Johnson Breaks The Bank In Arizona
SOMERTON, Ariz. — The final night of competition for the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV American Real was one for the record books as Jason Johnson completed the sweep of the four-race Cocopah Cup Challenge to secure his fourth Lucas Oil ASCS national title.
A record in terms of a winner’s pay, the $5,000 bonus for the sweep brought Johnson’s payday to $25,000, making the season finale the highest paying winner’s check ever doled out in Lucas Oil ASCS competition.
Taking a combined $41,000 from the Cocopah Speedway with the four-race sweep, Johnson stood on cloud nine in victory lane with son, Jaxx, and wife Bobbi.
“It just speaks volumes about this team and what they’ve accomplished,” Johnson said.
Gridding the MVT No. 41 fourth for the season’s final 30 lap Protect the Harvest feature event, Johnson ran third the first eight revolutions, trialing front row starters Tony Bruce Jr. and Logan Forler.
Working the inside line of the Cocopah Speedway, Johnson worked past Forler on lap nine for second, then Bruce on lap 10 for the lead.
Under green from the start, slower traffic began coming into play by the eleventh round. Forced to the cushion, the Waco Metals No. 41 began distancing himself from Bruce who was contending with large amounts of oil beginning to pour out the left side the Briely Trucking No. 18.
Falling to third on lap 15, the oil leak finally ended Bruce’s night on lap 20.
Still having not seen a caution, Logan Forler began closing the gap on Johnson for the race lead. Slowly chipping away at the advantage of Johnson, the No. 2L closed the gap in a hurry with nine laps to run.
With slower traffic situated to the inside of Johnson’s No. 41, Forler seized the opportunity at the lead. Sticking to the hub of the Cocopah Speedway; Forler powered almost even with Johnson exiting turn two; pitting the pair into a drag race for the bottom of turn three.
Asked if he did in fact see Forler’s bid for the lead, Johnson replied, “Hell yeah I saw him. I went to the top side and was just hung up behind a lapped car and actually, I was watching Seth Bergman . He was getting a good run off the bottom when I was trying to get a run on him then coming out of turn two, I glanced back and saw Forler just to the inside of me so from that point on, I wasn’t going to miss my marks.”
Forler‘s runner-up finish was his eighth podium appearance of the season. Having to overcome mechanical problems earlier in the evening, Forler said his run with a tired draw, “We had a real scramble of a night but Jason did a great job. I tried to put him under pressure the last few laps but, he’s been doing this a long time so it’s hard to put pressure on someone with that much experience.”
Marching from 11th, Christopher Bell rode the ever-thinning cushion to a third-place finish. “It was a bummer,” Bell said. “I was hoping we could get a yellow late in the race when I moved to third but, oh well, we’ll take third and move on.”
Brad Loyet’s fourth-place finish from eighth secured his fourth-place finish in the season’s final standings with Danny Lasoski finishing fifth.
Jason Johnson, Logan Forler, Christopher Bell, Brad Loyet, Danny Lasoski, Roger Crockett, D.J. Netto, Johnny Herrera, Travis Rilat, Mason Moore, Henry VanDam, Jeff Swindell, Bryan Clauson, Brady Bacon, Seth Bergman, Reece Goetz, Blake Hahn, Matt Covington, Sean Becker, Dustin Morgan, Cole Wood, Barry Martinez, James Mosher, Tony Bruce Jr., Brandon Hahn, Jonathan Cornell.