Ricky Johnson came to the Western States Championships presented by Toyo Tires looking to make good after last year’s Championships at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. You see, Johnson had the lead in PTB with three laps to go when his engine let go on the front straight. This year, he came looking to take home a win.
“I started on new Hoosier R7s, sticker tires, so I knew my first lap was going to be a little bit slower,” he said after the race. “The Mazda seemed to be pulling me on the start anyway, and I knew my tires would come in faster, so I got past him in the first couple of corners and then just maintained my lead and finished the race.”
Johnson got the win and the Championship he came for. NASA Central’s Warren Dexter fought to get back up front, but couldn’t pull it off.
“Well, I had a good start and I think it must have been the first or second lap I lost it going up into Turn 3,” he said. “I was maintaining if not closing for a little bit and then traffic hit me pretty hard. I got caught behind some cars that went really slow through a yellow and then my differential went away. It was acting like an open diff and I was spinning tires everywhere.”
That left third place to Honda Challenge 2 Champion Jeremy Croiset, who got the last spot on the podium despite not finishing the race.
“For the time I was actually running, I started in third until I got by Dexter when he went off into 3, and I was chasing the Mini Cooper until my alternator broke,” he said. “I lost all power and just had to park it, unfortunately.”