Dale Earnhardt Jr. Gets Full Short Track Experience at Florence
Nov 22, 2022
The 49th running of the Turkey Derby is this coming Friday, Saturday & Sunday; with Wall Stadium Speedway’s Saturday night regulars getting set to take on the usual smattering of out-of-town stars across 11 divisions over the three days on the Jersey Shore. Including the weekend’s main attraction, the $10,000-to-win 150-lap Open Tour-type Modified race.
Mixed in with this unique season-ending roster are a few drivers who see the Turkey Derby as annual homecoming. One such driver has become one of the top marks of Modified racing in the Southeast, Danny Bohn.
The man who shocked the “Madhouse” in 2014, winning the Bowman Gray Stadium Modified title that season, had a pick-and-choose schedule in 2022, running select Modified shows mostly in and around his now home state of North Carolina. Bohn also made a pair of starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, after running full-time in 2021.
While it has only been a one-win season so far, Bohn did manage to check off a big box on his bucket list of race wins back in the spring.
“We had one of those roller coaster years, first race out we wrecked it, but the second race which was the 200-lapper; which is one of the biggest races in the South that you can win. That one’s eluded me in all the years I’ve been racing at Bowman, won everything else, so it was nice to check that one off the list. Since then, it’s been hit or miss, we either run Top 5 or wreck, just one of those years.”
Originally from West Freehold, New Jersey; Bohn is a third-generation racer who has helped to carry his family racing legacy beyond the Garden State. His roots may be in the South now, but it makes the trip back to New Jersey every Thanksgiving that much more special.
“Hundred percent, it’s always nice to go back home, half my family still lives there. My family has raced there a long time, I started racing there. I get to hangout with friends and family on Thanksgiving and then straight back to the racetrack starting Friday.”
Boasting its 30-degree banked turns, Wall Stadium has little in common with the flat turned Bowman Gray Stadium at a casual glance. But one thing they do have in common, they are two of the most rough-and-tumble short tracks in the land, both being unpredictable.
When it comes to Turkey Derby, things are even less predictable for race teams and fans with what’s on the track, and what’s in the air.
“It’s so unpredictable every year, whether you’re driving or watching. With the weather, some years you’ll be in a t-shirt, then you get the ones where you’re bundled up in all the clothes you got, and you’re still freezing. Then the races, they can be clean with a spin or two, or it can be wreckfest. It depends on a lot of things. This year the weather doesn’t look too cold, but the racing is to be determined.”
That same chaos has haunted Bohn most Novembers on the Jersey Shore, with the Turkey Derby 150 eluding his grasp again and again. But with his big win at BGS this year, Bohn has a great amount of hope.
“It’s just like the 200-lapper, if it can happen for me, it’ll happen for me. There’s a handful I though I was capable of winning and something would happen. One year I was up to third, had fresher tires than the guys in front and we blew the motor. I led 127 laps one year and the radiator cap blew off. Last year, we were third again, had saved the tires, then with 30 or 40 to go the left front went down under caution, ended up coming back through to finish fifth.”
Car owner Scott Brannick has fielded Modifieds over different Tour-type classes over the years, mostly at Wall for drivers such as Jimmy Blewett, Eric Mauriello, Timmy Solomito, and others over the years. This also includes Danny Bohn, with the driver-team combination upping their cooperation during 2022 down south.
But, Bohn has usually fielded his own car come Turkey Derby; that is changing this year as Bohn prepares to wheel the North American Construction No. 51 on Saturday.
“This is one of my bucket list races to win. My dad has won the Turkey Derby five times, my older brother Mike has won the SK feature. So, it’s not a lack of effort. This year, we’ve gone back to the basics for this week. I’m familiar with what’s in the car, and I’m excited about. I think we can unload well, there’s always the unknowns, but everything in my control, I feel like we’ve handled well. Try to qualify well, miss the wrecks, and be there at Lap 150.”
Racing America will be on hand this Friday through Sunday, November 25-27 at Wall Stadium, and we hope to see you there too. Tickets for the 49th Turkey Derby are on sale over at https://www.wallspeedwayracing.com/turkey-derby .
If you can’t make to the Jersey Shore, you can watch all three days of racing, including the Saturday’s 150-lap Open Modified feature, live on RacingAmerica.tv. We will be live starting 12 noon on Friday. Each day’s broadcast will include all qualifying and feature events.