RJ Inherits Finale UCRA Victory After Race Leader And Fast Qualifier Crash At Crossville

Sunday, October 22, 2017 - by Steve Hixson
Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga picked up his first-ever UCRA victory Saturday night at the Crossville Speedway
Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga picked up his first-ever UCRA victory Saturday night at the Crossville Speedway

Inheriting the lead after United Crate Racing Alliance - UCRA rookies Jesse Lowe and Kyle Courtney crashed down the back-stretch with under five laps remaining, two-time Dirt Track World Champion Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga led the rest of the way to pick up his first-ever UCRA victory Saturday night at the Crossville Speedway.

Sixth-starting Johnson earned $2,500 for the triumph, in what RJ later described as "a gift". 

"We were a second place car at best...," said Johnson in the pits standing besides his Josh Roberts Trucking 604 GM Performance machine. Johnson's been coming to Crossville since about 1988 but had about a 15 year lull in competition at the 1/3 high banked clay oval, until driving one of Riley Hickman's cars a year or so ago.

Saturday's second leg of the weekend doubleheader at Crossville wrapped up the UCRA season as well as the tracks season. Lowe and Courtney's crash topped "the talk" of the evening as both racers continued with the final laps, restarting in the rear. Johnson applied countless pressure on Lowe, patiently waiting his moment. Courtney used RJ's line on a restart, which eventually lead to the crash. 

Chip Brindle topped the series with three victories this season racing to a third place nod narrowly ahead of Rusty Ballenger who collected his second consecutive UCRA Championship title Saturday. Overall, there were 10 different winners in 14 races and no repeat winners over the final eight races. 

Fast qualifier earning a $100 from Performance Racing Engines was Kyle Courtney of Knoxville wih a lap of 13.030 seconds. Lowe finished second in points to Ballenger and captured the $1,000 UCRA Rookie of the Year title over Courtney. 

1. Ronnie Johnson 2. Jimmy Elliott 3. Chip Brindle 4. Rusty Ballenger 5. Greg Martin 6. Deke Waters 7. Drew Kennedy 8. Rod Carroll 9. Jesse Lowe 10. Troy Davenport 11. Kyle Courtney 12. Floyd Turner 13. Cameron Weaver 14. Jeremy Shannon 15. Robert Gant 16. Devin Stuart



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