TULSA, Okla. – Forming Jason Johnson Racing [JJR] in 2010, Jason Johnson set out to make racing his career.
Four years later, the “Ragin’ Cajun” has improved to three Lucas Oil ASCS presented by MAVTV American Real driver’s championships, along with three consecutive owner’s championships to show for his efforts.
Along with his business partner Alan Haynes of Australia, the pair joined forces with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for the 2012 season; bringing Roush/Yates engines to the Mesilla Valley Transportation/H.M. Racing No. 41 Maxim. The mix would prove lethal as Jason rattled off 26 podium appearances, 39 top fives, 47 top tens, and a season leading 14 wins en route to the 2012 Lucas Oil ASCS presented by MAVTV American Real crown.
Even with a schedule that spans across several sanctioning bodies in 2013, Jason Johnson will again make his bid for the ASCS title.
With a chance to earn back to back crowns, Jason reflected on the possibility and what it takes to win championships, “Really, it’s going to be consistent of carrying the momentum thru the past few season, but at the same time, we look to raise the bar.”
The Eunice, La., native added by saying, “Championships are won back at the shop with hard work and endless hours; making sure we are 100 percent prepared.”
With the every changing world of racing, the technology seems to be progressing at a pace never before seen. Despite the simplicity of a sprint-car, in terms of the lack of electronics seen in the higher levels of auto racing, the basic setup packages are constantly advancing, “You have to realize that technologies changing with race cars, tires, shocks, and parts” said Johnson. “It’s important that, we stay on top of these things and to be willing to try new stuff; to find more speed at places that we need to improve at.”
In regards to improving, Johnson for the most part is pleased with his big track program, but feels that his shot track program is where more work is needed. Giving light that most of his wins in 2012 were at tracks three-eighths and bigger saying, “It’s important to concentrate on these quarter miles and try to better our program, especially when the track is heavy at the beginning of the night. With the ASCS format, heat races are just as important to position yourself for the “A” main.”
With the 2012 season being the first on the Roush/Yates engine program, Johnson explained that although there is a difference between the Chevrolet based engines he had used in years past, and his new Ford power plants, it wasn’t so much more power, but where the power band is in comparison.
“The Roush Yates Fords seem to run harder on the top end” explained Johnson. “Because 360 racing is much about momentum, the torque band of the Roush Yates engines makes it is easier to maintain that momentum.”
Keeping crew and cars intact with Maxim Chassis again the frame of choice, Phillip Dietz will again assume the role of Crew Chief for the AccuDoc Solutions / Fischers Body Shop / Durst No. 41 Diecast.com entry. Tim Courmier leads the Stenhouse Jr. Racing team in sense of organization, with Jamie Martin coming on full-time after a three month temporary position last summer.
Giving Ricky Stenhouse Jr. his first championship as a car owner / business partner, Jason explained that Ricky never pressured anyone for a championship.
“Ricky’s a racer himself, and he wants us to prosper as a team. He was more about the team, that we employ inspirational personal, who enjoy waking up every day and looking forward to working for Stenhouse Jr. Racing. To build a team for years to come.”
A personal change for Jason going into the 2013 season is the addition of a child, as Jason’s wife Bobbi is expected to give birth to their first son sometime during the racing season. Asked whether or not the addition has changed his outlook on his career in racing, Jason replied, “Not to this point today. Everything is just normal right now because it’s still just the two of us. I can assure you when the child arrives, I will be a proud happy father. The outlook of life might change a little bit but we chose, as a couple, that this is the career path that we both wanted to pursue.”
With a busy offseason that included time in Australia, Jason Johnson will enter the 2013 Lucas Oil ASCS presented by MAVTV American Real with new support behind the No. 41 as Oakley, along with Ford Racing, Durst, Inc. and Fishers Body Shop join the JJR/Stenhouse Jr. team. New sponsors coming with Stenhouse Jr. Motorsports included Tony Lama Boots and Serratelli Hat Company, joining the existing Mesilla Valley Transportation [MVT], and Roush Yates Racing Engines.
The 2013 Lucas Oil ASCS presented by MAVTV American Real begins at the Tucson Int’l Raceway on Friday, Feb. 22 and Saturday, Feb. 23. The two day event will be preceded by a practice night on Thursday, Feb. 21 starting at 6 p.m.