Posted: Monday, May 19th 2014 at 2:00pm
Johnson captures Chevy Super Series win at Penton
By Roby Helm
Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN celebrates his first career Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series win on Saturday night at Penton Raceway in Penton, AL. / Photo: Eric S. Gano
PENTON, AL – Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN captured his first career Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series win on Saturday night at Penton Raceway in Penton, AL, driving the NeSmith Chevrolet Special. The National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Inductee passed Brian Ligon of Augusta, GA with four laps to go to take not only the victory, but also the point lead.
“He (Ligon) was running a higher groove than me, but I just couldn’t quite get under him coming off the corners,” Johnson said. “We were approaching some lapped cars that threw some loose dirt on the track, and he slipped the nose of his car up the track which gave just enough to get under him to take the lead.”
Johnson also said the win was special because he could add another track to his impressive win list of different race track across the country.
“I have started a list of tracks where I have won feature events at through my career, and now I can add Penton Raceway to that list,” Johnson said. “I’ve run a few races here over the years, but tonight was my first win here.”
Ligon would take the checkered flag in the second spot, but he was disqualified during the post-race technical inspection with a chemically altered tire. That moved J.R. Moseley of Columbus, GA up to the second spot in his first-ever Chevy Super Series start.
Tyler Crowder of Lamont, FL took the third spot and Jacob Grizzle of Blairsville, GA finished fourth. Dingus Griffin of Ohatchee, AL was fifth and Josh Adkins of Talladega, AL drove to a sixth-place finish and was the Rookie of the Race.
Chase Edge of LaFayette, AL finished seventh and Matthew Turner of Dawsonville, GA took the eighth spot. Tim Roszell of Anniston, AL was ninth and David Brannon of Elora, TN rounded out the top ten.
Johnson left Penton Raceway as the new Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series point leader with 292 points and a 12-point advantage over Griffin and Crowder, who are tied for the second spot with 280 points apiece.
Ligon took the lead at the drop of the green flag followed by Moseley, Tim Busha of Boaz, AL, Johnson and Dana Eiland of Salem, AL. Johnson got under Busha coming off the fourth turn on lap three to take the third spot, and Ligon caught the cars on the tail of the lead lap by lap six.
The first of nine caution flags came out on lap seven for debris, and the field was slowed for second time when Mark Dowdy of Waterloo, AL spun in turn three on lap 12. Jadon Frame of Winchester, TN spun in turn four on the restart for the third caution flag.
Ligon had Moseley, Johnson, Jake Knowles of Tyrone, GA, Eiland, Busha, Grizzle, and Crowder doubled up behind him for the restart. Knowles got by Johnson when the field went back to green to take over the third spot. Frame spun in turn four on lap 16 to light up the caution bulb for the fourth time.
Knowles passed Moseley for second on the next restart, but the field was slowed for the fifth time when Busha cut down a left-rear tire on lap 22 while running sixth. The next restart saw Moseley power around the outside of Knowles to reclaim the second spot coming off the fourth turn. The caution was displayed for a multi-car tangle in turn two on lap 26 that slowed the field for a sixth time.
While the field was under caution, Knowles dropped out of the race while running third. Eiland stalled on lap 27 to bring out the eighth caution flag, and a spin by Dowdy on lap 28 would light the caution bulb for the final time. The last 12 laps of the race were caution-free as Johnson went to work for the $3,000 top prize.
Johnson got under Moseley for the second spot in turn two on lap 31, but by this time, Ligon was a half straightaway ahead of the Chattanooga Flash. As the leader encountered heavy lapped traffic, Johnson quickly caught Ligon by lap 36, and began to look inside to challenge for the lead.
With less than four laps to go, Ligon pushed up the banking of turn four, and that opened the door for Johnson to take the lead and pulled away to take just over a second margin of victory under the checkered flag.
In preliminary action, Ligon was the fast qualifier among the 25 entrants with a lap around the 3/8-miel clay oval in 13.844 seconds. The two ten-lap Qualifying Races were won by Griffin and Turner.
The next race for the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series will be a 50-lap $3,000-to-win $300-to-start event on the high banks at Tazewell Speedway in Tazewell, TN on June 14.
Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series
Penton Raceway - Penton, AL
Race Results – May 17, 2014
POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN LAPS $ WON
1. 4 5 Ronnie Johnson Chattanooga, TN $3,000
2. 3 99 J.R. Moseley Columbus, GA $1,500
3. 6 47c Tyler Crowder Lamont, FL $1,000
4. 8 99g Jacob Grizzle Blairsville, GA $850
5. 9 49 Dingus Griffin Ohatchee, AL $750
6. 11 19m Josh Adkins (R) Talladega, AL $700
7. 14 18 Chase Edge (R) LaFayette, AL $650
8. 10 10 Matthew Turner Dawsonville, GA $600
9. 15 6 Tim Roszell Anniston, AL $550
10. 21 33 David Brannon Elora, TN $500
11. 18 110 Brent Barrett (R) Cleveland, MS $475
12. 19 17 Ronald Dunn Corinth, MS $450
13. 24 222 Carlton Freeman Eastaboga, AL $425
14. 23 88d Mark Dowdy Waterloo, AL $400
15. 5 K9 Dana Eiland Salem, AL $375
16. 7 66 Jake Knowles Tyrone, GA $350
17. 13 41 Ted Lackey Munford, AL $325
18. 25 56 Chris Noah Rainbow City, AL $300
19. 17 18d Cord Dodgen LaFayette, AL $300
20. 20 J8 Jaden Frame (R) Winchester, TN $300
21. 2 15 Tim Busha Boaz, AL $300
22. 12 11 Lavon Sparks Phenix City, AL $300
23. 22 72 Frank Wilson Milton, FL $300
24. 16 47r Ross Martin Talladega, AL $300
25. 1 4 Brian Ligon Augusta, GA $0-DQ Tire
Link: Chevy Super Series
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