Santa Clarita Native Wins NASCAR Race

by Cory Rubin, Staff Writer 442 views0

IRWINDALE – Canyon Country native, Rod Johnson Jr. emerged victorious after a hard fought battle in the 75 lap NASCAR Auto Club Late Model race at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday.  Rod Johnson Jr. started in fourth behind rival Nick Joanides, teammate Brandon Davis, and pole sitter Mike Johnson.

Almost immediately, Johnson overtook defending champion Joanides for third.  He would remain there for most of the race until he got a spectacular jump on a restart and overtook his teammate, Davis, for second.  Rod Johnson Jr. fought tooth and nail with leader Mike Johnson but was unable to make the pass until the last lap. Coming out of turn two, Mike Johnson got sideways sliding down the track just missing Rod Johnson Jr. allowing him to take the checkered flag for a thrilling victory.

It’s Johnson’s fourth win of the season in just 9 races in his first season driving in the Auto Club Late Model Series. He sits in second in the points standings, just 4 points behind leader and defending champion Nick Joanides.

Later in the evening the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West took the track for the King Taco 200. Newhall resident Greg Pursley dominated the race early. But on the 43rd lap Pursley had a tire go down that lead to a damaged suspension. An early exit for the favorite of the race.

Auggie Vidovich of Lakeside, California would take the lead on lap 59 and lead the remainder of the race to capture his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West victory.

To cap off a thrilling night in Irwindale, the nearly sold out speedway was treated to a spectacular firework show.