[media-credit name=”Position One Motorsports” align=”alignright” width=”175″][/media-credit]It’s been 4 weeks since Rod Johnson Jr stepped into his #03 King Taco/Sunrise Ford Super Late Model entry at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, but from tonight’s result there was absolutely no rust that this 21 year old had to shake off. The driver from Canyon Country, CA put on a race tonight that displayed his incredible driving talent. Johnson and the Position One Motorsports team had much to do during the 4 week break, namely repairing the #03 entry, which was heavily damaged at the last event when a part failure sent Johnson into the turn #3 wall. Arriving Saturday, the team was confident that the car was fixed and race ready.
While taking the car around the 1/2-mile track during the first practice session of the day, the team and RJ were confident that there were no remnants from the wreck and the speed proved that. Johnson finished the session in first with a fast time worthy of 1st on the timesheets (18.151). The team opted not to go out for the 2nd practice session as there was nothing to be gained by it and RJ was comfortable with the car as is. Qualifying came and Johnson took the # 03 car around the track, immediately put it at the top of the charts with a time of 17.719. The #17 of Jason Patison would end up snatching the pole away by the slimmest of margins, but the race would eventually even that out.
“Everything came together for the race. We had a really fast car and managed to get to the front in the beginning and we were able to set our own pace from there on after and everything worked out, said Johnson after the win.
Starting in the 3rd spot, Johnson took the green flag and charged forward in blazing fashion and by lap #2 he had managed to snag the lead. He never looked back. Johnson’s nearest competitor at the beginning, Kevin Thompson, was 3 car lengths away and RJ began putting himself in a commanding lead.
Patison eventually got around Thompson for 2nd but would never really pose a threat to Johnson throughout the 75-lap race. By lap # 20 Johnson’s lead had increased to 6- car lengths, where it would stay for most of the race.
“Well today this team showed that it’s a championship caliber team. We came back from a big wreck at the last event and dominated today, said John Schuetze Johnson’s crew chief. Schuetze also added that, “We missed qualifying a bit, but came back for the race and Johnson did an excellent job and showed what this team is capable of.
“We were the fastest car and came home in one piece and I’m pretty sure we could have gone another 75 laps and been just as good. The team did an excellent job as well, so my thanks to everyone”.
Over the radio Johnson conveyed to the crew that the car was smooth and with every lap RJ smoothly hit his marks and would eventually take the checkered flag in first place, putting an exclamation point on his weekend’s performance. This marks Johnson’s third race win of the season. In addition to the win, RJ also had the distinction of running the race’s fastest lap of 18.022.
Johnson also took time to thank those around him, “My thanks to the team and our sponsors King Taco, Sunrise Ford, Eibach Springs, DJ Safety, Bell Helmets, Jan’s Towing, Ron’s Rear Ends and Wilwood Brakes”.