Kaleb Johnson Captures First Career Top 10 With World of Outlaws

Kaleb Johnson recorded his career-best World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series result last Saturday when he earned his first career top 10 with ‘The Greatest Show on Dirt.’

The 10th-place result at Ogilvie Raceway in Ogilvie, Minn., followed a night when he faded late in the World of Outlaws feature at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D., to finish 11 th after a last-lap pass knocked him out of the top 10.

“I felt like the speed was there on Friday, but little mistakes cost me here and there,” he said. “When you’re racing with the Outlaws and you make a mistake, there goes three cars by you. To rebound and get a top 10 on Saturday was a huge confidence booster.”

Johnson was strong from the start as he qualified 13 th quickest both nights. He advanced from fourth to second place in a heat race to make the dash at River Cities Speedway. A fourth-place finish in the dash lined him up on the outside of the second row in the Don Mack Classic main event.

“I felt like the first 10 to 15 laps went pretty well,” he said. “I fell to fifth and I passed Donny (Schatz) for fourth at one time. I was trying to avoid the rut going into turn one and it sent the car up to the top of the track one time. That let three or four cars by. I made a couple of mistakes after that and before I knew it I was 11 th coming to the checkered flag. It was a good learning experience since that was our first time there, but I wish we could have been a few spots better.”

Johnson placed fifth in his heat race at Ogilvie Raceway. He capped the night by driving from 13 th to 10 th in the Big ‘O’ Showdown feature.

“I didn’t qualify the greatest and it was really tough to pass in the heat race,” he said. “They reworked the track for the feature. The main thing was keeping my nose clean. There was a big melee and getting through that was big. The fast lane was around the top and there wasn’t much passing. It was good to get experience running closer to the front. We were definitely happy with a top 10.”

The weekend concluded on Sunday at Huset’s Speedway, where Johnson qualified third quickest in his group. He gained a position to place second in a heat race, advancing him into the feature redraw. Johnson pulled the No. 3 to line up on the inside of the second row in the main event.

“I ran third most of the race,” he said. “The mud cover came off and packed the right rear wheel full of mud. It was chattering so bad I thought we had an engine problem. The last few laps I was trying to hang on to just finish the race. It was a little disappointing because I felt we had a second or third-place car. After what happened, to salvage an eighth-place result was good.”

Johnson was credited with an eighth-place result. He increased his lead in the Huset’s Speedway championship standings to 38 points.

Johnson plans to race this Saturday at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, driving a 360ci winged sprint car for Dennis Gainey before returning to Huset’s Speedway on Sunday.

QUICK RESULTS –

June 7 – River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D. – Qualifying: 13; Heat race: 2 (4); Dash: 4 (3); Feature: 11 (4).

June 8 – Ogilvie Raceway in Ogilvie, Minn. – Qualifying: 13; Heat race: 5 (5); Feature: 10 (13).

June 9 – Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, S.D. – Qualifying: 3; Heat race: 2 (3); Feature: 8 (3).

SEASON STATS –

13 races, 0 wins, 3 top fives, 10 top 10s, 11 top 15s, 11 top 20s

UP NEXT –

Saturday at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, and Sunday at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, S.D.

ILP PR