Driver Profile

Johnson and Ballenger Hustle to AGCO Jackson Nationals Preliminary Night Wins

Johnson and Ballenger Hustle to AGCO Jackson Nationals Preliminary Night Wins

(Photo by Rob Kocak)

Inside Line Promotions – JACKSON, Minn. (June 8, 2018) – Being aggressive paid off on Friday evening at Jackson Motorplex, where 70 entrants duked it out on the elbows-up oval throughout the opening round of the 40th annual AGCO Jackson Nationals presented by ASI Contracting.

Jason Johnson powered from seventh to claim his first World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series feature triumph of the season and Dusty Ballenger capitalized on a green-white-checkered finish to garner a victory in the Heartland Steel RaceSaver sprint cars presented by Wyffels Hybrids division.

The recently reconfigured oval overcame more than an inch and a half of rain Thursday evening into Friday. The hooked-up track made for a wild night of wheel-to-wheel action on the 4/10-mile oval.

Johnson drove all four wheels above the cushion, which was approximately halfway up the track, to maneuver from fifth to third place early in the 30-lap World of Outlaws main event. He took second a couple of laps later from polesitter Lynton Jeffrey, who led the first five laps of the race before Daryn Pittman took over the top spot during a restart on Lap 6.

Pittman caught traffic at the midpoint of the race and Johnson was in position to strike. He slid Pittman for the lead entering turn one on Lap 16 and the duo nearly banged wheels in turn two while trying to navigate traffic. A lap later an incident nearly happened again in the same corner before Johnson was able to pull away in traffic to win by more than three seconds.

“When the track has grip that’s my kind of track,” Johnson said in Victory Lane.

Pittman held off Kasey Kahne Racing teammate Brad Sweet for the runner-up result.

“Leading races and running second is pretty disappointing,” Pittman said. “Once we got to the backmarkers my car got super tight. (Johnson) did a better job of getting through those lapped cars.”

Sweet rounded out the podium after battling similar handling as his teammate.

“It was a tricky track,” he said. “I was really tight once we got to traffic.”

David Gravel maneuvered from 12th to fourth place to earn the Hard Charger Award for passing the most cars and Brian Brown advanced from 10th to fifth place.

Here is a link to watch highlights of the World of Outlaws A Main: https://youtu.be/xRZ2_HSut1I.

Jeffrey established a new track record during qualifying to open the night as he and Shane Stewart set quick time in their groups, which split the 42 drivers evenly. Stewart, Johnson, Jeffrey and Sweet each won a heat race. Greg Wilson was the C Main winner, Justin Henderson claimed the Last Chance Showdown and Jeffrey picked up the dash victory.

Kaleb Johnson led a majority of the Heartland Steel RaceSaver sprint cars presented by Wyffels Hybrids before a caution on the final lap set up a green-white-checkered restart for the 28-car field. Ballenger was able to stick the bottom groove in turns one and two to pull even with Johnson. The duo drag raced down the backstretch before Ballenger edged into the lead in turns three and four coming to the white flag.

“I knew I had to be on the bottom coming off two,” he said. “Kaleb drove a great race. If it wasn’t for that restart I don’t think I would have got him.”

Jacob Hughes maneuvered from eighth to third place with Brant O’Banion charging from 20th to a fourth-place finish. Colin Smith picked up a fifth-place result after starting 10th.

Smith, Jake Martens and Clayton Christensen each won a heat race.

The 40th annual AGCO Jackson Nationals wraps up with a doubleheader on Saturday. The AGCO Jackson Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores preliminary program that was postponed from Thursday will begin with hot laps at 1 p.m. The grandstands and pit area will be cleared following the program before the evening’s AGCO Jackson Nationals presented by ASI Contracting finale.

The afternoon program will feature only the World of Outlaws while the evening program will showcase both the World of Outlaws and Heartland Steel RaceSaver sprint cars presented by Wyffels Hybrids.

RACE REPORT: JACKSON MOTORPLEX IN JACKSON, MINN. (June 8, 2018) –

WORLD OF OUTLAWS CRAFTSMAN SPRINT CAR SERIES

A Feature (30 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson (7); 2. 9-Daryn Pittman (2); 3. 49-Brad Sweet (3); 4. 5-David Gravel (12); 5. 21-Brian Brown (10); 6. 12-Lynton Jeffrey (1); 7. 7S-Jason Sides (4); 8. 15-Donny Schatz (9); 9. 41S-Dominic Scelzi (14); 10. 18-Ian Madsen (6); 11. 3-Tim Kaeding (13); 12. 2-Shane Stewart (5); 13. 11K-Kraig Kinser (11); 14. 2M-Kerry Madsen (18); 15. 13JT-Mark Dobmeier (22); 16. 19-Brent Marks (19); 17. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild (16); 18. 1S-Logan Schuchart (15); 19. 97G-Hunter Schuerenberg (24); 20. 1A-Jacob Allen (20); 21. 83H-Justin Henderson (21); 22. 64-Scotty Thiel (17); 23. 83-Cory Eliason (8); 24. 09-Matt Juhl (23).

