Luke Johnson Has Back-to-Back Podium Finishes in Bark River
Trabuco Canyon, CA (August 13, 2009) - The seventeen-year-old rookie continues to impress the competition, as well as much of the off-road racing world, while he continues his steep learning curve in the ultra competitive TORC Sportsman Limited Truck division. The two most recent rounds of racing saw Luke Johnson standing on the podium, as nearly all the 20,000 Bark River, Michigan fans cheered when he stepped up for his interviews.
The race truck that Luke Johnson drives is actually a PRO-2WD truck with a limited powerplant. The TORC Limited Truck division powerplant typically produce around 650 horsepower, while the PRO-2WD engines approach 900 horsepower. The division is great preparation for those like Luke, who look to move up the TORC series ranks.
Rounds 7 & 8 - Bark River International Off-Road Raceway All rounds of racing in the TORC Sportsman ranks began with a land rush start and had a competition caution lap mid-way through the race, in order to bunch the fields up for a more competitive and entertaining race.
Both rounds of racing saw Luke Johnson and his #248 Cement Cutting Inc. Whips RC Gloss AMSOIL Red Bull Oakley BFGoodrich Tire Chevy lead the field into the first turn. On Saturday, eventual winner Keith Steele grabbed the lead rather quickly from Luke, as #7 Baudoux and #220 Edgerton followed suit after the blue and black #248 spun coming out of the far loop section of the track. Undaunted, the Southern California teenager gathered up his truck and just couple of laps later, powered his way cleanly past Edgerton for the third and final spot on the podium.
Sunday's Round 8 land rush start had Luke leading the field out of the first turn, but this time Luke and #29 Steele battled door to door for almost three laps before the veteran Steele made the pass for the lead. With two laps to go, a slight miscue by the ProPower equipped Chevy allowed Edgerton to get by for third place. Once again, Luke was determined to get back on the podium, and cleanly made the pass to take the final spot on the podium during the final lap.
"Getting on the podium both days in Bark River is awesome," remarked Luke Johnson. "I'm getting pretty comfortable in the truck, and prepping the truck myself has really helped me understand how everything works. I do have some help, especially my dad, Charlie Schlieve, and a few others offer their knowledge and advice. It is always welcomed. Everyone in the class is always around to lend an extra hand. It has been a great experience all year. I'm really looking forward to Crandon, the track is awesome and the buzz in the air will be something special with the 40th celebration."
After eight of the ten rounds of racing completed in the Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL Sportsman Limited Truck division, Luke Johnson is currently in second place.
The next race on the TORC schedule is September 4-6 in Crandon, Wisconsin.