After knocking 9-time Knoxville Nationals Champion Donny Schatz off of the pedestal, Jason Johnson only had one thing to say.
“Parked it. BC. Woo!”
The reference is to Bryan Clauson, a racer of all kinds who passed away last week in an accident at a race in Kansas. Drivers not only around the World of Outlaws, but also in IndyCar, NASCAR, among others have paid their respects to Clauson since.
Jason Johnson Parked It in Knoxville Nationals Victory Lane
With Johnson being the latest, it was easy to tell how big of an impact Bryan Clauson was to the Dirt-Racing Community.
““We lost BC a week ago,” Johnson said. “All in all, this is a testament to friendship and what life’s about and [it’s dedicated] to BC.”
Johnson’s win on Saturday was a well-earned one, as the Rajun’ Cajun battled through seven lead changes to win his first ever Knoxville Nationals.
Johnson started out the race in the 2nd position, and for a brief time, had the lead, but was eventually chased down by Schatz on lap 12. Schatz later passed polesitter Daryn Pittman for the lead, and it looked like the Fargo, North Dakota native was well on his way to a tenth Knoxville Nationals Victory.
He held the lead until the halfway mark pit stop.
On the restart, Schatz got out to nearly a 1.5-second lead, however the bottom line started getting away from him, and Johnson was past Schatz within a lap.
Schatz’ car started to drop off, and he fell down to 3rd place, but stormed back to Johnson’s bumper. After each of the drivers gave a multiple slide jobs to one another, Johnson came out on top.
“I wasnt giving up, this is the biggest race of the year, and it was the biggest race of my career,” Johnson said. “[It was a] golden opportunity and I needed to make the most of it. I know he wasnt happy with me, but sh&# I wanted to win.”
“I was just trying to stay patient and run him down, and I got by him, I stayed patient for a few laps, but I could not stay patient any longer, it was time to go.”
The win was just Johnson’s 2nd World of Outlaws win of 2016.
“My guys gave me a great racecar, I was worried about blistering my tires,” Johnson said. “I gotta thank my fellow competitor Shane Stewart, I spent a little bit of time talking to him about how to race this track.”
After seeing Stewart take down Schatz in Wednesday Night’s A-Main, Johnson knew he needed to pick Stewart’s brain. He simply texted Stewart, and the Larson-Marks Racing Driver told Johnson to come on over. The information surely paid off.
“Thats what friendship is really about, and that’s what life is about,” Johnson said.
When asked if he was thinking about defending his title next year, Johnson replied with “Hell no, we’re gonna have a party!”
1. 41 Jason Johnson
2. 15 Donny Schatz
3. 2S Shane Stewart
4. 9 Daryn Pittman
5. 57 Kyle Larson
6. 71 Jamie Veal
7. 10H Chad Kemenah
8. 27 Greg Hodnett
9. 18 Ian Madsen
10. 5 David Gravel
11. 49 Brad Sweet
12. 24 Rico Abreu
13. 2 Danny Lasoski
14. 3K Tim Kaeding
15. 11K Kraig Kinser
16. 1S Logan Schuchart
17. 7X Terry McCarl
18. 1 Sammy Swindell
19. 1Z Lucas Wolfe
20. 82 Dusty Zomer
21. 47 Jeff Swindell
22. 1AUS Kerry Madsen
23. 1H Dale Blaney
24. 2KS Craig Dollansky
25. 3H James McFadden
Main Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images