Chase Johnson Challenged from Dirt to Pavement During Intense Weekend
Inside Line Promotions – SONOMA, Calif. (March 24, 2014) – Sleep wasn’t much of an option for Chase Johnson last weekend.
Johnson piloted Harley Van Dyke’s sprint car on Friday at Stockton Dirt Track in Stockton, Calif., before competing in a 24 Hours of LeMons event at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday and Sunday.
“It was great,” he said. “I love running as much as I can. But more sleep would have been nicer. The pavement stuff is tough running bright and early in the morning. I’m used to sleeping in and getting to the track at 3 or 4 o’clock.”
Johnson opened the busy weekend on Friday by qualifying 17th quickest.
“We were the first car out on the track, which wasn’t in our favor,” he
said. “The track was still slick and didn’t start coming in until later. We did what we could.”
Johnson missed the heat race inversion by one car. However, he was able to maneuver from fifth to fourth place in his heat race to lock into the main event, which he started 17th. After rallying toward the top 10 in the early stage of the feature, Johnson was caught up in an incident.
“Coming out of turn four it was one of those incidents where a car checked up in front of me,” he said. “I hit the brakes and we ended up spinning. That put us to the rear.”Chase Johnson Challenged from Dirt to Pavement During Intense Weekend
Johnson rallied from the back to 12th in approximately 10 laps before a miscue.
“In turn two I just drove it in too high and went over the cushion,” he said. “I was trying to get the car back on the track and I spun it out. We had a great car every time went on the track. The car was spot on. It was just a bummer I couldn’t get the result for the guys.”
Johnson was credited with an 18th-place result.
He made the 45-minute drive to Sonoma Raceway the following morning for the 7:30 a.m. show-up time to kick off his first career pavement race in a full-sized car. Johnson was part of a five-member team of drivers who drove a Volkswagen Jetta for Jay St. Claire.
“It was very interesting and something totally different,” Johnson said. “I was expecting it to be pretty big, but I didn’t expect it to be that big. It definitely was an endurance race. I’m used to the hurry up, get out there and get to the front in 30 laps.”
Each driver competed for approximately one hour and 45 minutes before trading off. Johnson had two shifts on Saturday and one on Sunday.
“When I first hopped in there I couldn’t figure out the shifting part,” he said with a laugh. “It was another thing out of my element. We were able to adapt to it pretty quick. You get so much more seat time. We got rolling and passing quite a bit of cars. It was a great experience. I thought the car was going to be slower than what it really was. We were going pretty fast. I’d love to do it again.”
The team was unable to finish the 24 hours of competition and placed 81st out of the 167 teams.
“You had to make sure you were patient,” Johnson said. “You couldn’t rush anything. It was all about keeping your nose clean and patience. Doing the pit stops and switching drivers was something cool. It was super interesting to be in the middle of it all.”
While Johnson is hopeful for future opportunities in pavement racing, his next scheduled sprint car event will be in his family car on April 19 at Petaluma Speedway in Petaluma, Calif.
“Thanks to Harley and Jay for the opportunities last week,” he said. “I had a great time.”
QUICK RESULTS –
March 21 – Stockton Dirt Track in Stockton, Calif. – Qualifying: 17; Heat race: 4 (5); Feature: 18 (17).
SEASON STATS –
6 races, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 1 top 10, 1 top 15, 4 top 20s
UP NEXT –
April 19th at Petaluma Speedway in Petaluma, Calif.
MEDIA LINKS –
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – PitStopUSA.com
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“We’ve been partnered together for the last three years and it’s great to have their continued support,” Johnson said. “All that they do really helps out and we couldn’t do what we do without them. Make sure to check out their website and give them a call today. They have great products at great prices. Everyone at PitStopUSA is great and I couldn’t be happier to represent such an amazing company.”
Johnson would also like to thank Newman Freeman Racing, Johnny Franklin’s Mufflers, Napa Auto Parts, Flowmaster, Shifty Illusions, Don’s Truck Repair, VSR, Fast Lube Plus, K&N Filters, Oroville Cycle and I-Wear Graphix for their continued support.
INSIDE LINE PROMOTIONS –
Inside Line Promotions specializes in affordable public relations and media management for motor sports drivers, teams, sponsors, tracks, series, events, organizations and manufacturers. ILP Founder Shawn Miller leverages professional journalism with new media technologies and social networking to improve your exposure and the return on investment for your sponsors.
To meet the media relations needs of your program and to join Team ILP, contact Shawn at 541-510-3663 or InsideLinePromotions@gmail.com. For more information on Inside Line Promotions, visit http://www.InsideLinePromotions.com.
Article Credit: Inside Line Promotions