Caution- and Wreck-Filled Race Takes Out Many West Racers
Johnson survived a wrecked-filled last 50 laps to earn what he called “one of the biggest wins of my life,” but likely the biggest once it all sinks in, along with over $30,000, a championship ring and a new Toyota pickup truck. 

In a sign of the times during the night, Johnson won the race under the yellow flag following a vicious accident coming to the white flag involving Scott Lynch (West), who was running third at the time, and a handful of others.

It was the story of the night, as Johnson took advantage of high attrition and both accidents and mechanical problems for some of the favorites to earn the victory. 

“I can brag about this for years to come,” said Johnson, who was the Busch North Rookie of the Year in 2000, beating out Martin Truex Jr.  “I’ve been lucky enough to win races every year, but this one is really going to stick out. 
The biggest winner in Saturday night’s Grand National Division feature event during the Toyota All Star Showdown was probably those who build and hang bodies for the Busch North and West Series teams.

However, on track, Mike Johnson was the biggest winner of the evening.
“It is so much different than last year (at Irwindale).  Then, we were leaving here on the wrecker with a big headache after hitting the wall on the backstretch.  This is great, because after last night, we were a little down.

“Tonight, the car was real good and consistent.  We just tried to stay out of trouble.  We just missed a couple of those wrecks.   We were lucky to keep the fenders on it and the car was strong all night long.”

Missing the wrecks was key for Johnson.  And not taking away anything from the Busch North regular, but the accident probably handed him the victory.
Mike Johnson used the invert to his advantage on Saturday night to win the All Star Showdown. (51 Photos)
The race’s two top cars, pole-sitter David Gilliland (West) and outside pole-sitter Andy Santerre (Busch North), were both victims of separate problems during the evening.

Gilliland led the first couple laps, but Santerre quickly made his presence known and took over the top spot.  However, at lap 13, Santerre fell off of the pace and eventually out of the race with rearend problems.

Gilliland went on to dominate the first 100-lap “team segment,” although it wasn’t enough for the West Series to win the team title (the Busch North cars won the team segment 1,945 to 1,619). 

The key moment of the race came following a 10-minute break and an eight-car invert (randomly drawn).  That invert put Johnson on the pole and Gilliland in eight. 

Just two laps into the restart following the invert, the complexion of the race completely changed.
Defending Showdown winner Austin Cameron (West) got spun by Matt Kobyluck (Busch North) right in front of much of the field.  In the ensuing mess, Gilliland ran out of track
and slammed into the side of Cameron’s car, putting both out of the event.  Also involved was Kelly Moore (Busch North), Eddie MacDonald (Busch North) and Sean Woodside (Busch North).

Thankfully, it all happened behind Johnson.

“It could have been worse,” said Gillliand.  “I think the #40 (Kobyluck) got into the #16 (Cameron) and I had no where to go and hit him (Cameron).  It was one of those things.  That is a bummer because of the invert, but that is part of the race. 

“Our car was really good.  We just tried to get out there and hold them back.   I was looking forward to the last 50, but that is the way the night ended.”

It wasn’t over there though.   
Some big wrecks during the night took out many drivers, including David Gilliland (#88) and Scott Lynch (#08).
On lap 122, the cars of Ryan Moore (Busch North), Mike Duncan (West), Kerry Earnhardt (West), Brett Thompson (West) and Jose Luis Ramirez (West) were involved in a big accident on the front stretch. 

Thankfully, it all happened behind Johnson.

Then, the last lap accident, involving Lynch, Bryon Chew (Busch North), Joey McCarthy (Busch North) and Brian Hoar (Busch North), ended the night under caution and handed Johnson the win.

Thankfully, it all happened behind Johnson.  And he can thank the invert more than anything.
“That was the best ‘lucky dog’ I’ve ever had,” said Johnson of the invert.  “I knew I had to get up to the top 10 (during the first 100 laps) to get a chance at the redraw there because you never know what it is going to be.”

Kobyluck, who was booed during post race interviews by the crowd for his involvement in the accident that took out Gilliland and Cameron, finished second and McCarthy, despite his involvement in the final accident, came home third.

The Busch North guys swept the top four spots with Mike Olsen coming home fourth, and Tim Woods III finishing fifth, the highest finishing West Series driver.

Unofficial Results
NASCAR Grand National Division
1. (24) Mike Johnson, Salisbury Mass., Ford, 150, 73.429 mph, $31,000
2. (26) Matt Kobyluck, Uncasville Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $22,000
3.  (7) Joey McCarthy, Randolph N.J., Chevrolet, 150, $16,000
4. (15) Mike Olsen, North Haverhill N.H., Chevrolet, 150, $15,000
5. (23) Tim Woods, III, Chino Hills Calif., Ford, 150, $10,000
6.  (9) Bobby Dragon, Milton Vt., Chevrolet, 150, $13,500
7. (13) Mike Duncan, Lamont Calif., Chevrolet, 150, $9,000
8.  (5) Kelly Moore, Scarborough Maine., Chevrolet, 150, $12,500
9. (11) Brian Hoar, Williston Vt., Dodge, 149, $12,000
10. (14) Bryon Chew, Mattituck N.Y., Chevrolet, 149, $11,500
11.  (6) Dale Quarterley, Westfield Mass., Chevrolet, 149, $11,250
12. (25) Daryl Harr, St. Albert Alberta, Chevrolet, 149, $7,250
13. (29) Jamie Aube, North Ferrisburg Vt., Chevrolet, 149, $10,500
14.  (3) Scott Lynch, Burley Idaho, Dodge, 148, $6,250
15. (22) Mike David, Modesto Calif., Ford, 148, $6,000
16. (30) Carl Harr, Edmunton Alberta, Chevrolet, 147, $5,500
17. (18) Ryan Seaman, Toms River N.J., Chevrolet, 124, $9,750
18. (19) Ryan Moore, Scarborough Maine, Chevrolet, 122, $9,500
19.  (4) Brett Thompson, Jerome Idaho, Chevrolet, 122, $5,500
20. (21) Kerry Earnhardt, Kannapolis N.C., Chevrolet, 121, $5,500
21. (20) Jose Luis Ramirez, Mexico City Mexico, Ford, 121, $5,000
22. (28) Jack Sellers, Sacramento Calif., Pontiac, 119, $5,000
23.  (8) Austin Cameron, El Cajon Calif., Chevrolet, 102, $5,000
24.  (1) David Gilliland, Chino Hills Calif., Chevrolet, 102, $5,650
25. (12) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley Mass., Ford, 102, $9,000
26. (17) Sean Woodside, Saugus Calif., Pontiac, 101, $5,000
27. (10) Scott Gaylord, Lakewood Colo., Chevrolet, 41, $5,000
28.  (2) Andy Santerre, Cherryfield Maine, Chevrolet, 13, $9,650
29. (27) Nick DeFazio, Newport Beach Calif., Ford, 11, $5,000
30. (16) Mike Stefanik, Coventry R.I., Chevrolet, 7, $9,000

Nope, it isn't another of the accidents, it is Mike Johnson celebrating his win with a series of donuts.