B Feature (12 Laps): 1. 83H-Justin Henderson (1); 2. 13JT-Mark Dobmeier (3); 3. 09-Matt Juhl (5); 4. 97G-Hunter Schuerenberg (6); 5. 2KS-Austin McCarl (4); 6. 23W-Scott Winters (9); 7. 7-Carson McCarl (7); 8. 13-Clyde Knipp (8); 9. 16-Travis Whitney (11); 10. 24-Terry McCarl (12); 11. 7W-Tasker Phillips (14); 12. 19L-R.J. Johnson (10); 13. W20-Greg Wilson (13); (DNS) 19P-Paige Polyak.

C Feature (10 Laps): 1. W20-Greg Wilson (2); 2. 7W-Tasker Phillips (1); 3. 55-Brooke Tatnell (6); 4. 17B-Bill Balog (4); 5. 14-Jody Rosenboom (10); 6. 20-Brant O'Banion (8); 7. 4X-Eric Schulz (7); 8. 05-Colin Smith (5); 9. 14K-Victoria (Tori) Knutson (9); 10. 9X-Paul Nienhiser (3).

Dash (6 Laps): 1. 12-Lynton Jeffrey (1); 2. 9-Daryn Pittman (2); 3. 49-Brad Sweet (4); 4. 7S-Jason Sides (3); 5. 2-Shane Stewart (7); 6. 18-Ian Madsen (5); 7. 41-Jason Johnson (6); 8. 83-Cory Eliason (8).

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 2-Shane Stewart (1); 2. 9-Daryn Pittman (2); 3. 15-Donny Schatz (3); 4. 3-Tim Kaeding (5); 5. 64-Scotty Thiel (4); 6. 13JT-Mark Dobmeier (6); 7. 7-Carson McCarl (7); 8. 7W-Tasker Phillips (9); 9. 23W-Scott Winters (8); 10. 05-Colin Smith (10); 11. 14K-Victoria (Tori) Knutson (11).

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson (1); 2. 83-Cory Eliason (3); 3. 11K-Kraig Kinser (2); 4. 1S-Logan Schuchart (4); 5. 19-Brent Marks (7); 6. 83H-Justin Henderson (5); 7. 09-Matt Juhl (6); 8. 9X-Paul Nienhiser (9); 9. 16-Travis Whitney (8); 10. 4X-Eric Schulz (10).

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 12-Lynton Jeffrey (1); 2. 18-Ian Madsen (2); 3. 21-Brian Brown (3); 4. 41S-Dominic Scelzi (4); 5. 2M-Kerry Madsen (5); 6. 55-Brooke Tatnell (10); 7. 2KS-Austin McCarl (6); 8. 19L-R.J. Johnson (8); 9. W20-Greg Wilson (9); 10. 13-Clyde Knipp (7); 11. 14-Jody Rosenboom (11).

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 49-Brad Sweet (2); 2. 7S-Jason Sides (1); 3. 5-David Gravel (3); 4. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild (7); 5. 1A-Jacob Allen (4); 6. 97G-Hunter Schuerenberg (6); 7. 17B-Bill Balog (9); 8. 20-Brant O'Banion (10); 9. 19P-Paige Polyak (5); 10. 24-Terry McCarl (8).

Qualifying A: 1. 2-Shane Stewart, 00:12.990; 2. 41-Jason Johnson, 00:13.038; 3. 9-Daryn Pittman, 00:13.084; 4. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 00:13.177; 5. 15-Donny Schatz, 00:13.179; 6. 83-Cory Eliason, 00:13.223; 7. 64-Scotty Thiel, 00:13.224; 8. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 00:13.283; 9. 3-Tim Kaeding, 00:13.286; 10. 83H-Justin Henderson, 00:13.302; 11. 13JT-Mark Dobmeier, 00:13.320; 12. 09-Matt Juhl, 00:13.357; 13. 7-Carson McCarl, 00:13.416; 14. 19-Brent Marks, 00:13.490; 15. 23W-Scott Winters, 00:13.551; 16. 16-Travis Whitney, 00:13.585; 17. 7W-Tasker Phillips, 00:13.601; 18. 9X-Paul Nienhiser, 00:13.750); 19. 05-Colin Smith, 00:13.777; 20. 4X-Eric Schulz, 00:14.212; 21. 14K-Victoria (Tori) Knutson, 00:14.730.

