Missouri driver Matt Johnson took an important step
toward gaining wider recognition with his Midwest Dirtcar Late Model Series win Saturday at Minneapolis
Raceway. (Andrew Towne)
Polesitter Jerry Warner of Nebraska prepares to bring
the field to green at Minneapolis before outside poleman Matt Johnson launched his #5 into the lead.
Matt Johnson after his first Midwest Dirtcar Late Model Series win on Saturday at
Minneapolis (Kan.) Raceway. (Andrew
Matt Johnson Takes MDLMS Honors Back to Show-Me
MINNEAPOLIS, Kan. - May 15. On a
misty and foggy evening at the Minneapolis Raceway Missouri driver Matt Johnson made the long tow pay off
with a big win in the Midwest DIRTcar Late Model Series first visit in
Johnson drew the outside pole position for the feature event after a second place
finish in his heat race. He quickly jumped to the lead, beating Nebraskan Jerry Warner on the start. Johnson
checked out quickly while Warner, Delbert Smith, and Mike Wiarda stage a great battle for second. The first yellow
came out on lap seven for Tyler Gottschalk.
Mike Wiarda keeps #92 Delbert Smith at bay to
finish second at Minneapolis. (Andrew
On the restart, Johnson pulled away again while Wiarda pulled into third and David
Brack challenging Smith for fourth. Another yellow came out on lap nine for a spin by Doug Sieh, followed by another on lap 11 for Cale Gottschalk.
On the restart, Rick Leatherman got into the wall on the frontstretch ending his
night and another yellow, the last to come out. From there the race went green to checkered. Johnson manuevered his
way through lapped traffic until five to go, when Wiarda started
catching Johnson as he had trouble getting around Earl Kinderknecht. However, time ran out for Wiarda, who had closed in considerably as Johnson crossed first, followed by
Wiarda, Warner, Smith, and Brack.
David Brack challenges #92 Delbert Smith for fourth, but ultimately Smith advanced to
second while Brack had to settle for fifth place. (Andrew Towne)
The drive of the night was by local Kelly Dunn. Dunn ran in the top 10 until pulling
into the pits during the yellow. When he came back out of the pits and started last he ran from dead last up to
sixth by the end of the race with what some considered the fastest car on the
Wiarda, Warner, and Dunn won the heat races with Johnson picking up the extra money
in the Alternative Pest Management Cash Dash.
Caney driver Gary Gorby padded his points lead with another top 10 finish but Cale
and Tyler Gottschalk, Darin Busch, and Brad Fortney continue to be within striking distance.
Third starting Brad Fortney stands it up on his way to a ninth place finish at
Minneapolis Raceway. (Andrew