Jimmie Johnson claims first victory of 2008

from the Crossville Chronicle – Crossville, Tn Wednesday April 16, 2008

By Joe Dunn / Joe@onpitroad.com

In what turned out to be a fuel mileage victory, Jimmie Johnson coasted across the finish line to take his first win of the season.
Johnson was scheduled to pit on lap 304 for fuel, but having seeing the lead he would maintain, Crew Chief Chad Knaus decided to leave him out and slow him down to conserve fuel. The gamble paid off as Johnson finished more than 7 seconds ahead of second place Clint Bowyer. With enough fuel for a victory burnout, the 48 car ran out on the backstretch doing a victory lap. Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and mark Martin rounded out the top 5.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes a week off while the NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to Mexico City Saturday. The Sprint Cup and the Nationwide Series will head to Talladega for the weekend of April 26/27 while the Craftsman truck series will be back in action on the 26th at Kansas Speedway.
In Local racing action, both Crossville Raceway and Wartburg Speedway were rained out Friday night. Several local tracks did see action on Saturday night.
At the Mountain Raceway in Maryville, the Southern Regional Racing Series made it’s first ever appearance to the track. With 51 cars vying for the 24 starting positions, local favorite Bobby Giffin was the top qualifier. But Brasstown, North Carolina’s Ray Cook was the show of the night leading all 50 laps to victory and the $3,000 payout. At Tazwell Speedway, Joey Kramer of Hanover, In took the win and the $2,000 prize in checkered flag for the 30 lap Battle of the Bluegrass Open Wheel Series race. At Cleveland Speedway it was Joe Armes winning the $3,000 B.J. Parker Southern Thunder Series race over second place Dale McDowell as Crossville’s Randy Weaver finished 5th. 411 Speedway and Spring City also got their weekly racing events in on Saturday.
Crossville Raceway will try again to get the season opener in this Friday with a full card of the weekly program plus a kids foot race at intermission. Gates open at 5pm with hot laps at 6:30 and Racing at 7:30 pm. For more information check the track website www.crossvilleracewayusa.net or call the track (931) 456-5000.