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Menards Chevy Show

Menards Chevy Show October 13-14th, 2018 October in Virginia.  What a beautiful countryside and part of our great country.  We rolled into top-class Virginia Motorsports Park on Friday night and found a little piece of ground to camp out for the night.  We woke early on Saturday and weaved our way through the lines of racers, show cars and attendees and into our area in the pits for the Great Lakes Nostalgia Funny Car Circuit's 6 funny cars in attendance. We pulled the car out of the trailer and set up our pit.  Denny Salzwimmer stopped by and let the team know the driver meeting was at noon in the tower.  We service the car, filling with fuel and getting ready to fire up in preparation for round one.  The warm up was successful and we set the pill for the first round.  Check the tires and slicks for pressure.  Pack the chutes.  Top off the fuel.  Let's get ready to line up for round one. We're paired up with Johnny K and his Pol-Cal Corvette as the first pair of cars.  The plan is big burnout, dry hops, hammer down and pull chute at 1320.  We get the signal to fire up the cars.  My crew squirts the fuel in the injector, hit the ignition and squeeze a bit more fuel to keep the engine running til the pump catches up.  The Quarter Pounder roars to life.  The crew detach the cable for the starter and put the body down on the car. We both roll forward to and then through the water box and start our burnouts.  It's a big smokey burnout out to about 900 ft or so.  Put it in reverse [...]

By |2018-11-20T19:09:01-04:00November 20th, 2018|Categories: News|Comments Off on Menards Chevy Show

PID/Keystone Nostalgia Nationals

PID/Keystone Nostalgia Nationals September 29-30th, 2018 A cool, crisp weekend of racing was on hand at Keystone Raceway Park in New Alexandria, PA.  Johnson Family Racing pulled into the race track on Friday evening and slowly crawled around the tightly packed grounds.  After camping overnight we pulled into the funny car corral on Saturday morning and set up our pit area getting ready for unloading and prepping the Quarter Pounder. We were running with a 6-car show to accompany Keystone's long-held Nostalgia Nationals that includes Big Daddy Don Garlits and a fireworks show along with a lot of show cars and even more nostalgia race cars. The run times for Saturday at 5 and 8 o'clock. We were the last pair of the group pitted against the Crazy Bear Vega.  Both floppers fired up and then rolled through the water into big burnouts. Staged and lights come on. Both cars seem to fight their way down the quarter mile with the Quarter Pounder taking the win with an 8-something. The next round of funny cars came out around 8:00, the sun had gone down and the air was getting much cooler. The Solid Rock Mustang was up against the Quarter Pounder Trans Am. The Mustang was out of the groove from the start and Rocky had a fight all the way. Somehow Kevin managed to get some control of the Trans Am and just squeaked out a win with an 8-second pass. On Sunday we were the second pair pitted against the Nitroflier II Omni. Kevin seem to have the Trans Am back on track as he ran his best run so far with a 7.60, but Bill was way out front with a super [...]

By |2018-11-20T19:14:49-04:00November 1st, 2018|Categories: News|Comments Off on PID/Keystone Nostalgia Nationals

Glory Days Nostalgia Drags

Glory Days Nostalgia Drags August 18th, 2018 The forecast was bleak with a high percentage chance of rain and thunderstorms (the 12th consecutive weekend of this weather), but we rolled out of the Poconos Saturday morning amidst the overcast skies.  Getting closer to the track the skies lighten and once we're at the track the clouds start to part. In the end, all day we are were surrounded by weather, but not a drop hit the facility. The run times as posted were 1:00 and 4:00 pm so we unloaded and prepped the car for the first round. Fuel it up. Fire it up. Roll up to the lanes when we're called. We're helping fill in for a missing car so we are set to run with the injected cars. First round we have our good friend Willie Johnson (no relation but he's a brother from another mother!) in the No Money, No Funny '68 Nova. The QP rolled through the water and Kevin hit the loud pedal to incinerate the slicks in hopes of grabbing that $1000 burnout award. The car goes up on the tire and smokes the slicks til just shy of half-track. It was a good burnout but is it good enough to win the award? We'll see. We have some tough competitors in this area.  Willie and the QP line up and the tree comes down and the QP goes into tire shake and loses traction. Backpedalled and gripping again the QP roars down the quarter mile trying to catch Willie at the stripe.  Falling just a little short of catching him, the 8-second pass wasn't good enough.  Back to the pits to get ready for the second round.  The crew [...]

By |2018-08-26T15:26:49-04:00August 26th, 2018|Categories: News|Comments Off on Glory Days Nostalgia Drags

2018 Good Vibrations Motorsports Funny Car Nationals

The 2018 Funny Car Nationals July 14, 2018 It is mid-July and that means it's time for our trip out to western PA to Keystone Raceway Park for the 11th running of the Good Vibrations Motorsports Funny Car Nationals. This is one of our favorite races each season and at one of our favorite places to race. As usual the forecast was for dozens of funny cars and not a rain drop in sight. We arrived on Friday and set up the pit area and RV for the weekend. We rolled the car out and prepped the pit for a fire up on Saturday and watched some of the funny cars testing before enjoying some adult beverages and a relaxing night with family and friends. Saturday morning rolled around and the sky was blue and sun was hot. We got the call to roll down to the bottom end of the track for the on-track photo shoot. We lined up and the photographers did their thing capturing the awe of 2 dozen + funny cars lined up on the track like back in the 70's. We waited til the other cars returned to the pits and we did our own little photo shoot capturing the Quarter Pounder with the body on and off the chassis along with a long overdue crew portrait. We hung out greeting fans and friends during the afternoon and before we knew it...it was getting close to run time. We packed the chutes, fueled the car and prepped for the warm up. Fire it up! The engine's thunder catches the fans attention moving from one team to the next during the warm ups. We encountered a leak at the fuel distribution [...]

