Ronnie Johnson VL

Popular veteran Ronnie Johnson after another win close to his Chattanooga home.  (Thomas Hendrickson)

Ronnie Johnson dominates Volunteer Racing Series Opener

Volunteer Racing Series PR

RINGGOLD, Ga. — April 16. The Volunteer Racing Series opened the 2010 season at the Boyd’s Speedway on Friday for the E.A. Boyd Anniversary Classic ‘Spring Fling’ $3,000 to win event with Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, leading flag-to-flag in the 40-lapper.

Johnson, driving his Miller Brothers Coal, Simmons Lawn Care, American Billett and Transport One sponsored Vinson powered MasterSbilt, joined fellow heat

Randy Weaver

Behind race winner Ronnie Johnson, Randy Weaver finished second in the inaugural Volunteer Racing Series event at Boyd's Speedway, despite a foray into the outside wall after another car slung some mud into the groove on the previous circuit.  (Thomas Hendrickson) 

Mike Marlar - Tony Knowles

Hard charger award winner Mike Marlar goes by #26 Tony Knowles on his way from his 20th place start to seventh in the final rundown.  (Thomas Hendrickson)

winner Mark Vineyard and brought the 22-car field down to the green flag for the start of the 40-lapper. After one failed start, a second attempt saw several cars including those of Vineyard, Vic Hill, Brandon Kinzer, Eric Wells, Rick Rogers and Randy Weaver, piled up in turn four.

With a complete restart, only Brandon Kinzer was displaced from his starting position as he had to enter the pits to change a flat tire.

Finally, Johnson took the point until the next caution flew for water on the track. On the lap nine restart, Weaver looked to the inside of Johnson but couldn’t complete the pass. By the 22nd lap, the battle up front was becoming close as the leaders were all starting to head for lapped traffic with Johnson, Weaver and Billy Ogle all in tow. By lap 26, Ogle made a pass to take second from Weaver while the duo was working lapped traffic, but four laps later, Weaver would take second back coming off four.

Randy Weaver - Mark Vineyard

Randy Weaver gets past polesitter Mark Vineyard on his way to second place at Boyd's Speedway.  (Thomas Hendrickson)

The last yellow flag waved with four laps to go as Tommy Kerr and pulled off. With the single-file restart, Johnson was quick at the drop of the green and held off the field for the win. By the final two laps a three-wide battle for sixth included Jeff Smith, hard-charging Mike Marlar, and Vic Hill. As Johnson crossed the line to become the first-ever VRS feature winner, Weaver, Ogle, Eric Wells and Vineyard followed in the top five.

In preliminary action, Billy Ogle Jr. set fast time out of the 28 entries with a 14.492 second lap. Mike Weeks showed up late to the grid for time trials after a tire infraction, so that caused him to only take one lap at the end of qualifying.  Under VRS rules, Weeks could not qualify better than 50 percent of the field, plus one, so he was credited for 13th fastest, though he came out and blistered the track with a 14.436 second lap, the fastest time. Heat wins went to Ogle, Johnson and Vineyard. The B-Main was won by Jake Knowles.

Eric Wells

Young Kentucky driver Eric Wells picked up a season's best fourth place finish at Boyd's.  (Thomas Hendrickson)

Mike Weeks

Mike Weeks set a blistering fast time at Boyd's, but was penalized to a 13th place start for showing up late for qualifying. The Friendsville, Tenn. driver was unable to overcome the setback, and finished 13th.  (Thomas Hendrickson)

Ronnie Johnson

Hometown favorite Ronnie Johnson drove to the inaugural win for the new Volunteer Racing Series at Boyd's Speedway Friday, then blasted from 16th place to the win in the Southern Regional Racing Series (SRRS) event the following evening at northeast Alabama's Green Valley Raceway. (Thomas Hendrickson)

Finish - Boyd's Speedway VRS

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