Mark Johnson Racing

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July 12th, 2008
The southern heat and humidity did little to lessen the pressure on Mark Johnson and the #28 Klingspor Racing Team Saturday at "America's Most Famous Short Track".

Earlier in the week, the #28 Monte Carlo was wrecked during a practice session at the track, leaving the crew scrambling to put it back together in time for the next race. To add to the drama, Mark Johnson and the #28 Klingspor Racing Team were scheduled to be filmed at the racetrack on Saturday by Speed TV to record on-track footage for the upcoming TV special featuring Johnson Racing. So skipping the race and taking time to rebuild the car was not an option!

Arriving at the racetrack Saturday, Johnson and the team had no idea how the car would perform. "We didn’t know what to expect…had no idea. The guys had worked hard putting the car back together and we just hoped for the best", recalled Johnson.

After a disappointing first practice, Johnson suggested some changes be made and together he and the hardworking guys on the team got the #28 "up to speed".

By the time qualifying rolled around, Johnson was able to pull off a 15:36 (the pole was 15:14). “Qualifying was just so close. I got all I could get out of the car”, stated Johnson.

Starting in 9th place, Johnson quickly advanced to 5th and fought a 15 lap battle with four other cars in an attempt to hold on to that position.

By the time the checkered flag fell after 50 laps, Johnson had run an exhilarating race culminating in a 7th place finish and had provided Speed TV with lots of material for the upcoming show.

"I just really appreciate Speed TV's interest in telling my family's racing story. They have been a great group to work with and we've had a lot of fun. I'm glad we were able to get out here and race competitively after the trouble we had earlier in the week. The guys on the team worked so hard to get us back out here racing", enthused Johnson.

April 28th, 2008
Saturday at Hickory Motor Speedway proved to be a long day (and night) for Mark Johnson and the #28 Klingspor Racing Team. The trouble started early on in practice when the clutch came out of the #28 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The team scrambled to replace the clutch, attempting to get the car back together in time for qualifying. Johnson qualified 9th.

“In qualifying we were able to run one-tenth off the pole but that still put us in 9th place,” explained Johnson.

Following qualifying, the team waited through a rain delay that lasted several hours and left both fans and racers wet and chilled. With such a major change in track conditions, the #28 team continued to struggle throughout the night with a racecar that was just “too tight” and handling poorly. On lap 46 of the 50 lap Late Model race, while Johnson was in 8th place, two competitors in front of him crashed, which resulted in Johnson spinning out in turn two to avoid the wreck. He finished in 13th place.

“It was just a tough night for us.” Johnson said. “We’re looking ahead to next week.”

This coming Saturday, May 3rd, Hickory Motor Speedway will host the “Rick Bowman Memorial”. The night’s schedule includes Twin 50 Lap Late Model feature events, an On-Track Autograph Session before the race, and various other special activities.

“We’re excited to be part of this prestigious race in memory of ‘Biscuit’. We’d love to see a lot of friends and fans show up in support of this event!” encouraged Johnson.          

April 13th, 2008

 Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway left no doubt in anyone’s mind that the #28 Chevrolet of Mark Johnson is back in contention for Victory Lane in 2008.

 After completing his practice laps and breezing by the competition with the fastest speeds on the track, Johnson prepared for qualifying. “The field was so close in qualifying that three-tenths of a second separated first to last place,” Johnson commented.  After his qualifying attempt, Johnson lined up in 12th place. That’s when the real fun began…

 As the field surged forward at the drop of the green flag, the #28 began his determined advance toward the front. Smoothly yet resolutely working his way through traffic, Johnson passed one car after another, as the laps flew by, interspersed by the occasional caution lap. Things really got exciting during the last ten laps, as the #28 battled the competition for position, resulting in some really hard racing and suspenseful moments.  By the time the white flag waved, Johnson had captured third place and was en route to taking second. The crowd was up from their seats cheering on the #28, obviously glad to see a “hometown favorite” like Johnson running back up front. Time ran out before he could complete that pass and be in the position to compete for first, but in no way did that diminish the excitement generated by Johnson’s 50 lap chase to the front.

Coming in a respectable third place, Johnson was exhilarated in his post-race interview, “I’d like to first thank the good Lord for the opportunity we have to race tonight. I’d like to thank my sponsors, Klingspor Abrasives, American Olympus Fiberglass, and Charlie’s Café. Also thanks to my family… and all the fans that came out tonight. Thanks to all of you for your support”, enthused Johnson. “I’ve still got it!” he emphatically stated.     

March 30th, 2008

After struggling in the 2007 race season, Mark Johnson and the Klingspor #28 race team had competitors and fans alike both scratching their heads Saturday night wondering, “What have they done?”

The 2008 season opener at Hickory Motor Speedway proved to be a testing ground of sorts for the new Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Johnson this year. Throughout practice, Johnson was consistently the fastest on the track, posting speeds two-tenths faster than any other car. Qualifying resulted in a sixth place starting position for the #28. “The tires really weren’t warm enough when I made my qualifying attempt”, stated Johnson.

After the green flag fell, a series of cautions followed, and with each restart the #28 pushed further toward the front of the pack. At lap 15, during some hard racing for fourth place, another competitor made contact with the #28, resulting in a near spin-out for Johnson and a loss of momentum for the #28 Chevrolet. That incident set Johnson off- the-pace for the remainder of the race and resulted in an 11th place finish.

Although the first race of the season did not result in a win for the #28 Klingspor Chevrolet, their performance Saturday night indicates that 2008 may well see a return to Victory Lane for the team. “After a long dry spell, we feel like we’ve finally got it figured out. We’re excited about what this season will bring”, enthused Johnson. “I’d really like to thank our sponsors for their continued support: Klingspor Abrasives, Charlie’s Café and American Olympus Fiberglass. See you soon in Victory Lane!”

 

 

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