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Justin Johnson earns redemption with Southern National victory

Andy Marquis | SNMP

Justin Johnson got his redemption at Southern National Motorsports Park in the first of two Late Model Stock Car twins on Saturday night while Bradley McCaskill scored his biggest Southern National victory in the second twin.

Johnson came to Southern National with something to prove after finishing second in the Thanksgiving Classic last fall.  Teamed up with Robert Tyler, Johnson was quick out of the gate, setting the fast lap and starting on the pole.  Johnson held off multiple challenges on restarts from Bradley McCaskill and pulled away from Deac McCaskill in the closing laps to score the win, his first since returning to the Late Model Stock Car scene a couple years ago and his first ever at Southern National.

“Wins, they don’t come easy,” Johnson said in victory lane. “To beat Deac [McCaskill] here, in my opinion, as long as I’ve been racing, this is his racetrack.  We had a super car.  That first win after hanging it up there, it was a lot harder to come back and achieve than I ever expected.  I’m really happy to be back at Southern National Motorsports Park.  Love the facility.  Hats off to Mike [Diaz] for all he does.  Super win for us and glad to be here.”

An invert put Terry Dease on the pole for the second race. Dease would lead the first five laps before Bradley McCaskill roared past. McCaskill took the lead on lap six and drove away for his first win of the year.  Bradley McCaskill held off his older cousin, Deac, to score the victory while Justin Johnson finished third.

“I want to thank the Lord man,” the younger McCaskill said. “We say prayers for safety. We had a lot of issues with the car but I’ve got an awesome support group.  Very happy here today.  I was just hoping nothing was going to break in those final laps.  We’ve been fighting electrical issues and, like I said, Robert [Arch] told me to keep driving it straight.  I did what he said and here we are.”

Four-time Southern National Motorsports Park track champion Deac McCaskill’s first Southern National Motorsports Park appearance in over a year resulted in a pair of runner-up finishes.

“I was really happy with the car,” Deac McCaskill said. “Congratulations to Bradley.  He drove his butt off.  That’s probably one of the hardest races I’ve ever driven. Wide open every lap, slipping and sliding on worn out tires.  We’ve been off in the CARS Tour.  We had a lot of momentum going into the offseason after that win at South Boston, but we’ve hit a wall in these first couple of races. I think we’ve got the car a lot better so I’m really looking forward to Orange County next weekend.”

Results

Late Model Stock Car – Race #1

  1. Justin Johnson
  2. Deac McCaskill
  3. Bradley McCaskill
  4. Mike Darne
  5. Ryan Wilson
  6. Terry Dease
  7. Jonathan Findley
  8. Clay Jones
  9. Melvin Langley
  10. Wayne Goss
  11. Devin Steele
  12. Rusty Daniels – DNS

Late Model Stock Car – Race #2

  1. Bradley McCaskill
  2. Deac McCaskill
  3. Justin Johnson
  4. Terry Dease
  5. Mike Darne
  6. Clay Jones
  7. Wayne Goss
  8. Ryan Wilson
  9. Jonathan Findley
  10. Melvin Langley
  11. Rusty Daniels – DNS
  12. Devin Steele – DNS

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Marquis comes from St. Charles, Maryland and has a widespread background in journalism, having covered politics in Washington and Maryland as well as nearly every form of auto racing, including NASCAR, IndyCar, AMA Motocross and IHRA Drag Racing. Now living near Emerald Isle, North Carolina, Marquis covers Late Model Stock Cars and Super Late Models in the Carolinas and Virginia.

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