Johnson Continues Skyline Domination
STEWART, Ohio – Batting .400 in Major League Baseball will get you a million dollar contract. In auto racing, posting a .400 average makes you an icon, but perfection is nearly non-existent.
Kenny Johnson, Mineral Wells, W.Va., has gone 4-for-4 in the Octane Race Products AMRA Modified division after Friday night’s win at Billy Jarrell’s Skyline Speedway.
The Kryptonite AMRA Late Model show was a barnburner for winner Chris Garnes, Evans, W.Va., who posted the win over Fast Freddie Carpenter; while Jimmy Nier, Piketon, Ohio claimed his second Skyline win of the year in the Ohio Valley Sprint Car Association A-main. Adam Douglas won the Mike’s Auto Body Mini-Wedge main.
In the wake of the tragic fatal accident of NASCAR and World of Outlaw star Jason Leffler, sprint car stat Danny Smith sold his shirts and donated not just the proceeds but the entire amount of sales totaling $2,159 to Charlie Leffler, the five year old son of Jason Leffler. The gesture was a first class act from a true champion in Danny and Stephanie Smith.
Three exciting heat races set the stage for the 25-lap Kryptonite LM A-main, pitting fast qualifier Fast Freddie Carpenter on the pole and 3-time defending champ Chris Garnes on the outside pole. Third heat winner Steve Bigley started third. Garnes got the jump, but was immediately challenged by Carpenter, who raced Garnes tooth-and-nail every inch of the 25 laps. The race was epic in every way. Although racers back in the pack fought for position, all eyes were on the top spot.
Garnes was locked into a mid-high groove while Carpenter whizzed around the inside. In the turns Carpenter would edge by the defending champ, but Garnes’ momentum gave him a small edge upon turn exits. Following a restart, Garnes sought to seal off the inside and move to the bottom with Carpenter zooming to the top. Side by side for the duration of the race, Carpenter led lap 16 only to have Garnes strike back and retake the lead and win by a car length at the finish.
Travis Brookover drove a steady race to third and in the first seven laps Brookover was in the fray with Carpenter and Garnes. Ralph Withem caught Brookover at the finish, but settled for fourth. Withem won a race-long battle with Derek Doll, Steve Bigley, and Dan Morrison for that spot, while Randy Armes, Pete Crum, and Bob Adams, Jr. each ran hard-fought races. Bigley was shuffled back to 9th at the finish.
Behind Garnes in the top ten were Freddie Carpenter, Travis Brookover, Ralph Withem, Derek Doll, Dan Morrison, Randy Armes, Steve Bigley, Pete Crum, and Bob Adams, Jr. The hard chargers were Randy Armes and Jeremy Blake each moving up three positions; Armes from 10th to 7th and Blake from 17th to 14th.
The win was Garnes’s second win of the season. The race was run in 8 minutes and 18 seconds, including one caution flag.
Veteran driver “No Fear” Jimmy Nier claimed his second win of the season in the OVSCA 410 Sprint main. Nier sat on the outside pole as second heat winner alongside first heat winner Mark Imler. Imler spun the wheels in the middle of the turn and collected the cars of Lance Webb, Kory Crabtree, Dave Dickson, and Andre Layfield. Crabtree, Dickson, and Layfield went to the tail. That set the stage for some high-speed adrenaline rushes for the fans.
On the restart Wes McGlumphy had the pole, but Nier throttle up as McGlumphy appeared to ring his tires. Ryan Broughton momentarily took the lead, but that was as close as anyone came to the barnstorming Nier. Nier slowly pulled away and continued to stretch his lead to the finish.