The future of Greg Johnson’s racing career has been uncertain over the past couple of seasons.
Retirement was looming for the 51-year-old racing veteran, but a recent visit to victory lane helped restore his confidence behind the wheel.
Brownstown Speedway hosted the 34th annual Hoosier Dirt Classic on Saturday night, the facilities second longest running Super Late Model event on their schedule.
Johnson, a past winner of the marquee event, started on the pole of the 30-lap main event and cruised to the $2,000-to-win victory.
“I wanted to quit and none of my friends would let me,” Johnson said. “I’ve had a lot of people inspire me and I’m going to tell you something, I’ve got a lot of good people behind me. I’ve still got it in me.”
The Bedford native jumped to the early race lead over fellow competitor Steve Godsey.
Columbus driver Devin Gilpin would take second place from Godsey and set his sights on Johnson for the race lead.
Gilpin would narrow the lead, but Johnson maneuvered lapped traffic flawlessly and remained in control of the top spot, ultimately cruising to victory over Gilpin and third place finishing Marty O’Neal.
Heat race winners included Johnson, Gilpin, and Godsey.
Past winners of the Hoosier Dirt Classic include names such as Jeff Purvis, Billy Moyer, Larry Moore, Bob Pierce, Scott Bloomquist, John Gill, C.J. Rayburn.]
Don O’Neal who has a record six victories in the historic event.
Following his runner-up effort in the E-Z Lift Super Late Model division, Gilpin cruised to victory once again in the A&K Excavating Modified division over Brownstown’s Ryan Thomas.
Thomas, who started in the fourth position, kept Gilpin directly in his sights for the majority of the feature event.
Lapped traffic in the last portion of the race hindered Thomas’ efforts, as Gilpin would break free and go on to score his first Modified division victory since July 7.
Thomas would finish second with Jeremy Owens, Jeff Stith, and Earl Plessinger rounding out the top five.
Branden Carr started on the pole of the Woolston Automotive Super Stock feature event.
The Scottsburg native secured the race lead over second place starter Tim Eddleman and the duo would go onto finish in the same running order as they started.
The win marked Carr’s first win of the season at Brownstown Speedway.
“We’ve really struggled here, and tonight it was pretty good,” Carr said. “I kinda feel like this place owes me one. We just had a really good car tonight.”
Colton Sullivan rallied from his sixth place starting position to finish third ahead of Jason Hehman and Tim Schumpe.
Rick Gumm scored his fifth win in a row in the Pewter Hall Pure Stock division.
Seymour’s Josh Hayes started on the pole and finished in the runners-up spot behind Gumm.
“We invited Jim Price to our shop to come tech this car this week and he looked at everything,” Gumm said, following recent controversy surrounding his win streak. “Here we are, I don’t know what else to tell them. I’m sure the internet will erupt again in the morning, and that’s fine. Let them guys open up their garages and see what they think.”
Jeremy Huebner, Troy Clark, and David Palmer rounded out the top five finishers.
Greg Garrison picked up the feature win in the Hornet division ahead of points leader Bill Grant.
Josh Hallett, Daniel Hobbs, and Tony Lucas completed the top five.
Brownstown Speedway will be off this weekend in observance of the World 100 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
Racing action will return on September 15 with the Hornet Special.
September 21-22 will be the 39th annual Jackson 100 for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
The crown jewel event weekend begins on Friday night with qualifying for the LOLMDS and the running of the 6th annual Bowman 50 for the Indiana Pro Late Model Series.
Saturday features heat racing action and the 100-lap main event for the national traveling series.
For complete information, visit the tracks website at www.brownstownspeedway.com.