Johnson wins final lap thriller
Chappell spins on final lap, recovers to finish 2nd
by John Rittenoure, OCRS PR
MEEKER, Oklahoma (March 16, 2019) - Zach Chappell wanted a win, but veteran Wayne Johnson got the final word in a wild final lap run to the checkered Saturday in the Ameri-Flex / OCRS season opener at Red Dirt Raceway.
Chappell was leading on the final lap when he spun on the backstretch in lapped traffic. Johnson and Layne Himebaugh drove past and Johnson raced on to his first Drive Shafts, Inc. OCRS A feature victory. Surprisingly, Chappell avoided bringing out a yellow flag by staying on the gas and racing around Himebaugh to finish second.
"Once we got into lapped traffic it got real interesting,” Chappell said of the final lap. “You could not watch just one guy.
“We just got a little loose there. I got a bump and it spun me around. I was lucky enough no one ran over me. I gathered it back up and got back around Layne (Himebaugh) in 3 and 4.
“If we had one more lap I think I had something for Wayne (Johnson).”
Chappell was only 0.390 of a second behind Johnson at the finish.
“It is what it is. I am happy for the first race of the year,” Chappell said of his finish. “(My crew) has been working their tails off all winter long.
“I feel like we left off where we ended last year.”
Johnson started outside front row of Chappell and roared into the early lead. Chappell chased Johnson for 25 laps before getting around him in traffic on lap 26.
“I pulled a slider on him in 3 and 4,” Chappell said of his pass of Johnson. “It was hard to pass and I bumped him a little bit. I tried to do it as soft as I could.
“Maybe it was the right move, maybe it was the wrong move, but when you get a chance you have to take it. No one likes racing for second.”
Chappell led four laps before the final lap spin. Himebaugh finished third from coming from his sixth place starting position. Danny Smith and Andrew Deal rounded out the top five.
After failing to finish in his heat race, defending champion Alex Sewell came back with a third-place B feature finish to make his way into the A feature where he earned York Plumbing Hard Charger honors with his run from 18th to seventh.
Ameri-Flex / OCRS Results
Red Dirt Raceway, Meeker, Okla.
March 16, 2019
Car Count: 31
Wesmar Racing Engines Heat 1 (8 laps)
1, Kyle Clark. 2, Wayne Johnson. 3, Kinzer Edwards. 4, Casey Wills. 5, Matt Sherrell. 6, Perry PIckard. 7, Allison Slaton. 8, Cody Jarvis.
M&W Aluminum Heat 2 (8 laps)
1, Danny Smith. 2, Andrew Deal. 3, Joe Bob Lee. 4, Robert Sellers. 5, Donovan Wise. 6, Daniel Abrams. 7, Mickey Walker. 8, Alex Sewell.
Car and Fleet Parts Heat 3 (8 laps)
1, Alex DeCamp. 2, Sheldon Barksdale. 3, Layne Himebaugh. 4, Joe Wood, Jr. 5, Jase Randolph. 6, Brett Wilson. 7, Patrick Prescott. 8, Ben Frey.
Lap Leaders: Wayne Johnson 1-25, Zach Chappell 26-29, Wayne Johnson 30.
Margin of victory: 0.390.