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Johnson holds on to 20th-place finish

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Johnson holds on to 20th-place finish
76 Freedom Car driver Jerick Johnson battles with the 25 Car late in the ARCA Tim Richmond Memorial 200 at Mansfield Motorsports Park in Ohio. Later in the race, the 25 Car crashed. Johnson finished 20th. Photo by James V. Carroll

Jerick Johnson, driver of The American Legion/David Law Firm 76 Freedom Car, struggled for the second week in a row to maneuver his car without the benefit of brakes. It was a different track in a different state, but the result was the same: a 20th-place finish.

An poor-handling car also hampered Johnson, who qualified 21st fastest for the Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA 200 in Mansfield, Ohio on Saturday - three spots slower than his fastest practice runs earlier in the day.

"I really don't know why we can't get the 76 Car to turn left lately," Johnson said. "The car has been a handful the last two races. The crew worked very hard to fix the car and made it run a lot better, but we were still slow in the turns."

Battery problems have also been an issue for the Team Johnson Motorsports crew the past couple weeks. Last week at Iowa Speedway a battery failed during practice. This week, Johnson was closing in on a top-ten finish late in the race when the 76 Car lost power. A track wrecker pushed Johnson to his pit stall, and his crew installed a new battery.

"This one slipped through our hands," team owner Jack Johnson said after the 200-lap 100-mile race at Mansfield Motorsports Park. "We had a car capable of finishing much better than we did before the battery died. We lost quite a few laps - and positions - in the pits replacing the bad battery."

Johnson and the 76 Freedom Car crew travel next to Long Pond, Pa., for a July 31 race - the Weis Markets 125 at Pocono Raceway. There, they hope for better results than the 30th-place finish June 5 at the famous 2.5-mile tri-angle track. A gear failure forced Johnson to retire from the race on the 35th lap.

The ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards race at Pocono Raceway will be telecast live on SPEED. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3 p.m. for the 50-lap 125-mile race.

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