TULSA, Okla. (Jan. 19, 2016) – Chase Johnson had a banner week at the 30th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals Presented by General Tire.
Johnson scored his best-career result at the marquee midget event at Tulsa Expo Raceway, where he drove for Matt Wood Motorsports for the third year in a row.
“I had a great time and am so grateful for the opportunity to drive for Matt and the team again,” he said. “We showed a lot of improvement and opened some eyes with how strong we performed.”
The event began last Tuesday with Johnson tackling preliminary action on the quarter-mile oval. He powered from seventh to a third-place result in a heat race to open the competition.
“We kept our nose clean and let the passes come by themselves,” he said. “That was my whole mindset I had going in. If you get yourself in trouble it’s really hard to overcome that. It put us in a great spot for the qualifier. We continued to stay clean and smart.”
Johnson then placed sixth in a qualifier before he used a perfectly timed last-lap slide job to score the fourth-and-final transfer position in a B Main. That started him last in the 25-lap main event.
“There were a lot of cautions and crashes,” he said. “We made it through all of that and passed quite a few cars to make it up to 13th. It was a great accomplishment anywhere, but especially at the Chili Bowl. We had a great car and I felt like I could put it anywhere and we’d go forward. That was really helpful, especially in traffic.”
Johnson’s 13th-place result tied him for the most cars passed in the main event. It also locked him into a C Main during Saturday’s finale, which was broadcast live on MAVTV.
“The C Main was going great,” he said. “They had just finished reworking the track before the race so there wasn’t much passing going on. The track was very narrow. We just rolled around the bottom and were putting in our laps. We were faster than a couple of cars in front of us, but I couldn’t find a way around them without opening up a spot. Right after we got the sign for two laps to go we went into turns one and two. I got a side nerf bar from someone and that pushed me up the track. Me and another car spun around and I got upside down.”
Johnson spent most of the race in a transfer position until a fellow competitor ran into him with a little less than two laps remaining. Johnson restarted at the back and ended with a 16th-place result.
“It’s certainly not the way we wanted it to end,” he said. “I felt like we were going to transfer into the B Main and had a car capable of moving forward. Unfortunately, that’s part of racing. Hopefully I get the opportunity to head back to the Chili Bowl next year and we can continue to show improvement.”
QUICK RESULTS –
Jan. 12 – Tulsa Expo Raceway in Tulsa, Okla. – Heat race: 3 (7); Qualifier: 6 (4); B Main: 4 (4); Feature: 13 (24).
Jan. 16 – Tulsa Expo Raceway in Tulsa, Okla. – C Main: 16 (6).
SEASON STATS –
7 races, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s, 1 top 15, 3 top 20s
UP NEXT –
March 3-4 at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas in Las Vegas with the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series
MEDIA LINKS –
Johnson has new red, black or gray t-shirts and hoodies for sale at his race trailer at every race he competes in this season. T-shirts are $25 each and hoodies are $35 apiece.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – Johnny Franklin’s Mufflers
With California locations in Santa Rosa and San Rafael, Johnny Franklin’s Mufflers has been a leader in the service industry for mufflers, drivelines and hitches for more than 50 years.
“My great grandpa started Johnny Franklin’s Mufflers in 1961 and it has been in the family ever since,” Johnson said. “My family and everyone at Johnny Franklin’s Mufflers have supported me through my entire racing career and are my biggest fans. I couldn’t be happier to represent such a great company.”
Johnson would also like to thank Newman Freeman Racing, PitStopUSA.com, Shifty Illusions, Napa Auto Parts, Flowmaster, Don’s Truck Repair, VSR, Oroville Cycle, I-Wear Graphix, Driven Raceway, Nor-Cal Transmission and Chevron Pro-Gas for their continued support.