Johnson Has Nice Showing During Opening Midwest Weekend

PETERSEN MEDIA: Hitting the road for the summer with Harley Van Dyke, Chase Johnson had a nice showing in his first weekend of action highlighted by a sixth place finish at the I-80 Speedway and a pair of 12th place finishes at the Knoxville Raceway, and the Fairmount Raceway.

“Overall it was a good learning experience,” Johnson said. “I think our weekend went well considering it was my first look at all of these tracks.”

Thursday night at the I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, NE, Johnson got off to a great start as he charged from his second row starting spot, to grab the heat race win aboard his Lucas Oil/K&N Products/JRI Shocks No. 5H machine, giving him high point honors after heat races were completed.

Pulling the five in the redraw, Johnson lined up in the third row for the 25-lap feature event, and quickly worked his way into the third spot, and began clicking off some late laps, as he chased after the leaders.

Late in the race the caution flew, and on the ensuing restart, Johnson got shuffled back to the seventh spot, but the Penngrove, CA driver would fight back to finish sixth at the stripe.

“I thought I-80 Speedway was a really cool track, and I adapted to it well,” Johnson said. “After being high points guy, I felt good going into the feature event, and we got into third right away. It took me a while to get used to these ASCS tires, and that cost us on a restart, and we ended up finishing in the sixth spot.”

Friday night saw the team make a last minute decision to head to Fairmount, MN and take to the Fairmount Raceway.

Starting and finishing fifth in heat race action, Johnson lined the NAAKE Suspension/Rodgers Racing Engines/FSR Radiators machine up in the sixth row for the 20-lap feature event.

On the opening lap of the race, Johnson made a pair of great corners and got up into the seventh spot, but a little contact saw him come to a stop in the infield, and he was forced to restart from the tail end of the field.

From the rear of the field, Johnson showed he had a very stout car, as he slowly worked his way back up through the field, and ended his night by salvaging a 12th place finish.

“We struggled in the heat, and that hurt us point wise,” Johnson explained. “We made some adjustments, and had a really good start to the feature, but there was some contact that spun us out. We had a great car, and I was able to keep my composure and work back up to a 12th place finish.”

Saturday night Johnson got his first taste of the Knoxville Raceway, as he was set to do battle in weekly competition.

Timing in 12th fastest, Johnson would then start and finish fourth in his heat to transfer into the feature event, where he found himself in the fifth row for the 15-lap affair.

Settling into the 10th spot after he took Justin Clark’s green flag, Johnson focused on making smooth laps on the big half-mile, and getting himself comfortable lap, after lap.

A late restart bunched the field together, and when the green flew again, Jason Johnson and Tony Shilling were able to sneak by, putting Johnson in the 12th spot, where he would go on to finish.

“I was pretty pumped with how we were able to do at the Knoxville Raceway,” Johnson explained. “We were fast right out of the box, and during the feature event, I was able to hang with some very experienced drivers. We lost some spots, but the Knoxville field is really tough, and I was happy with a 12th place finish.”

Closing his weekend out at the Double X Speedway in California, MO on Sunday night, Johnson went from fifth to fourth in heat race action, putting him in the sixth row of the feature event.

Getting into the 10th spot, contact was made to the rear of Johnson’s machine, and the result was a damaged wing tree, and a bent torque tube.

After making a quick trip to the work area, Johnson tried to restart the race, but with the car not right, he elected to pull in, and not finish the race.

“Double X Speedway was very small and tight, and looked like it would put on a great race,” Johnson said. “It ended up not being very racy, and then we got wrecked, and really made it a rough night. I can’t thank Harley and Fez for all of their hard work over the weekend. We race a ton, and they always made sure we had a strong entry.”

The Van Dyke Motorsports team would like to thank Lucas Oil,  K&N Products, JRI Shocks, NAAKE Suspension, Rodgers Racing Engines, FSR Radiators, for their support during the year.

Chase Johnson would like to thank Johnny Franklin Mufflers, Newman Freeman Racing, Pit Stop USA, Napa Auto Parts, Flowmaster, Shifty Illusions, Don’s Truck Repair, VSR,  and IWear for their support through the year.

2014 BY THE NUMBERS: Races-16, Wins-0, Top 5’s-1, Top 10’s-5

ON TAP: Johnson and the Van Dyke Motorsports team return to action on Thursday in Dennison, IA.

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