DJ Johnson, Jason Palmer, Derek Boarman and Ryan Winter bring home Placerville Speedway wins on Denali Night presented by Thompson’s Buick/ GMC Dealership
Placerville, CA - April 28, 2018…Stockton’s DJ Johnson made his return to C&H Veteran Ent. presents Hunt Magnetos Wingless Tour competition on Saturday night and raced to an entertaining victory in the 25-lap feature at Placerville Speedway.
Also joining Johnson in victory lane on Denali Night presented by Thompson’s Buick/ GMC Dealership were Jason Palmer with the Pure Stocks, Derek Boarman with the Mini Trucks and Ryan Winter with the Nor-Cal Dwarf Car Association. A total of 74-cars packed the pit area on a beautiful night in Placerville.
Johnson most recently won with the C&H Veteran Ent. presents Hunt Magnetos Wingless Tour during the Tribute to Gary Patterson in November of 2016. He then took last season off after the untimely passing of his father. His triumph on Saturday was very special for everyone in attendance.
“This is pretty amazing to come out here and win tonight in Placerville,” Johnson said. “I have to dedicate this win to my dad. I know he was looking down on me tonight. This is pretty darn cool and I can’t thank my whole team enough for all their help.”
Adam Christian got the initial lead at the waving of the green flag in the main event and felt early pressure from Scott Hall, who also had to fend off Jake Morgan. Lapped traffic then appeared on lap seven, but unfortunately for Christian his bid at victory came to an end when a lapped car spun in front him and collected him. Morgan had previously taken second and now inherited the lead of the race. Things got hectic coming up when traffic came back into play on lap 12, as Morgan and Hall exchanged the top-spot, much to the delight of the crowd on hand.
DJ Johnson then made his presence known and shot by both drivers to take the lead in thrilling fashion. Morgan’s solid run came to an end on lap 17 when contact left him with a folded front end. The remainder of the race saw Hall hound Johnson trying to find a way by, but each time he looked to have an opportunity the yellow flag would wave. Hall had found the high-side to his liking, but after another caution late in the race Johnson would change his line, playing a little defense. After that he pulled away and grabbed the Ron Stahl checkered flag for the victory.
Hall was able to hold off a late charge by Shawn Jones to earn the runner up spot. Jones, Cody Spencer and Nick Larson rounded out the top-five. King Racing Products heat one was picked off by Johnson, Speed Mart heat two was captured by Morgan and Benic Ent. heat three was won by Troy Degaton. The Santa Mauro Racing Products Dash was won by Morgan, while the Quick Time Mortgage Fast Time Award was earned by Scott Hall with a time of 12.330 around the quarter-mile. Twenty-three wingless spec sprints signed into the pit area during the night.
Jason Palmer was a dominant force last season en route to bringing home the Pure Stock title and he has already started off 2018 in that same fashion, by winning the first two events. Palmer got the early lead in the feature over Orville Owens and Kevin Jinkersen. Owens was able to get alongside Palmer for the lead early on, but a spun car forced the caution flag to be waved. Following the restart good racing was seen as the top-five cars bunched up and clustered together. Owens attempted a big-time slider to grab the lead but was unsuccessful.
Owens continued to try and find a way by, but Palmer hit his marks and charged off to bring home the victory. Owens crossed the stripe in second, with Scott Grunert beating out Nick Baldwin after a good battle for the third spot. Russ Murphy completed the top-five. Palmer, Owens and Murphy captured the three heat races. Seventeen Pure Stocks were in action on Saturday.
A healthy field of 25 Dwarf Cars were also on hand during the night and saw the always tough Ryan Winter score yet another victory. At the waving of the green flag sprint car veteran Colby Wiesz took command and led over Danny Wagner, but Winter would soon overtake him second. Just as Winter looked to challenge for the lead, the caution flag came out. At the line on lap six, Wagner got by Weisz but another caution flag occurred. A great battle for the lead was then seen as Wagner took command. On a lap 12 restart however, Winter got past Wagner to become the new leader.
Just a couple laps later though, Wagner found a nice line and made it a fight for the top-spot once again. The two would proceed to battle it out over the closing laps in a thrilling display of Dwarf Car racing. The two went back and forth and with the checkered flag in the air Winter was able to nip at the line by half a car length. The official margin of victory was .068 seconds. Wiesz, Kevin Miralio and Mike Grenert completed the top-five. Grenert had a great run in the feature after starting from 15th.
The Mini Trucks made their first appearance of the 2018 season and saw Derek Boarman pick up the win over Kelly Campanile, Megan Curtis, Aaron Rupley and Tom Stanwood.
The Placerville Speedway returns to competition this coming Saturday May 5 with “Law Enforcement - Big Trophy Night” at the races. In action on Saturday will be the Thompson’s Auto GroupWinged 360 Sprint Cars, Ltd. Late Models, Pure Stocks and BCRA Midget Lites. More info can be found at http://www.placervillespeedway.com/
Photos courtesy of Cleveland Digital Imaging