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C.J. Johnson Hangs On For URSS Win at McCook Speedway

The United Rebel Sprint Series rolled back into the Cornhusker State for a battle in the “bull ring” on Friday. The first appearance for the Rebels at McCook Speedway in 2009 saw eighteen teams pull through the gate. C.J. Johnson pounced on the field early and romped to victory lane despite a late charge from Cody Salem. The victory gives Johnson a total of six A-main wins on the year, and a total of twenty career Rebel feature victories, once again tying the all time mark set by Jon Johnson.

Edison, Nebraska’s Bill Hays led the field to the green for the main event with Blake Bogenhagen, Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, alongside. Bogenhagen would use a run on the outside to grab the lead and take the first circuit. It would be C.J. Johnson hammering the high line from his outside row five starting position rocketing to the second spot, making up eight positions on one circuit. Hays would be shuffled to third with Smokey Fairbank fourth and Randy Bantam the top five.

A caution on the second circuit for Bogenhagen would halt the action but with one lap in the books the field would be set. With the leader, Bogenhagen, spinning it would be the C.J. Johnson inheriting the lead. Hays would fall into the second position moving Fairbank to third, Bantam to fourth, allowing Michael Williams to crack the top five.

Back under the green it would be C.J. Johnson blasting out to a straightaway advantage with the rest of the field in tow. But the action would not last long as the yellow flag would wave once again. Bogenhagen, Ken Lutters and Judd Schaeffer would be involved. Schaeffer and Bogenhagen would be able to continue but the night would be over for Lutters who would head to the infield.

C.J. Johnson would lead the field back to the green with Fairbank moving past Hays to grab the second position. Hays would drop to third with Bantam and Willie Wynn the top five. The choppy start to the main event would continue with the yellow flag flying once more. After using the top side to fly past Wynn and Bantam, Williams would spin in turn two ending a top five run.

With Williams tagging the rear of the field, C.J. Johnson would lead the field back to the green and the longest green flag flurry of the night. New faces busted into the top five as Johnson set the pace. Fairbank, Wynn, Cody Salem, and Jon Johnson would find themselves trying to reel in the leader.

With laps continuing to wind away Salem would be the driver to watch. Driving by Wynn for third, Salem would find himself battling with his inside row four starting partner, Fairbank, for second position. Salem would clear Fairbank for the second position and set his sights on the leader.

Outside the top five the field continued to slice and dice around the oval with Jeff Radcliffe jumping up to the high side and making the cushion work. Radcliffe would motor around Fairbank, Wynn and Johnson cracking the top five, moving his machine to the third position.

But it was the battle at the front that captivated the crowd. Salem would continue to pressure Johnson for the top position and his best chance would come on a late race caution. Three laps would remain. A green, white, checkered restart would set up a wild shootout to the finish.

With the field formed up on C.J. Johnson’s backside, Salem would make one last charge to the front. Radcliffe, Fairbank, and Jon Johnson would round out the top five. Back underway it would be a two car breakout consisting of C.J. and Salem. Salem would continue to harass the leader buy just when it looked like the Missouri driver had found the line the checkers flew and C.J. Johnson would hold on for the win. Salem would settle for second, with Radcliffe flying to third. Fairbank and Johnson would round out the top five.

The Keizer Aluminum Wheels “Hard Charger Award” went to Jeff Radcliffe who drove his way from his fifteenth starting position to grab the third spot as the checkers fell.

Heat Race winners were: #1-Blake Bogenhagen, #2-Cody Salem, #3-Smokey Fairbank

A-Main: 1-CJ Johnson (45X), 2-Cody Salem (22), 3-Jeff Radcliffe (21R), 4-Smokey Fairbank (2), 5-Jon Johnson (86), 6-Willie Wynn (36W), 7-Keefe Hemel (11), 8-Michael Williams (77W), 9-Bill Hays (2H), 10-Randy Bantam (5R), 11-Blake Bogenhagen (27B), 12-Ken Lutters (79), 13-Judd Schaeffer (56), 14-Tom Parker (14T), 15-Chad Salem (17), 16-Reed Bernbeck (C3), 17-Cody Keiswetter (38), 18-Mike Parker (140)






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