It’s not every day that a car handles optimally and everything goes the driver’s way. Two nights in a row, “The Doctor” Danny Johnson was able to say this was the case. He scored his second-straight triumphy Thursday in Brewerton Speedway’s (NY) Hurricane 100.
After starting ninth, it only took a handful of laps for the Phelps, New York resident to contend for positions up front in the DIRTCar 358 Modified Series race. On lap 21, the lead was all Johnson’s as he worked below Brett Hearn and then to the inside of Syracuse 200 fast qualifier Larry Wight for the top spot.
From there, Johnson would dice around slower cars and smoothly pull away from the field when bunched up during cautions to go on for the victory.
“I had like an on rails sensation,” Johnson told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I wasn’t tight, I wasn’t loose, I was just really hooked up well. Everybody else wasn’t, so tonight was my night.”
The Hurricane 100 followed a win the previous night at Weedsport Speedway in the same car. Johnson was somewhat speechless about his start to NAPA Super Dirt Week XLIV.
“Just to get one of them would have been awesome, but two is great,” Johnson mentioned.
The place not to be over the course of the 100 laps seemed to be the runner up position. Wight was the first victim during a lap 39 caution when his left rear tire went flat. Then shortly after halfway, Hearn drastically slowed and brought out the caution with a broken front end. Both fast drivers would not be running at the finish.
Veteran Billy Decker maintained the runner-up spot for the remainder of the distance, trying to stay within striking distance of Johnson. Matt Sheppard, Mike Mahaney, and Pat Ward survived to round out the top five positions.
A two-time past winner of the Syracuse 200, Johnson is optimistic that a good start to the week could translate to a successful Sunday even though the big track and the Big Block Modified can be completely different animals.
“We are going to try and carry some momentum there,” Johnson said despite a 41st place qualifying run on Thursday afternoon at the “Moody Mile”. “This isn’t our first rodeo so we should get it together by Sunday. We’re going to be alright.”
Racing continues on Friday at the New York State Fairgrounds with Sportsman Modified and USAC Silver Crown time trials as well as 358 Modified Twin 20s and Super DIRTcar Big Block Modified Triple 20s to set more of the starting field. Friday night the DIRTCar 358 Modified Series goes to nearby Rolling Wheels Raceway and will be joined by the 360 Sprint Cars for an open show.
By Aaron Creed, Speed51.com New York/Pennsylvania Editor – Twitter: @aaron_creed
Photo Credit: Daune Canfield/Speed51.com