Lucas Oil Johnson drama

Lucas Oil Speedway will celebrate Independence Day with a special "Thursday Night Thunder" program Thursday, July 4.

Matt Johnson only led about 150 yards of the Saturday, June 29, headliner at Lucas Oil Speedway. According to a Lucas Oil news release, that was all the driver from Archie needed, using a dramatic turn-four pass of Justin Johnson on the final lap to capture the Late Model feature win. 

He earned $1,000 after prevailing by half a car length.

Other feature winners on the night included Toby Ott (O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks), Johnny Fennewald (Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models) and Kris Jackson (Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods).

Matt Johnson and Justin Johnson dueled side by side through most of the final five laps of the 25-lap main event before Matt Johnson finally prevailed. The margin between the top two was .150 seconds, according to the release.

The winner started inside of row three and worked his way into second by lap seven after Justin Johnson had grabbed the lead a couple of laps earlier, according to the release. Those two staged an epic battle the rest of the way with Justin Johnson staying in front — until the final turn.

"I was trying to race him clean," Matt Johnson said in the release. "I don't like anybody beating and banging on me, so I was giving him plenty of room.”

Chase Domer finished third with Lucas Gibbs fourth and Robbie Reed in fifth.

Matt Johnson also won on Friday at Humboldt Speedway and that — like Saturday's feature — was a Summit Shootout qualifier. That meant Justin Johnson, of Olathe, Kansas, earned the automatic qualification into the sixth annual Summit USRA Nationals at Hamilton County Speedway in Webster City, Iowa on Sept. 25-28.

"Hats off to Justin; he did a good job of driving that thing," Matt Johnson said in the release.

Midseason points champion Paden Phillips started outside front row and led the first four laps but faded to finish eighth, the release stated.

Pole-starting Chase Jones spun out on lap two while running third and had to restart at the rear of the field. He wound up finishing 14th, according to the release.

Ott rallies for Street Stocks win 

Toby Ott emerged from a three-car battle, edging into the lead with five laps remaining to pull away for his third O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks feature win of the season.

Ott, the season points leader, started fourth. He used an inside pass of Daniel Deason in turn three on lap 15. Derek Brown was also in the mix, with the trio going three wide for a time, according to the release.

"Daniel was doing a good job, and he was holding his line,” Ott said in the release. “Derek showed me the bottom (of the track) was good down there and I had to be patient. I guess it was one of those deals where it was good not to be up front at the start. I got to see where everything was." 

Deason wound up second with Johnny Coats third and Brown fourth.

Fennewald makes winning move

Johnny Fennewald waited for his opportunity and pounced with three laps to go to earn his third Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Model win of the season, according to the release. 

Larry Ferris, who started up front and led the first 17, finished 1.38 seconds behind Fennewald with Cole Henson third, points leader Kaeden Cornell fourth and Aaron Marrant in fifth, the release stated.

Fennewald of Appleton City started outside of row two and moved into second by lap four. He kept the pressure on the leader until using a slide job in turns three and four to take over the lead with three laps remaining.

"I had a good run on him when that caution came out," Fennewald said in the release. "I knew he saw I was up there, so I figured he would start blocking me. Any good racer would. That's how I got beat last week. I just didn't think quick enough when Todd Shute won to move down to the bottom.”

Jackson makes it four

Kris Jackson earned win No. 4 on the season, leading the final 18 laps of the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod feature, according to the release.

"We race against a really great group of guys," Jackson, the USRA B-Mod national points leader, said in the release. "I'm glad to be here. I want to say thanks to my guys for helping me out in the pits."

Jackson passed front-row starting Mark Long to grab the lead on lap three. From there, it was a matter of protecting his lead on numerous restarts as the race had eight caution flags. The final one waved on lap 15 after Jackson had built a 2.15-second lead over Morton.

Jackson drove away again and finished 2.34 seconds in front of JC Morton, with Taylor Moore in third. Eric Turner rallied to finish fourth after starting 19th, the release stated.

Up next

The "Thursday Night Thunder" July 4 edition of the weekly racing series will feature the ULMA Late Models to headline the event with a 25-lap, $1,000-to-win main event courtesy of Rains Ice.

Participating area Casey's locations offer $2 discount coupons to the night's activities. A fireworks show courtesy of AM Pyrotechnics will light up the sky at the conclusion of the racing program. 

Gates open at 4 p.m. with hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7:05.

Thursday is also the annual Kids' Night Bicycle Giveaway. The Frog's Signs Junior Fan Club giveaway is for kids ages 5 to 12 who can sign up to win a bike that evening. The speedway is still seeking donations of new boys' and girls' bikes. For questions or more details, contact Lisa Lorton at the Lucas Oil Speedway office at 282-5984 or email

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