Jake the Jet Johnson came into the Pro Stock 75-lapper for the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown with a chance at the Crown in his rookie season. After 75 grueling laps, he not only had succeeded in taking the Triple Crown, but had secured his first career win as a Pro Stock driver. The win came at the cost of Todd Annarummo who had driven a masterful race from the dropping of the green all the way to lap 55. solving numerous challenges and restarts in the often cautioned feature.
Annarummo and Kevin Casper led off with a door-to-door run down the front stretch and Annarummo taking a nose in turn two and capturing the lead coming out of turn four. Casper settled in with Rick Martin Mike Mitchell and Nick Johnson in hot pursuit. Nick ducked under Mitchell as Annarummo went out to a four car lead. Behind Mitchell, Brightman was under Fred Astle, Jr. debating sixth place.
Casper began to close it back up as Astle broke forward to go around Mitchell. Martin was on the outside ahead, holding him up. The field strung out just before Astle spun onto the grass in turn four. It was the beginning of a wild melee which left Dylan Estrella sitting just inside turn four with his entire passenger’s side torn off the car and other damage. It ended Estrella’s evening. Dave Darling suffered a lot of body damage and pitted. He returned with a lot of hasty bodywork, but the damage was deeper, as he was unable to mount an effective challenge afterward.
After a brief wheel-to-wheel, Annarummo was away from Casper. Nick Johnson followed ahead of Mitchell who was battling side-by-side with Radical Rick Martin. Brightman followed him, underneath the Rocket, Ryan Vanasse. The top four were running nose-to-tail and Brightman was working to snug up in fifth. Angelo Belsito slid in under Martin.
The field stretched out single file and Annarummo began to pull ahead. He had three cars by lap fifteen. But two laps later, Belsito spun away from a passing situation with Brightman in turn four and Astle could not avoid, bouncing off and then going pitside.
Two more quick cautions followed; Casper pitted and returned. Now Mitchell was chasing Annarummo. Vanasse got under Nick Johnson to battle for third. Jake Johnson dived under Brightman into fifth. Vanasse continued to run hard but his car emitted low, thunder-like sounds as he charged past the starter’s stand, and he was then coasting down the backstretch without power. It was then end of racing as he had to be pushed to the pits.
Todd and Mitchell launched again with two thirds of the race remaining. Behind them, the Johnsons – Nick and Jake – dueled side-by-side. Mitchell fell back and the Johnsons continued to fight it out. Behind Brightman came Astle, Bobby Pelland III, Belsito, Casper and Scully. The field again strung out and ran the next five laps as Nick pulled ahead of Jake. Astle was all over Brightman, looking high and low. But Pelland then sneaked in under Freddy as Annarummo now had a ten-car lead.
Following another restart, Jake got under Mitchell and into second and onto Annarummo’s bumper. A lap 22 restart had them side-by-side. Todd nosed ahead and Mitchell got under Jake to battle for second. Annarummo didn’t pull away and was caught up. Contact from Mitchell allowed Jake to shoot by outsde but a spi n by Kevin Folan called it all back.
It started over again and Johnson and Mitchell fought it out as Annarummo went to an eight-car lead. Astle waited in fourth for the resolution of the duel.
Johnson grabbed second but Pelland and Astle were now at it in turn two and Astle spun; Pelland was called on the assist. However, Todd and Jake were again the front row for the restart. It took them two tries to get going and once underway, Johnson dropped back and under, shooting forward and grabbing the lead with ten laps remaining.
Jake pulled away to a three-car lead as the field again stretched out. Try as he could, Annarummo could only close the lead somewhat and then Johnson would pull out to a larger advantage. With two laps to go, the lead was five cars. Mitchell pursued Annarummo with Nick on his bumper. They flew under the white flag in this order and again under the checkers. Jake Johnson now had his rookie win – and the Triple Crown as well.
Annarummo was second with Mitchell third. Nick Johnson and Astle rounded out the top five. Sixth went to Brightman, followed by Scully, Pelland, Belsito, Martin and Darling.