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RJ Johnson Hires RJ Johnson for USAC National Sprint Cars in Knoxville!

RJ Johnson Hires RJ Johnson for USAC National Sprint Cars in Knoxville!

(Bill W) May 29, 2017 – RJ Johnson and RJ Johnson have known of each other for some time. The union of the two will be complete this Saturday night as RJ Johnson from Tampa, Florida is hiring RJ Johnson from Phoenix, Arizona to run his #71A at the Knoxville Raceway in Iowa with the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series. Saturday will mark the first time since 2010 that USAC has had an event at “The Sprint Car Capital of the World”.

Tampa’s RJ Johnson is based in Iowa and campaigns his winged sprint weekly at Knoxville with the 410’s. “RJ texted me if there were any rides available for the USAC show at Knoxville,” he says. “I told him that I had hired Wyatt Burks to drive my car, but I had another car if he wanted to send an engine out. That very same day, Wyatt told me they scheduled a WAR race in Missouri against the show. I was able to call RJ and tell him that I had an open seat at that point.”

Arizona RJ is excited. “There’s not too many people that can say they’ve run at Knoxville non-wing,” he says. “I’m really excited. I was there for the 360 Nationals last year and got to witness that. It’s very cool. It’s nothing like we have here.”

A change in drivers also meant a change in expectations. “With Wyatt, he hadn’t been able to run a 410 that much, and I wanted to give him an opportunity on a big stage,” says owner RJ. “With RJ, he wanted to do a lot more with the car, which was a good thing. We’re wanting to have fun, but our expectations may be a little higher.”

Arizona RJ explains. “We’re changing front ends,” he says. “Ride heights are clearly different, so things like that need to be changed as well. We’ve always talked about doing something together, and he held up on his end!”

Arizona RJ comes into Knoxville on a roll. He currently leads the USAC Southwest point standings. “We were able to win the ‘Salute to Indy’ finale at Canyon Speedway Park (in Peoria, Arizona) last night,” he says. “I think we’ve won nine times this year. We’ve won three USAC Southwest races, five NAPA races and we won a POWRi/WAR race in Arizona too.”

How will the new owner react to watching someone else wheel his car? “It’s actually not a bad thing,” he says. “Like everyone else, there will be a day when I’m too old to do this. I’d like to stay in the sport at that point and become an owner. I’m looking forward to seeing how it makes me feel.”

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