blurton (Jetmore, Ks), 9) Wyatt Burks (Topeka, Ks), 10) Luke Cranston (Plains, Ks), 11) Taylor Milton (Fargo, Ok), 12) Kris Miller (Woodward, Ok), 13) Brian Herbert (Dodge City, Ks), 14) Raymond Seeman (Jetmore, Ks), 15) Ty Williams (Liberal, Ks), 16) Marc Robe (Wichita, Ks), 17) Rick Wright Jr (Ponca City, Ok), 18) Gavin Punch (Collinsville, Ok), 19) J.D. Johnson (Wichita, Ks), 20) Barry Gifford (Ponca City, Ok).