Jarit Johnson has Solid First Ever Race at Phoenix After major delays and lost bags due to the American Airlines shut down of over 1000 flights, Jarit Johnson finally arrived at Phoenix International Raceway for the first time last Wednesday. He...
Jarit Johnson has Solid First Ever Race at Phoenix
After major delays and lost bags due to the American Airlines shut down of over 1000 flights, Jarit Johnson finally arrived at Phoenix International Raceway for the first time last Wednesday. He was to pilot the #09 Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Scottsdale Lotus/RFL Chevrolet in the Jimmie Johnson Foundation 150 Camping World West Series event at Phoenix International Raceway. Johnson had never met the team owner, never driven in the series, the race car, or driven at the track. He spent the day before the race working to install his own seat and help prep the race car. Johnson qualified 30th and finished impressively in 14th beating out many of the series regulars.
"It was a lot of work getting stuck at airports and then having little time to prepare, but once the race was over we were happy with the results," said Johnson. "Most of all I'm glad we had a good run to gain awareness for the work of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and also Scottsdale Lotus, which came aboard as a sponsor at the last minute."
Johnson also had the support of some pretty big names in NASCAR racing. Hendrick Motorsports Championship Crew Chief, Chad Knaus provided some insight to the team along with Sprint Cup Driver Casey Mears. And of course big brother Jimmie Johnson (Lowes #48) was on hand for Jarit to lean on for advice on the track. The Sprint Cup champion and his wife (co-founder) Chandra, participated in pre-race ceremonies, and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation hosted a special reception during the race in one of PIR's luxury suites. Tickets from the reception will be donated to the Jimmie Johnson Foundation's partner program organizations as well as PIR's charitable partner, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix.
"It was a fun race. I hope we can put more deals together like this in the future and are seeking sponsorship for it," expressed Johnson. "I really have to thank my crew guys who work with me on my late model back home. They volunteered their time and flew out here with me from North Carolina to help out and did it just for the love of racing."