Rich Vleck, BROCKVILLE, Ont., (August 27, 2011)- Wayne Johnson had never seen the Brockville Ontario Speedway until Saturday, which may have caused him to slip up on the second lap of the feature, but it would not end up costing him the win as he got back to hitting his marks and found his way to Victory Lane.
Johnson, originally from Oklahoma City, OK, moved by Dale Gosselin on a lap seven restart and steadily pulled away for his first win in Patriot Sprint Tour competition. Johnson, who was running the Miles Hill No. 77x this weekend in preparation for the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals made the trip pay off but it almost slipped away on Saturday Night.
After winning his heat race, Johnson redrew the third starting spot and quickly took over second place on the opening lap. A restart on the second lap would enable him to challenge Gosselin for the top spot, but when he went to rim-ride around turn four, he drifted peerlessly over the banking and was in jeopardy of spinning out or crashing into the wall. Johnson’s years of experience showed off as he returned to the track, despite losing a spot to Alain Bergeron.
“It was actually a lot slicker than I thought it actually was going to be,” admitted Johnson in Victory Lane. “I slid off the end (in turn four) and had to change my plans. The top and bottom were both good in (turns) one and two, but you had to be on the bottom of (turn) four.”
Johnson took second place back from Bergeron by working the bottom of turn four on lap five. On the next restart on lap 7 he once again drove off the inside of the final corner and jumped into the race lead; from there he could not be touched.
“I was just fortunate to get back by those guys because they found the race track before I did,” noted the 2000 ASCS National Champion. “We were fast right out of the box so we didn’t change much and once we found that line in the feature we were good.”
Johnson’s win made it two-in-a-row in PST-sanctioned events for Hill’s Racing, with Jamie Collard winning last week’s event at Ohsweken.
As Johnson pulled away, Alain Bergeron was busy locking up his second-straight runner-up finish in PST action. Bergeron’s made a thrilling move to take second on lap two and was happy with the way an older car worked with him.
Steve Poirier was holding down third place with two laps remaining when an engine issue forced him to the infield. Poirier would hand over the final podium position to Bryan Howland, who charged up from 10th. Tim Kelly followed Howland through, also moving up seven spots from where he started to finish in fourth.
PST Point Leader Jared Zimbardi won the Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame and despite not being great in the feature was able to round out the top-five. His finish all but ensures the Little Valley, NY driver his first career Patriot Championship.
Devin Caron scored a solid sixth-place effort, staying in the mix all race. Brian McDonald scored his best Patriot finish at Brockville, charging up to seventh despite being involved in two incidents early in the race.
Dale Gosselin looked impressive early on leading through four restarts and brought his No. 3 home in eighth. Dave Dysktra crossed in ninth in Glenn Styres’ ride and Chris Jones rounded out the top 10 to bounce back from early race issues.
A total of 25 cars helped to fill the pits on a beautiful night along the St. Lawrence. Tom Benedict made his first appearance in a back-up Wilson entry but it was short-lived as he flipped well off the track in turn four during hot laps and was done for the night. Kyle Fraser would also crash hard early in the night, although he was able to return for A-Main competition. Rick Wilson brought out the A-Main’s only red flag after he flipped three times in a multi-car incident on lap six.
The 2011 PST Regular Season comes to an end next Sunday with the $2,011 Season Championship event at Eriez Speedway. For more information, visit www.PatriotSprintTour.com.
Patriot Sprint Tour Results: 8/27/11, Brockville Ontario Speedway, Brockville, Ontario.
Riverside A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Wayne Johnson (77x), 2. Alain Bergeron (8B), 3. Bryan Howland (51), 4. Tim Kelly (12), 5. Jared Zimbardi (35), 6. Devin Caron (24k), 7. Brian McDonald (151kb), 8. Dale Gosselin (3), 9. Dave Dykstra (0), 10. Chris Jones (11), 11. Keith Dempster (5), 12. Michael Parent (25), 13. Paul Pekkonen (98), 14. Doug Banks (45x), 15. Mitch Brown (10), 16. Brad Knab (38), 17. Steve Poirier (28FM), 18. Kyle Fraser (01), 19. Jeff Frasier (99), 20. Rick Wilson (42w), 21. Patrick Vigneault (55), 22. April Wilson (15aw), 23. Steve Collins (67), 24. Dave Wickham (80).
Lap Leaders- Gosselin 1-6, Johnson 7-25.
Did Not Quality- Tom Benedict (42x)
Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame Dash (4 Laps)- 1. Zimbardi, 2. Howland, 3. Kelly, 4. Brown, 5. McDonald, 6. Knab.
National Parts Peddler Heats (8 Laps Each, Top 6 Transfer to A)-
Race 1: 1. Parent, 2. Gosselin, 3. Caron, 4. McDonald, 5. Brown, 6. Dykstra, 7. R. Wilson, 8. Fraser, 9. Benedict.
Race 2: 1. Johnson, 2. Pekkonen, 3. Howland, 4. Kelly, 5. Bergeron, 6. A. Wilson, 7. Collins, 8. Frasier.
Race 3: 1. Poirier, 2. Vigneault, 3. Zimbardi, 4. Knab, 5. Dempster, 6. Jones, 7. Wickham, 8. Banks.
Patriot Sprint Tour Championship Points (Top 10)- Zimbardi 1904, Kelly 1775, Knab 1554, Kreutter 1546, Collins 1440, Adamczyk 1435, Howland 1356, Brown 1242, Ely 1080, Frasier 1063.
Riverside Bar and Grill King of the St. Lawrence Series (Top 10)- Zimbardi 360, Dykstra 343, Caron 330, Kelly 322, Knab 310, Jones and Pekkonen 309, McDonald 306, Banks 305, Parent 303.
Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame Dash Series (Top Five)- Zimbardi 19, Wasson 17, Kreutter 16, Collins 14, Ely and Brown 12.
Gater Racing News Hard Charger of the Season Standings (Top Five)- Knab 43, Kelly 28, Wasson and Zimbardi 25, Kreutter 22.