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CJ Johnson Holds On For URSS Win At Dawson County Speedway Finale

The United Rebel Sprint Series rolled into the Dawson County Speedway Sunday for the final visit to the 3/8’s mile oval. Twenty teams made the trek to Lexington and the crowd in the stands for Fan Appreciation Night were not disappointed as the Rebels put on a show. When the checkered flag fell, it was CJ Johnson taking the win with his father nipping at his heals to the end.

McCook Nebraska’s Darren Berry led the field to the green flag and jumped out to the lead with Keefe Hemel, Bill Hays, Howard Van Dyke and Jon Johnson rounding out the top five at he end of lap one. CJ Johnson soon joined the “Kansas Tornado” and Josh Fairbank as the trio fought for the fifth spot. Berry maintained his lead but Hemel was gaining ground each lap. Lap five saw CJ Johnson wrestle the third spot away for Bill Hays with Jon Johnson relegating Hays to the fifth spot on lap six.

 Up front the leaders started to encountered lap traffic by lap eight, each choosing the right line to make their way around the slower cars. Hemel and CJ Johnson started to close the gap on Berry as the caution flew for the first time. On the restart, Darren Berry once again jumped out to the lead with Hemel and Johnson in tow. Hemel was steadily gaining ground each lap and on lap fifteen had caught the leader. As the pair worked their way through turns three and four, Hemel slid high and looped his mount to bring out the second caution.

O the restart, Berry once again took the point but had pressure from the Johnson’s as CJ and Jon were glued in his tire tracks. Back in the pack, Goddard Kansas’s Josh Fairbank had quietly made his way to the fourth spot and was slowly working his way to striking position to challenge Jon Johnson for the third spot. Right behind Fairbank, 2008 URSS National Champion Brian Herbert had made his way to the fifth place by lap sixteen.

CJ Johnson kept the heat on Berry as the pair diced their way around the oval, with Johnson making the pass for the lead on twenty. Berry soon was being pressured by Jon Johnson and Fairbank as the trio made their way to the leader. Caution once again flew on lap Twenty-two to bunch up the field, on the restart CJ Johnson bolted to the lead with the top five separated by less than ten car-lengths. As the two to go was being displayed the caution once again flew for a spin in turn two. Before the restart, Berry’s mount came to a stop on the backstretch having run out of fuel ending a solid run for the McCook driver.

 On the restart, CJ Johnson took the point with Jon Johnson, Josh Fairbank, Brian Herbert and Reed Bernbeck all giving chase. Try as he might the elder Johnson tried to dive to the bottom in turn one to take the lead as the white flag waved, but CJ Johnson used the high-line to fend off the challenge and hold the point. Back in the pack, the fight for the fifth spot was being wages by Reed Bernbeck and Howard Van Dyke. As the pair entered turn three Van Dyke took the spot for good.

As the checkered flag fell it was CJ Johnson taking the victory with Jon Johnson, Josh Fairbank, Brian Herbert and Howard Van Dyke rounding out the top five.

Picking up the Keizer Aluminum Wheels “Hard Charger Award” was CJ Johnson who came from his tenth starting spot to take the win. 

Heat Race Winners were #1-Jon Johnson, #2-Keefe Hemel, #3-Michael Williams 

A-Main: 1- CJ Johnson (45X), 2-Jon Johnson (86), 3-Josh Fairbank (51), 4-Brian Herbert (97), 5-Howard Van Dyke (74), 6-Reed Bernbeck (C3), 7-Ken Lutters (79), 8-Willie Wynn (36W), 9-Keefe Hemel (11), 10-Bill Hays (2H), 11-Nate Berry (12T), 12-Randy Bantam (5R), 13-Smokey Fairbank (2), 14-Shawn Radcliffe (3R), 15- Blake Bogenhagen (27B), 16-Chad Salem (17), 17-Darren Berry (12), 18-Jeff Radcliffe (21R), 19-Michael Williams (77W), Mike Woodruff (83X) DNS

Heat #1: 1-Jon Johnson, 2-CJ Johnson, 3-Darren Berry, 4-Jeff Radcliffe, 5-Smokey Fairbank, 6-Randy Bantam, 7-Blake Bogenhagen DNF

Heat #2: 1-Keefe Hemel, 2-Josh Fairbank, 3-Ken Lutters, 4-Brian Herbert, 5-Willie Wynn, 6-Shawn Radcliffe, 7-Chad Salem

Heat #3: 1-Michael Williams, 2-Bill Hays, 3-Howard Van Dyke, 4-Reed Bernbeck, 5-Nate Berry, 6-Mike Woodruff DNF

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