Johnson Wins SBS Crown
SOUTH BOSTON, VA. - Justin Johnson won the 2009 South Boston Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car Division championship in what was one of the closest points battles in the track's history.
Needing to win the 150-lap NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division race that headlined Saturday night's GCR Presents Rotary Night 150 racing program to win the championship, Johnson did just that.
The Durham, N.C. resident took the lead after he and two-time former NASCAR national champion Philip Morris of Ruckersville, Va. made contact in turn three on lap 96. Morris' car spun and was hit by an oncoming car, with Morris' car being heavily damaged in the mishap.
A win would have likely allowed Morris to clinch a third career NASCAR national championship. However, he will get another chance next weekend before the NASCAR national points season ends.
Once in front, Johnson stayed there, edging runner-up Deac McCaskill of Raleigh, N.C. by .899 second in a 22-lap green-flag sprint to the finish that followed the race's final caution period for his second win of the season.
Josh Oakley of Rougemont, N.C. finished third with Dustin Storm of Huntingtown, Md. and last week's winner, Bruce Anderson of South Boston, Va., rounding out the top five finishers.
Three drivers, David Quackenbush of Lorton, Va., Nick Smith of Hampton, Va., and Johnson were separated by only eight points entering the race, the track's final points race of the season.
Quackenbush qualified 11th in the 21-car field and raced his way to a sixth-place finish, losing a close side-by-side battle with Anderson on the final lap.
Smith was running third when he encountered a problem and pitted on lap 109 during a caution period. His night ended on lap 121 when his car encountered a mechanical issue and a flat tire that caused him to have a brush with the second turn wall. He was credited with a 13th-place finish.
With the win, Johnson finished with an unofficial seven-point margin over Quackenbush in the points standings with Smith unofficially finishing third and McCaskill unofficially finishing fourth.
Johnson averaged 64.563 mph in the race that was slowed by five caution periods and two red flags.