Justin Johnson makes a lap around Myrtle Beach Speedway during qualifying for the Myrtle Beach 400 on Saturday. Johnson clinched a spot in the 250-lap feature alongside Jeremy McDowell and Lucas Williams by winning their respective heat races. (Photo: Corey Latham)

The three Jeff’s Auto Sales heat races for the 26th annual Myrtle Beach 400 were calm and ordinary, with Jeremy McDowell, Lucas Williams and Justin Johnson all taking the checkered flag first to transfer into the 250-lap feature.

The first heat race saw McDowell jump out to the front after polesitter Michael Faulk spun his tires on the initial start, which allowed him to pull away from the rest of the field. McDowell would easily claim the victory while Michael Hardin and Cameron Bowen were able to hold off TJ Barron to advance to the main event.

The second heat raced proved to be the most eventful of the evening, despite not featuring a close battle for the lead, as  Williams took the checkered flag. The battle for the transfer spot intensified in the final few laps, which concluded with RA Brown being knocked up the track while battling Terry Carroll and Justin Snow, who were both able to hold off a hard-charging Davin Scites to secure their starting positions in the field.

The final heat of the evening featured the best battle for the lead, as Johnson was forced to hold off Justin Hicks for almost the entire duration of the race. Hicks proved unable to make a pass for the lead, as Johnson took the checkered flag first, while Brian Vause was able to pick up the last transfer spot after holding off Trevor Rizzo.

Several Myrtle Beach regulars pulled off track early in order to protect their guaranteed spots in the field by not tearing up their equipment. Among the drivers expected to start tonight’s race despite not obtaining a transfer spot include Justin Milliken, who was granted an opportunity to make laps in between the first and second heat after encountering mechanical issues earlier in the day, as well as David Roberts, who is looking for another strong performance after being a contender for the win in the 2017 Myrtle Beach 400.

Jeff’s Auto Sales Heat #1 Results:

1. 83 Jeremy McDowell
2. 8 Tyler Hughes
3. 94 Jamie Weatherford
4. 1f Michael Faulk
5. 7h Michael Hardin
6. 19 Cameron Bowen
7. 44 TJ Barron
8. 55 Howie DiSavino III
9. 17b Bryant Barnhill
10. 13 Bobby June
11. 91 Justin Carroll
12. 51 Matt Cox OUT
13. 12 Blaise Brinkley OUT

Jeff’s Auto Sales Heat #2 Results:

1. 11 Lucas Williams
2. 95h Jacob Heafner
3. 9m Sam Mayer
4. 18g Ty Gibbs
5. 0s Justin Snow
6. 90 Terry Carroll
7. 06 Davin Scites
8. 88 Lee Tissot
9. 60 RA Brown
10. 4 Craig Stallard
11. 25L Kevin Leicht
12. 97 Greg Edwards
13. 10 Ed Williams

Jeff’s Auto Sales Heat #3 Results:

1. 44j Justin Johnson
2. 61 Justin Hicks
3. 5c Dexter Canipe Jr.
4. 2p Brandon Pierce
5. 46 Thad Moffitt
6. 26v Brian Vause
7. 8r Trevor Rizzo
8. 32m Jerry Miracle
9. 07n Kevin Neal
10. 03 Brenden Queen
11. 21 Jimmy Wallace OUT
12. 02 Justin Milliken OUT
13. 95y Sam Yarborough OUT
14. 18r David Roberts OUT