76 Freedom Car driver Jerick Johnson and crew chief David Carter during pre-race introductions at Iowa Speedway, Sept. 19. Photo by James V. Carroll

76 Freedom Car earns pole position

Jerick Johnson, driving The American Legion/David Law Firm 76 Freedom Car, qualified ninth in the ASA Late Model Challenge Series race Sept. 19 at Iowa Speedway in Newton.

On Aug. 15 in Nashville, Johnson was the second-fastest qualifier for a front-row start, but was shuffled to the fourth row after the customary inversion draw by the fastest qualifier.

In Newton, Dillon Oliver’s No. 33 car was fastest but drew No. 9 – moving Johnson into the front-row pole.

“I guess what goes around, comes around,” Johnson quipped after he learned of his good fortune. “We loaned Dillon a gear before he qualified, so I guess it worked out for us and Dillon.”

In the end, the No. 33 car got the advantage. Johnson and his accident-damaged Freedom Car had to settle for a 25th-place finish after engine problems forced him to the garage on the 98th lap of the 100-lap race. In those final laps, Oliver pushed, shoved and bumped his way to victory.

“The weekend didn’t work out quite like we hoped,” Johnson said. “But it looks like we will get out of here leading or tied for the rookie points. That’s a plus, I guess.”

The Challenge Series heads to Memphis, Tenn., for the last race of the season on Nov. 7. The 76 Freedom Car will have Fox Television’s live-action cameras inside of it. The race at Memphis Motorsports Park will be televised to more than 52 million homes on Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports Florida and American One Television Network.