Johnson 16th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Looks to Complete Rookie Season as Team Owner-Driver Jarit Johnson started 23rd and finished 16th piloting the no.74 Optima Bank & Trust/Argus Group/Karl Chevrolet for the Heluva Good! Fall 125 at New...
Johnson 16th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Looks to Complete Rookie Season as Team Owner-Driver
Jarit Johnson started 23rd and finished 16th piloting the no.74 Optima Bank & Trust/Argus Group/Karl Chevrolet for the Heluva Good! Fall 125 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway near Loudon, NH. Johnson worked his way up as high as 5th place during the 99-lap race. Throughout the race Johnson never had a car to win, but led by Crew Chief Andrew "Mig" Migliozzi they kept the car inside the top 15 most of the day. With less than 20-laps remaining in the race Johnson was battling for a top ten finish. But the cars handling went away dropping him back to the 16th place finish on the lead lap.
"We had a decent car and overall we finished the race with a clean car which was good," said Johnson, who made his second-ever start at New Hampshire. "But we just never could get the right balance. The car was either too tight or too loose. We had great pit stops and the crew did a great job. We would go out with some adjustments and gain some spots then fall back. That's kind of how the day went. I wanted a better showing, but I also didn't want to push it beyond what kind of car we had and end the day early."
Johnson wasn't even sure last week that he'd be at the event. He operates a self owned and funded team out of his Mooresville, North Carolina race shop. Most of his crew is made up of dedicated racers who volunteer much of their time to help get Johnson to the track. Optima Bank & Trust and Argus Group provided support to the team just a few hours before they left for the race track. Karl Chevrolet out of Des Moines Iowa has continued to be a supporter of Johnson for the 2009 season. The season started for Johnson at a press conference announcing he'd be racing full time with the now defunct Trail Motorsports. When that team never got off the ground Johnson decided to start his own effort.
"There are two ways to go about my situation this year. I could sit at home upset about what happened at the start of the year or I could turn the negative into a positive," expressed Johnson. "I chose to start my own team so I could in fact turn a negative situation into a positive one. We haven't dominated the series, but we have run in the top ten and contended for top five's. It's not easy to run against teams with bigger budgets. But I also know this team is capable of winning races. I'm very proud of the guys who have dedicated so much to helping this team exist. I'm very thankful to the companies that have supported us this year with sponsorship."
"It's been tough at times to keep the team going financially, but we've had a lot of fun too," added Johnson. "I just hope we can keep racing. I've come this far and I'm not ready to give it up. There is momentum here and I hope to keep it going for the final East Series race and into 2010."
The NASCAR Camping World East Series season finale is just a few days away on Friday September 25th at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware.