WURTSBORO, N.Y. – As the new racing season looms, longtime car owner Gary Mann is set to begin a new chapter for his New York Truck Parts race team.
When the Northeast Modified campaign gets the green flag in Delaware at Georgetown Speedway on Saturday, March 11, Mann will turn over the controls of his potent modifieds to “The Doctor” Danny Johnson. Mann said the combo’s first 2017 start together would take place in the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP Melvin L. Joseph Memorial lid-lifter at the Georgetown half-mile.
Mann and his Wurtsboro, N.Y.-based team will focus on STSS competition, both in the Halmar International North Region and Velocita USA South Region of the series.
“We’re focusing on the Short Track Super Series races,” Mann said. “We aren’t planning to run the car anywhere on the weekends. It works better as a team owner to race these shows where the payout is good. We’ll be at every North and South race that Danny is able to run without conflicts on his schedule. It looks like we’ll hit about 90 percent of the races.”
Mann has Teo-Pro cars and JPM powerplants ready for Johnson’s STSS bid. The cars will carry Johnson’s trademark No. 27J in lieu of Mann’s 55. Sponsorship comes from Shakelton NAPA Auto Parts and Deckelman Trucking.
The pair made their debut as a team last December at New York’s Accord Speedway for the ‘Gobbler’ finale and showed their form with a heat-race victory. However, a series of early tangles in the main event left them on the sidelines and anxiously awaiting the March opener.
“Danny’s record on the track speaks for itself,” Mann said. “Right now it works for me and for him to do this type of schedule. I’m looking forward to it.”
Mann and Johnson have plenty of reason to be optimistic heading into the Melvin L. Joseph Memorial Georgetown opener. Mann’s car – with Anthony Perrego at the wheel – won last year’s 49-lap event.
Johnson, meanwhile, made the long haul south from his Rochester, N.Y., home last November to run the Georgetown Mid-Atlantic Championship finale and – utilizing a unique line – nearly stole the show, finishing runner-up to Pennsylvania’s Rick Laubach in the 40-lap main.
The Melvin L. Joseph Memorial is the first of eight STSS Velocita South Region events this year and launches the series’ championship battle.