SALISBURY, N.C. – When six-year-old Brody Snyder and his family roll into Millbridge Speedway on Wednesday for Salute to America Night at the sixth-mile dirt oval, they will do so with a greater purpose in mind than just winning a trophy.
The Snyder family will honor former Knoxville Nationals champion and World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series driver Jason Johnson, who lost his life in a crash at Wisconsin’s Beaver Dam Raceway on June 24, by adorning Brody’s outlaw kart with a paint scheme replicating that of Johnson’s sprint car.
Snyder, who races in the Beginner Box Stock class at Millbridge, was an avid Johnson fan and the family had planned to take a trip to Eldora Speedway’s Kings Royal later this month to watch him compete and meet Johnson in the pit area.
When last month’s tragic accident took place, Brody’s father Tim Snyder quickly came up with the idea to honor the racing legacy of his son’s hero.
“I asked Brody not long ago if he could change his number for a few races to any other number, which one would he choose, and he immediately said Jason’s No. 41,” noted Tim Snyder. “He’s wanted me to make his kart look like JJ’s sprint car for a while … so I figured this was the perfect time to do it. I got permission from the family to use the design and number, and we’re really excited to roll this out.
“We feel it’s a small way that we can say thank you to Jason and his family for inspiring our own racers and their dreams.”
Snyder plans to auction off one sideboard of the wing and will also be selling #Forever41 tribute decals during Wednesday night’s Millbridge racing program at $5 apiece.
All proceeds from both will go directly to the Johnson family.
Of particular note is that Brody Snyder didn’t know that the kart had been changed over until Wednesday morning, just before it rolled into the trailer in preparation for the night’s action.
“He’s been in tears the past two days and when he saw it … man, there’s just some moments you can’t put into words,” noted Tim Snyder. “This is special for all of us to be able to honor Jason like this and we hope we can do him proud on the track.”