By Bob Barney with story line written by Jill Frischmann
Mark Johnson, in only his second race in the Klingspor/RaceRap.Com Super Truck drove on to his first victory of the year in the Johnny James owned and prepared race track. In his first outing, Johnson finished an impressive second. Mark, won the pole, but on the fits lap the #68 of Michael Cooper shot passed Johnson to take the first spot in the 35-lap event. For the second week the Bad Boy Mower Super Trucks lived up to their name and put on what many said was the most exiting race in recent memory at the famed Hickory Motor Speedway. Johnson said, "It was the most exiting race I have ever raced in, and I'm not exaggerating one bit!"
Johnson stayed on the bumper of Cooper for the first portion of the race, until lap 14 when the two were heading out of turn four when Johnson ducked under Cooper to regain the top spot. The #69 of Trevor Hignutt spent the first 25 laps ridding around, then with ten to go Hignutt began to make his move on Johnson and Cooper. With the help of lap traffic Hignutt was able to sail past Cooper for second. With three laps remaining, Hignutt squeezed his way into the top spot, but Johnson wasn’t going to let the position go that easily as he jumped back out to the front.
On the last lap the #6 of Brandon Setzer, spun out backing his truck into the wall in turn three, bringing out the first and only caution of the event. It was a two lap shoot out with Johnson and Hignutt running side by side, both chasing the checkers. It was safe to say that With tough, clean competition on the track it was no wonder the 35 lap race came down to a photo finish.
The two came out of turn four running door to door as they made their way to the finish line. It was literally a photo finish, as race officials turned to video and track photographer, Debra Slater-Manter for official tie breaking results. Johnson was the race winner, leaving Hignutt to settle for second. “It was a blast, I feel real good,” Johnson exclaimed in victory lane, "at first, they called Hignutt the winner, but when they looked at the photo, they saw I won by just an inch or two... Man what a finish, the best in my career." Cooper, the #44 of Ron Hall and the #11 of Thomas Beane rounded out the top five respectively.
Mark told RaceRap Sunday that he is having a great time racing trucks this year and expects to be a top contender every week. "Bob, I'm having fun again," Mark said yesterday.