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Johnson Denies Bryant for Third Consecutive Score

Moves Into Tie for Lucas Oil ASCS Point Lead with Lake Ozark Triumph!

Lonnie Wheatley, ELDON, Mo. (June 27, 2009) – Prior to Saturday night’s Third Annual Daniel McMillin Memorial at Lake Ozark Speedway, there hadn’t been a repeat winner in nine Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters feature events in 2009 including a handful of Speedweek tilts.

It took the reigning series champion, Jason Johnson of Eunice, LA, to change that stat as he denied Tommy Bryant’s eye-opening upset bid to top “The Wrench” McMillin Memorial for the third consecutive year aboard Lanny Row’s Wesmar-powered The Shop Motorsports No. 41 Eagle, besting a stellar 53-car field in the process.

And, even though he started from the pole position, “The Ragin’ Cajun” led only the final six circuits for the $6,000 score after ASCS Gulf South contender Bryant enjoyed a 27-lap stint at the head of the pack.

“Man, Tommy (Bryant) made me work for that one!” Johnson exclaimed as he climbed out of his car in Lucas Oil ASCS National victory lane for the 41st time in his career and second time this year after a win in the Devil’s Bowl Spring Nationals in March. “I got by him a time or two there and he came right back after me, that was tough.”

After four-time Winged Outlaw Warriors champion Randy Martin paced the opening pair of circuits from the front row outside, it was fifth-starter Bryant blasting into the lead on a lap three restart following a caution for Gary Taylor, who was forced pitside with rear end woes.

Filling in for car owner Jerry Bell, who was home with strep threat, Bryant paced his first career Lucas Oil ASCS lead laps in front of Johnson, with sixth-starter Brady Bacon and 10th-starter Shane Stewart relegating Martin to fifth by the tenth round.

Reaching lapped traffic by the tenth round, Johnson moved in to challenge Bryant for the point on several occasions, but the 22-year-old Conroe, TX, shoe nimbly worked through traffic to maintain the point.

As the laps clicked off, Johnson’s challenges became more intense. And, Bryant matched Johnson’s advances step for step aboard the Eckley-powered Bell’s Custom Conversions No. 85 Maxim until Johnson finally made a power move off the bottom of turn two on the 30th round stick.

All the while, Shane Stewart was sneaking into the lead picture after taking third away from Bacon by the 15th circuit.

With Stewart set to make the final handful of laps a three-car duel for the win, Bryant moved in on Johnson to challenge for the lead in turn one on the 32nd lap only to loop it and finally come to a stop after tangling with the lapped machine of Mitchell Moore.

“That was fun for about 31 laps,” Bryant commented afterward. “I got in there and he (Johnson) almost stopped in front of me, I just barely touched him and spun it.”

While Bryant rejoined the field at the tail and salvaged a solid 12th-place run among the 14 cars on the lead lap, Johnson had Stewart on his tailtank for the final four-lap dash to the checkered flag. Johnson checked out in the final rounds to take the triumph in impressive fashion.

“This is a special one, Daniel (McMillin) was a friend of ours and it means a lot just to have this race in his honor,” Johnson commented.

Stewart settled for runner-up honors in Paul Silva’s Wesmar-powered ProBilt Construction No. 57 A.R.T., admitting that, “We didn’t need that last caution, I think we may have got ’em without that.”

Nineteen-year-old Oklahoma shoe Brady Bacon continued his impressive transition to the winged ranks by taking the show position in Mike and Megan Eubanks’ Wesmar-powered Tel-Star Communications No. 99 Triple-X.

Fellow 19-year-old Jack Dover of Springfield, NE, had battled from 15th to fourth only to nearly crash out of contention with the white flag in sight. Dover kept his momentum up though and lost just one position to Paul McMahan, who slid his way into fourth in the final corner aboard the J&D Motorsports No. 3d Maxim.

Dover settled for fifth in the Eckley-powered 3D Auto Transport/Home Pride Co. No. 53 Eagle, with four-time series champion Gary Wright racing from 14th to sixth to stay within ten points of Johnson and Stewart, who are now tied for the Lucas Oil ASCS points lead.

Nearly spinning to miss the Dover excursion, Jesse Hockett surrendered a spot to Wright and finished seventh after starting 17th, with Tony Bruce, Jr., charging from 23rd to finish eighth after utilizing a provisional.

Nick Smith crossed the stripe ninth, with Randy Martin completing the top ten.

Kathryne Minter, Bacon, Johnson, Smith, Gary Taylor and Austin Alumbaugh topped heat race action, with Hockett, Josh Fisher and Aaron Berryhill winning the “B” Mains.

Matt Covington turned over in turn four in the fourth heat race before returning for “B” Main action, while Tim Newman’s night was done after a wild turn two flip in the fifth heat.

The Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters returns to action next Friday and Saturday, July 3-4, with the Rock ‘N Roll 50 at Riverside Speedway in West Memphis, AR.

Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters
Lake Ozark Speedway – Eldon, MO
Third Annual Daniel McMillin Memorial Results:

Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points to “A” Main; Balance to 3 “B” Mains):

Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 13k-Kathryne Minter, 2. 14-Randy Martin, 3. 13-Jesse Hockett, 4. 94-Danny Wood, 5. 9x-Gary Wright, 6. 81au-Gavin Punch, 7. 6-Bryan Grimes, 8. 9c-Tony Crank, 9. 3x-Matt Sutton.

Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 99-Brady Bacon, 2. 53-Jack Dover, 3. 86-Josh Fisher, 4. 88-Tim Crawley, 5. 72-Sherman Davis, 6. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 7. 10a-Ricky Logan, 8. 23-Seth Bergman, 9. 11-Chad Corken.

Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 43-Frank Brown, 3. 57-Shane Stewart, 4. 55-Donnie Ray Crawford, 5. 7-Darren Long, 6. 1p-Curtis Evans, 7. 10T-Clint Todd, 8. 35-Derrik Ortega, 9. 72x-Curtis Boyer.

Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 15s-Nick Smith, 2. 29-Travis Rilat, 3. 3b-Mitchell Moore, 4. 14k-Kyle Bellm, 5. 12-Trey Robb, 6. 21h-Terry Hinck, 7. 3-Mark Shirshekan, 8. 38-Cody Baker, 9. 95-Matt Covington.

Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 91-Gary Taylor, 2. 85-Tommy Bryant, 3. 2-Kenneth Walker, 4. 18w-Chris Walker, 5. 4-Evan Martin, 6. 93-Dustin Morgan, 7. 1-Sean McClelland, 8. 18x-Tim Newman, 9. 21T-Eric Todd.

Heat Six (8 Laps): 1. 33a-Austin Alumbaugh, 2. 3d-Paul McMahan, 3. 10-Mike Trent, 4. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 5. 3p-Rusty Potter, 6. 11c-Dakota Carroll, 7. 48-David Brown, 8. 22-Dustin Barks.

“B” Mains (Top 2 From Each Advance to “A” Main):

First “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 13-Jesse Hockett, 2. 88-Tim Crawley, 3. 55-Donnie Ray Crawford, 4. 2-Kenneth Walker, 5. 72-Sherman Davis, 6. 93-Dustin Morgan, 7. 7-Darren Long, 8. 38-Cody Baker, 9. 1-Sean McClelland, 10. 11-Chad Corken, 11. 10T-Clint Todd, 12. 35-Derrik Ortega. DNS: 21T-Eric Todd.

Second “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 86-Josh Fisher, 2. 94-Danny Wood, 3. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 4. 12-Trey Robb, 5. 4-Evan Martin, 6. 14k-Kyle Bellm, 7. 95-Matt Covington, 8. 22-Dustin Barks, 9. 6-Bryan Grimes, 10. 3x-Matt Sutton, 11. 10a-Ricky Logan. DNS: 18x-Tim Newman.

Third “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 2. 3b-Mitchell Moore, 3. 3p-Rusty Potter, 4. 3-Mark Shirshekan, 5. 21h-Terry Hinck, 6. 1p-Curtis Evans, 7. 81au-Gavin Punch, 8. 23-Seth Bergman, 9. 9c-Tony Crank, 10. 72x-Curtis Boyer, 11. 11c-Dakota Carroll, 12. 48-David Brown.

Third Annual Daniel McMillin Memorial “A” Main Event:

“A” Feature (35 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 57-Shane Stewart, 3. 99-Brady Bacon, 4. 3d-Paul McMahan, 5. 53-Jack Dover, 6. 9x-Gary Wright, 7. 13-Jesse Hockett, 8. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 9. 15s-Nick Smith, 10. 14-Randy Martin, 11. 29-Travis Rilat, 12. 85-Tommy Bryant, 13. 13. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 14. 88-Tim Crawley, 15. 94-Danny Wood, 16. 86-Josh Fisher, 17. 10-Mike Trent, 18. 33a-Austin Alumbaugh, 19. 18w-Chris Walker, 20. 3p-Rusty Potter, 21. 43-Frank Brown, 22. 3b-Mitchell Moore, 23. 13k-Kathryne Minter, 24. 1-Sean McClelland, 25. 91-Gary Taylor.

Lap Leaders: Randy Martin 1-2, Tommy Bryant 3-29, Jason Johnson 30-35.

Note: Tony Bruce, Jr., and Sean McClelland utilized Lucas Oil ASCS provisionals to start the “A” Main, while Rusty Potter utilized a Winged Outlaw Warriors provisional to start the “A” Main.

Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters Points (Top 20): 1. (tie) Jason Johnson and Shane Stewart 724, 3. Gary Wright 714, 4. Paul McMahan 648, 5. Jack Dover 641, 6. Danny Wood 640, 7. Nick Smith 638, 8. Travis Rilat 637, 9. (tie) Tim Crawley and Tony Bruce, Jr. 581, 11. Brady Bacon 542, 12. Sean McClelland 531, 13. Jesse Hockett 501, 14. Trey Robb 482, 15. Aaron Berryhill 475, 16. Zach Chappell 469, 17. Gary Taylor 453, 18. Kenneth Walker 443, 19. Kathryne Minter 433, 20. Matt Covington 432.