R.J. Johnson Wins Canyon Speedway Park’s “Steve Stroud Memorial”


Fresh off his fifth consecutive Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Car championship, R.J. Johnson (Laveen, Arizona) continued his winning ways last Saturday night. Racing past Stevie Sussex on the fourth lap, Johnson led the rest of the way to claim the “2nd Annual Steve Stroud Memorial” at Canyon Speedway Park. Sussex, “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr., Michael Curtis, and “The Bull” Tye Mihocko rounded out the top-five drivers.

Piloting Bobby Martin’s #51 Martin Family Auto Museum / Pecon Builders Sherman, Johnson opened the season by finishing second in his heat race to Davis and ranking fifth in passing points. Starting on the outside of the front row, R.J. added the “Steve Stroud Memorial” to his resume and scored his series leading fifty-second feature. The second generation driver left Canyon with a two-point lead over the competition.

After starting third and leading the first three laps, Stevie Sussex (Tempe, Arizona) had to settle for second at Canyon Speedway Park. Racing John Grau’s #34 Western Premier Hauling / KSE Custom Drywall Maxim, Sussex placed third in his heat race and was fourth in passing points. Last season’s USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year heads to Las Vegas ranked third in the point chase.

“Chargin” Charles Davis Jr. (Buckeye, Arizona) had a solid night in the season opener with a third place finish after starting fifth. Driving the Massey Motorsports’ #50 RSS Industries / Rod End Supply RSS, Davis won the second 8-lap heat race and placed second in the night’s passing points. The five-time Arizona sprint car champion left the “Stroud Memorial” ranked second in the standings.

Michael Curtis (Cottonwood, Arizona) scored fourth at the “Steve Stroud Memorial.” Piloting Kevin Turner & Greg Wheeler’s #11C DAR Racing / JT Engineering Maxim, Curtis ran fourth in his 8-lap heat race and placed sixth in the program’s passing points. Michael left the Peoria 1/3-mile oval ranked fourth in the series point standings.

“The Bull” Tye Mihocko (Peoria, Arizona) raced from seventh to fifth in front of his hometown fans. Driving the family owned #5 Property Solutions by Dave Wilson / Futuristic Designs Spike, Mihocko took fourth in his heat race and placed seventh in passing points. The young driver left the “Steve Stroud Memorial” ranked sixth in championship points.

Dennis Gile (Phoenix, Arizona) earned the night’s hard charger award with an eighth place run at the “Steve Stroud Memorial” after starting fourteenth. Racing Gene Gile’s #13 Quarterback Academy / Bobby Q Ellis, Gile scored eight in his heat race and placed fourteenth in passing points. Dennis heads to Las Vegas sitting ninth in the chase for the championship.

“The Magic Man” Mike Martin (Yuma, Arizona) earned the night’s Beaver Stripes Passing Master Award over the sixteen car field. Piloting his #16 Sherwin-Williams / Ultimate Offroad Maxim, Martin won the season’s first 8-lap heat race and finished ninth at the checkered flags. The former Hall of Fame Classic winner left Canyon Speedway Park ranked seventh in the point chase.

After a break in the schedule, the Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Cars will travel to The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on February 28th and March 1st. Co-sanctioned with the USAC West Coast Sprints, the non-point “Outlaw Showdown” will pay $3,000-to-win each night and also features the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and IMCA Modifieds. For more event information, visit the track’s website at www.lvms.com/dirt or call 702.644.4444.

The Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Series thanks AMSOIL, Hoosier Tire, and Beaver Stripes for their support. For more information on the series, visit www.southwestsprintcars.comwww.usacracing.com, or follow the series on Facebook.


February 3, 2018 – Peoria, Arizona – Canyon Speedway Park – “2nd Annual Steve Stroud Memorial”

FIRST HEAT: (8 laps)

1. Mike Martin (#16 Martin), 2. Josh Pelkey (#12 Allen), 3. Johnny Shelton (#9 Shelton), 4. Michael Curtis (#11C Turner/Wheeler), 5. Landon Cling (#54 Cling), 6. Larry Kesterson (#F2 Kesterson), 7. Wayne Siddle (#7 Siddle), 8. Dennis Gile (#13 Gile). NT

SECOND HEAT: (8 laps)

1. Charles Davis Jr. (#50 Massey), 2. R.J. Johnson (#51 Martin), 3. Stevie Sussex (#34 Grau), 4. Tye Mihocko (#5 Mihocko), 5. Matt Lundy (#98 Lundy), 6. Colton Moroney (#66 Maroney), 7. Mason Keefer (#7K Keefer), 8. Tyler Adams (#9G Adams). NT

FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)

1. R.J. Johnson (2nd), 2. Stevie Sussex (3rd), 3. Charles Davis Jr. (5th), 4. Michael Curtis (1st), 5. Tye Mihocko (7th), 6. Josh Pelkey (4th), 7. Landon Cling (11th), 8. Dennis Gile (14th), 9. Mike Martin (6th), 10. Matt Lundy (10th), 11. Colton Moroney (12th), 12. Johnny Shelton (8th), 13. Tyler Adams (15th), 14. Larry Kesterson (9th), 15. Mason Keefer (16th), 16. Wayne Siddle (13th). NT


FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-3 Sussex, Laps 4-30 Johnson.


Reprinted from Lance Jenning’s Press Release.

About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
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