Johnson Wins Easter Bunny 150
SOUTH BOSTON, VA. - Justin Johnson had set his eyes on the South Boston Speedway Barkhouser Late Model Stock car Division championship.
The Durham, N.C. resident got his title chase off to a good start by winning Saturday's season-opening Easter Bunny 150.
Johnson outlasted former South Boston Speedway Late Model Stock Car Division champion and former NASCAR national champion Philip Morris of Ruckersville, Va. and C.E, Falk III of Virginia Beach, Va. in a frantic battle over the final 25 laps to pick up his first win here since the 2005 season.
"I've won a couple of races the past couple of years at Orange County Speedway, but there's nothing like winning at South Boston Speedway," Johnson said.
"It's a great track. A lot of people have come from here that I have a lot of respect for. This is a pretty famous place to win and it's nice to have my name in the books twice."
Morris, who is seeking to make another bid for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship, found the day to be an encouraging one despite falling short for the win.
"It was an encouraging day," remarked Morris, who has switched from Dodge to Chevrolet for the 2008 season.
"There are a lot of things we can do to help our car. It (second place) wasn't where we wanted to finish and it doesn't fit our plans to win the national championship. Nevertheless it was a good start, better than leading and breaking a wheel like I did here last year."
There were three lead changes in the final 20 laps of the race with Johnson taking the lead from Morris for the final time with seven laps to go. Johnson's margin of victory over Morris was .624 second.
Falk finished third after starting on the pole with Dude Gibbs of Seaford, Va. and Tommy Lemons Jr. of Troy, N.C. rounding out the top five finishers.
Eddie Johnson of Midlothian, Va., Jonathan Bailey of Keysville, Va., Deac McCaskill of Raleigh, N.C., Wayne Ramsey of Amherst, Va. and Rodney Cook of Reidsville, N.C. rounded out the top ten finishers.
The race featured five lead changes among three drivers with Johnson leading twice for a total of 12 laps.
Johnson averaged 72.130 mph in the race that was slowed by five caution periods.