Johnson Scores First Career Win At South Boston Speedway
Update: Owen Miller's Runner-Up Finish Was Restored By The South Boston Speedway Officials. Points And Results Have Been Updated To Reflect His Reinstatement.
SOUTH BOSTON, VA. - Justin Johnson has been waiting a long time for his big break. He finally got it in Saturday night's Sprint Night race here at South Boston Speedway.
The 18-year-old driver from Roxboro, N.C. inherited the lead when the Ford driven by race leader Jason Dickerson of Ruckersville, Va. refused to fire following the race's lone red flag period that ended on lap 92. From there, Johnson led the final 58 laps and held off Owen Miller of Emporia, Va. in a 53-lap green-flag run to score his first career NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series win in the Barkhouser Late Model Stock Car division.
"It's pretty awesome," Johnson said after taking the win in the 150-lap Barkhouser Late Model Stock Car race.
"I was just waiting for the race to be over."
Brandon Butler of Petersburg, Va. crossed the finish line third in a Chevrolet with track points leader Drew Herring of Benson, N.C. finishing fourth and Tony McGuire of Roanoke, Va. rounding out the top five finishers.
The race had its share of drama.
Early on, Dickerson, the pole winner, was the class of the field in the Barkhouser Late Model Stock Car race with Johnson and Miller lurking behind. But, Dickerson's night unraveled shortly after the race's fourth caution period came on lap 84.
After the field circled the track a few laps behind the pace car, NASCAR officials red-flagged the race on lap 91. When the field was put back under caution, Dickerson's car refused to fire. An attempt to push-start the car failed, leaving Dickerson to have to have his car pushed onto pit road by a wrecker.
That put Johnson in the lead where he stayed the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, behind the lead trio, a torrid three-car battle raged between Herring, McGuire and Peyton Sellers of Danville, Va. for the fourth spot, a battle that Wayne Ramsey of Amherst, Va. joined in the closing laps of the race.
Following the race, Miller's night, his best of the season, came to a disappointing end when he was disqualified by NASCAR officials after his car failed a post-race technical inspection by track NASCAR officials.
That bumped Butler up to second place with Herring, McGuire and Ramsey rounding out the top five finishers. Sellers was credited with a sixth-place finish with Ryan Rhodes of Sanford, N.C., Terri Williams of Franklin, Va., Josh Oakley of Rougemont, N.C., and Scott Worley of Long Island, Va. rounding out the top ten finishers.
Johnson averaged 62.860 mph in the race that took 57 minutes and 37 seconds to complete.