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Wayne Johnson won Saturday's Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial at Lucas Oil Speedway. (Richard Bales photo)

Johnson Hugs The Pole At Wheatland

WHEATLAND, Mo. — Wayne Johnson scored his fifth Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour victory of the season by topping Saturday night’s 40-lap 12th annual Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial finale atop the three-eighths-mile Lucas Oil Speedway clay oval.

Johnson worked the low line to perfection as he raced from eighth to take command on the 25th lap en route to the $10,000 triumph aboard the Two-C Racing No. 2c sprint car for his second Hockett/McMillin Memorial triumph.

“I might cry,” Johnson commented after the emotional win.

Johnson took full advantage of a pair of cautions in the opening 19 rounds as well as a red flag stoppage with ten laps remaining to post the win.

Every one of those cautions came out at the right time,” Johnson explained after losing brakes in the early going.  “I’m sure ol’ Jesse wanted me to win that race, he got them cautions for me.”

While Johnson gridded the field outside the fourth row, Dylan Westbrook gunned into the initial lead from the pole starting position before Sam Hafertepe Jr., battled to the front on the fifth round.

Meanwhile, Johnson cracked the top five by the eighth circuit and was third behind Hafertepe and Friday night winner Ayrton Gennetten by the time the race’s first caution flew after 15 laps when Landon Crawley looped it in turn four.

Johnson made his way to second by the time the caution flew again four laps later for Riley Goodno in turn two and then stalked Hafertepe for the point before rallying by on the low side of turns three and four to take command on the 25th circuit.

Johnson weathered a red flag for Dylan Westbrook, who shredded a right rear tire and flipped in turn two with 30 laps in the books, and then raced on to the checkered flag with a 1.373-second advantage over reigning series champion Blake Hahn.

“It’s disappointing, I felt like we had a really good car that we could contend with,” Hahn said afterward.  “About halfway through the race, we had some motor issues.  To be able to finish on the podium with seven cylinders is something for our team to be proud of.”

Australian Scott Bogucki made a late move to snare the show position after taking the green flag from the tenth starting position.

“We finally got tuned up tonight, it’s been an up and down year for this team,” Bogucki explained afterward.”

Hafertepe slipped to fourth in the closing stages with Matt Covington advancing a half-dozen positions to round out the top five.

The finish:

Feature (40 Laps): 1. 2C-Wayne Johnson[8]; 2. 52-Blake Hahn[5]; 3. 84-Scott Bogucki[10]; 4. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[3]; 5. 95-Matt Covington[11]; 6. 9JR-Derek Hagar[7]; 7. 1XX-Jake Bubak[21]; 8. 187-Landon Crawley[20]; 9. 17B-Ryan Bickett[24]; 10. 3-Ayrton Gennetten[4]; 11. 24-Garet Williamson[14]; 12. 11-Roger Crockett[9]; 13. 9-Chase Randall[12]; 14. 22K-Kaleb Johnson[16]; 15. 22-Riley Goodno[13]; 16. 10-Landon Britt[17]; 17. 47X-Dylan Westbrook[1]; 18. 43M-Mark Smith[2]; 19. 45X-Kyler Johnson[23]; 20. 1X-Tim Crawley[6]; 21. 87-Sean McClelland[18]; 22. 21-Gunner Ramey[25]; 23. 36-Jason Martin[22]; 24. 3M-Howard Moore[19]; 25. G6-Cody Gardner[15]