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43rd Annual Slinger Nationals

Jul 12, 2022

Justin Johnson Aims to Turn CARS Tour Season Around in Jacksonville

Veteran finished second to Josh Berry at the Battle of the Stars

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Justin Johnson enters Saturday night’s CARS Tour race at Goodyear All American Speedway as one of the favorites following a runner-up finish to Josh Berry in November’s Battle of the Stars but it hasn’t been the start to the season he wanted.

Johnson, 35, from Roxboro, North Carolina, has two career wins in the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour but, so far, he has yet to finish in the top-10 in 2022 and has two DNFs in three starts. He hopes he can get his season turned around on Saturday night at the former Coastal Plains Raceway in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

“We’ve not had that great a start to the year,” Johnson said. “We’re kind of behind the eight-ball and looking to get back on track. Honestly, I was not a huge Caraway fan, have never been a huge Hickory fan, and don’t have a lot of experience at Greenville-Pickens. We’re hoping the next couple race stretch with Goodyear All American Speedway and Ace will be in the right direction for us.”

Johnson is an owner/driver who fields three cars in the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour – one for himself, one for Carter Langley, and one for Conner Jones. Last fall, all three drivers scored top-five finishes in the Solid Rock Carriers Battle of the Stars.

“I think we have a good baseline to show up with since all three cars finished in the top-five in November,” Johnson commented. “Hopefully, we’ll show up a little better. I think we learned some things so hopefully we can make the cars a little better. If all three of us can do a little better, I think we have a really good shot at it.”

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Johnson is one of only nine drivers in the field who has raced at Goodyear All American Speedway, which he believes should give him an advantage on Saturday night.

“We really learned how that race trends and how races at that track are going to trend,” Johnson stated. “I think that gives us a little bit of an advantage over the competitors that weren’t there in the fall.”

Tire management will likely be a key factor during the 125-lap race on the abrasive 4/10-mile track. Last fall’s race was run on American Racer tires while Saturday’s race will be on Hoosier tires, but Johnson expects the race to play out the same regardless of the tire company.

“I was a big fan of the American Racer tires,” Johnson explained. “I thought it felt similar to the Hoosier we traditionally run [in the CARS Tour]. They’re the same size. I don’t think tires will play a factor as far as the difference between the American Racer and Hoosier. Most of the guys on the CARS Tour do a good job managing the race and being on an abrasive tire wear track is pretty common for us. Florence and Langley are very similar tire wear factor.

“This will be the first time this year some of the younger drivers and rookies have been on a surface like that but, for the veterans, I don’t think it will be an issue.”