From Bill W
Wayne Johnson is looking forward to the Chili Bowl next week where he will be piloting Al Christoffer’s #14AJ. He will then head “Down Under”, competing in at least six events aboard the Brett Smith #USA39. After returning home, the Oklahoma native turned Knoxville, Iowa resident is without a ride and is seeking opportunities for 2010.
Not having a racing agenda for 2010 is strange ground for Wayne. “I don’t have anything for 2010 beyond Australia,” says the talented veteran. “It’s a situation that I haven’t had in a very long time. It’s not a good
feeling, because this is what I have done for a living for a long time.”
In the meantime, the focus turns to Christoffer’s midget at the Chili Bowl. Wayne will qualify on Thursday, January 14. “If it runs anything like it looks, it will be awesome,” he says of his ride. “It’s all new stuff, but I’ve only spent one day with it. I’ll be going over it with a fine-toothed comb when we get down there as soon as it’s unloaded.”
Wayne has turned heads at the Chili Bowl before, but admits it takes a while to get the feel of a midget. “The cars really slide the right rear a lot, and that doesn’t feel right when you run with a wing 99% of the
time,” he says. “I’m used to being stuck on the right rear. I try to set it up as much to my style on the right rear as I can.”
Christoffer and Wayne have teamed up for several years in the sprint ranks, but have no plans to continue in 2010 past the Chili Bowl. Their sponsors will include Switch Rail Modular Systems, Bral Restoration, Rhey
Graphics and Hoosier Tires. “Al has a company called Switch Rail Modular Systems,” says Wayne. “It involves railings on high-rise construction projects. It’s really a neat deal. Right now, all I can focus on is the Chili Bowl and getting a win there. After that, I head for Australia.”
Wayne will compete in six events “Down Under”, but is hoping to stay in Australia for some action in Western Australia and possibly Tasmania. He and Smith will run at the President’s Cup at Avalon Raceway in Geelong,
Victoria (January 20), the King’s Challenge at Borderline Speedway in Mt. Gambier, South Australia (January 22), the Grand Annual Classic at the Premier Speedway in Warrnambool, Victoria (January 23, 24), the World
Series Sprintcars event at Warrnambool (January 25) and the Australian Sprintcar Nationals event at Speedway City in Richmond, South Australia (January 30).
Wayne hopes to find a ride for the Krikke Boys Shootout and the King of Wings events out west. “I’d like to get a deal put together to run the big shows in Western Australia and stay in the country in February, but
right now we don’t have anything done,” he says. “I was able to run over there a couple different times, and we were lucky enough to get a win in Perth (2004).”
There should be a comfort level when he returns to drive Smith’s machine. “This time we’re running Maxim chassis and running the same motor program, which ran well last year,” he says. “I’m taking my own shocks and my own seat this time. That’s one of the reasons I got hurt (tailbone) last year. The seat didn’t fit like it should have.”
Last year’s deal ran up to the minute, while this year the planning will be better. “It was a last minute deal last year and I went in a little blind,” he says. “This year I know Brett and everyone with the team, and
I’ll be getting there a day earlier to get things ready to roll. That’s going to help a lot. We didn’t have the car setup and it was still really fast, so I am looking forward to it.”
Meanwhile, Wayne is looking for opportunities here at home for 2010. Look him up at the Chili Bowl, or e-mail him through his website at www.WayneJohnsonRacing.com!
Buy Your ARP Wings from Wayne
Wayne is an ARP Wings dealer located in the Knoxville, Iowa area. Wayne credits the new ARP top wing for his wins at Little Rock and Cowtown. Contact Wayne for your ARP Wing, as he has some special Holiday deals
going! ARP Wings – “When Downforce Matters”!
To learn more about Wayne and the team, log on to www.WayneJohnsonRacing.com!
Rollie Nelson asks: You’ve raced a lot of places. Is there a place you haven’t been that you’d like to race?
Wayne answers: The biggest thing is I only get to do it once a year. Last year, driving for Scott Benic, we didn’t have the adjustable shocks. We had had the Penske adjustable in the past, and we seemed to go better. When you have a feel in the cockpit, and you are able to adjust, that’s a big factor when you don’t drive midgets much. I’ll be able to do that again this year.
Wayne’s Fast Facts
Few will forget Wayne’s run in his rookie run at the Chili Bowl in 2006. Driving Wayne Simmons’ #F5, he advanced from the F main all the way to the championship event. He passed 53 cars along the way. He finished third in the F, fourth (final transfer) in the E, third (final transfer) in the D, fifth (final transfer) in the C, and fifth in the B to advance to the A. His luck ran out as he exited on lap two.
Got a question for Wayne?
Each week, Wayne will answer your questions about “Tech Tips”, or anything that’s on your mind. If you ever wondered what a part on a sprint car is all about, send an e-mail to us at email@example.com, and we may answer it in this section! Put “? for Wayne” in your subject line. He’ll try to keep it clean if you do!
“Wednesday’s with Wayne”
“Wednesday’s With Wayne” is an up close look at the past, present and future of colorful and talented sprint car driver Wayne Johnson. You’ll never know what to expect next with Wayne, so don’t miss us on Wednesdays!