Qualifying B: 1. 12-Lynton Jeffrey, 00:12.918; 2. 7S-Jason Sides, 00:13.003; 3. 18-Ian Madsen, 00:13.041; 4. 49-Brad Sweet, 00:13.082; 5. 21-Brian Brown, 00:13.099; 6. 5-David Gravel, 00:13.106; 7. 41S-Dominic Scelzi, 00:13.113; 8. 1A-Jacob Allen, 00:13.127; 9. 2M-Kerry Madsen, 00:13.197; 10. 19P-Paige Polyak, 00:13.271; 11. 2KS-Austin McCarl, 00:13.274; 12. 97G-Hunter Schuerenberg, 00:13.312; 13. 13-Clyde Knipp, 00:13.318; 14. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 00:13.323; 15. 19L-R.J. Johnson, 00:13.325; 16. 24-Terry McCarl, 00:13.334; 17. W20-Greg Wilson, 00:13.338; 18. 17B-Bill Balog, 00:13.341; 19. 55-Brooke Tatnell, 00:13.352; 20. 20-Brant O'Banion, 00:13.679; 21. 14-Jody Rosenboom, 00:13.877.

HEARTLAND STEEL RACESAVER SPRINT CARS PRESENTED BY WYFFELS HYBRIDS

A Feature (20 Laps): 1. 2D-Dusty Ballenger (4); 2. 22-Kaleb Johnson (2); 3. 8-Jacob Hughes (8); 4. 20-Brant OBanion (20); 5. 05-Colin Smith (10); 6. 51A-Elliot Amdahl (17); 7. 4S-Michael Stien (21); 8. 81-Jared Jansen (13); 9. 05X-Brandon Allen (11); 10. 10-Trevor Serbus (15); 11. 75-Brandon Geldner (28); 12. 11A-Bruce Anderson (22); 13. 33S-Jeremy Schultz (19); 14. 8K-Micah Slendy (27); 15. 11-Dalyn Cody (26); 16. (DNF) 18-Dalton Domagala (12); 17. (DNF) 1CC-Clayton Christensen (6); 18. (DNF) 7X-Shane Fick (14); 19. (DNF) 23-Brandon Bosma (1); 20. (DNF) 4SN-Nate Eakin (9); 21. (DNF) 48-Jake Martens (3); 22. (DNF) 5-Brady Forbrook (7); 23. (DNF) 7-Dave Becker (23); 24. (DNF) 77-Taylor Ryan (24); 25. (DNF) 56-Bill Johnson (5); 26. (DNF) 7L-Jesse Lindberg (18); 27. (DNF) 55-Bruce Allen (25); 28. (DNF) 87-Chris Duffy (16).

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 05-Colin Smith (3); 2. 4SN-Nate Eakin (5); 3. 05X-Brandon Allen (4); 4. 2D-Dusty Ballenger (6); 5. 81-Jared Jansen (9); 6. 87-Chris Duffy (7); 7. 33S-Jeremy Schultz (8); 8. 11A-Bruce Anderson (10); 9. 55-Bruce Allen (1); (DQ) 75-Brandon Geldner (2).

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 48-Jake Martens (1); 2. 18-Dalton Domagala (2); 3. 8-Jacob Hughes (3); 4. 22-Kaleb Johnson (5); 5. 7X-Shane Fick (4); 6. 51A-Elliot Amdahl (9); 7. 20-Brant OBanion (8); 8. 7-Dave Becker (7); 9. 11-Dalyn Cody (6).

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 1CC-Clayton Christensen (4); 2. 5-Brady Forbrook (3); 3. 23-Brandon Bosma (6); 4. 56-Bill Johnson (2); 5. 10-Trevor Serbus (7); 6. 7L-Jesse Lindberg (9); 7. 4S-Michael Stien (5); 8. 77-Taylor Ryan (1); 9. 8K-Micah Slendy (8).

UP NEXT –

Saturday for the 40th annual AGCO Jackson Nationals featuring the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series and Heartland Steel RaceSaver sprint cars presented by Wyffels Hybrids

MEDIA LINKS –

Website: http://www.JacksonMotorplex.com

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/JacksonMotorplx

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JacksonSpeedway/?fref=ts

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jacksonmotorplex/

JACKSON MOTORPLEX –

Jackson Motorplex is a recently renovated 4/10-mile dirt oval located in Jackson, Minn. It hosts weekly races on most Fridays from May through September with 410ci winged sprint cars, 360 winged sprint cars, Heartland Steel RaceSaver sprint cars presented by Wyffels Hybrids and NSL non-wing sprint cars presented by HitchDoc among the featured classes. For more information, visit http://www.JacksonMotorplex.com.

INSIDE LINE PROMOTIONS –

Inside Line Promotions specializes in affordable public relations and media management for motor sports drivers, teams, sponsors, tracks, series, events, organizations and manufacturers. ILP Founder Shawn Miller leverages professional journalism with new media technologies and social networking to improve your exposure and the return on investment for your sponsors.

To meet the media relations needs of your program by joining Team ILP, contact Shawn at 541-510-3663 or Shawn@InsideLinePromotions.com. For more information on Inside Line Promotions, visit http://www.InsideLinePromotions.com.

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