By |2018-08-26T15:30:39-04:00August 16th, 2018|Categories: News|Comments Off on 2018 Good Vibrations Motorsports Funny Car Nationals

Testing at the Ronald McDonald House event

The Race for the House June 24, 2018 We were invited to make exhibition runs at the 2018 Race for the House to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Philadelphia. We hit the track Sunday morning and despite the weather predictions the day turned out to be a beautiful one. Johnson Family Racing was, once again, aided by Bobby Toth the tuning, driving, wrenching phenom. Bryce Kovach, our Assistant Crew Chief was introduced to the weather station and helped get the data needed for our tune up. John, Crew Chief, and wife Anita helped with car prep and set up the hospitality area. Bruce Schaffer and daughter Eliana made the haul from the Poconos to crew. Rick Sturz and son Chase came out and helped prep the car and ensured a safe and fast car was ready. Lisa Kovach was stepping in and helping as well along with her duties as Back Up Girl for the Quarter Pounder. We fired the car and prepped it for the first exhibition run against George Reidnauer's Excalibur Corvette. Around noon we head to the staging lanes and get ready to run. The burnout didn't go as expected, but that didn't prove to be any issue as the 60 ft on the pass was one of the team's best. The lights came down and both cars left hard and Reidnauer's Corvette slowly pulled away just before half track. The QP tripped the clocks at a 7.70 doing 174 mph. For the very first pass of the 2018 season - not too bad for both the car and the driver. We roll back to the pits and get the car lined up and ready for service. The car was refueled [...]

By |2018-06-25T19:10:30-04:00June 25th, 2018|Categories: News|Comments Off on Testing at the Ronald McDonald House event

PID/Keystone Nostalgia Nationals

PID/Keystone Nostalgia Nationals September 23-24, 2017 When Fall rolls around each year we always think about the trip out to western PA and running the PID/Keystone Nostalgia Nationals. This year there was nothing "Fall" about the temperatures where the highs were in the upper 80's. The turn out on Saturday was amazing and looked like the biggest event to date. Cars poured in the gate all day long from race cars to show cars to daily driver hot rods. This was Keystone's 50th Anniversary season and they celebrated at this event. Dragsters, Gassers, Funny Cars and so much more were lined up to entertain the crowd. We set up immediately and started servicing the race car to get ready for round one. Fuel up, tune up, pressures and more are checked and tweaked. We get the call to head up to the lanes around 5:00. We're matched up with the Crazy Bear Vega in the left lane and we were in the right. The typical big burnout was laid down shy of mid-track. The crowd loved the smoke-filled start to this race. A couple of dry hops and we stage and leave hard. We have the lead for the full race and get the first round win of the season at 7.77 and 177 mph. Not as quick or fast as we'd like but it was the dreaded double-step by the driver that had the time off its mark. Oh well there's another round. We roll back into the pits and get the car ready for round two. The call to head to the lanes is made around 8:00 and we pull up paired up against the Nitro Flier Omni and Bill Walls. We line [...]

By |2017-10-08T18:00:31-04:00October 7th, 2017|Categories: News|Comments Off on PID/Keystone Nostalgia Nationals

Atco’s Funny Car Frenzy

Atco's Funny Car Frenzy August 26, 2017: Atco Dragway, Atco, NJ South Jersey's Atco Dragway dates back to the 60s and always welcomes the funny cars each year for their events. We were part of a 16-car show including a variety of race cars. Funny cars, dragsters, wheelstanders and jet cars were on deck ready to put on a show. We arrived on Saturday around noon and got setup right away. We had lots of friends on hand for this show and had plenty of help. We set up the Phone Fuel Up booth for the complimentary phone charging for all attendees courtesy of the Great Lakes Nostalgia Funny Car Circuit. The car gets some attention and is prepped by the crew for the first round. Pack the chutes, fuel up, set the timing, check the tune up and tire pressures. We are matched up with the Pol-Cal Corvette for the first round of the show. We throw down a big smokey burnout and just as the car comes to a stop the engine revs and shuts off. The tell-tale sound of running out of fuel. This is confirmed once we return to the pits. Live and learn. A few lashings with a wet noodle to the crew and we're back at it getting ready for the next round. We pull up and have to wait for an oil clean up. We wait and wait. Finally we get the signal to Fire Up the Next Pair! We fire up and roll through the water into a smokey and "squirrely" burnout. Driver Kevin Johnson backs up in the groove and Bob Toth carefully lines him up. Dry hop? Check. Pre-stage? Check. Stage? Check. The green light [...]

By |2017-10-06T00:42:00-04:00October 6th, 2017|Categories: News|Comments Off on Atco’s Funny Car Frenzy

Glory Days at Maple Grove

Glory Days at Maple Grove August 19-20, 2017: Maple Grove Raceway, Reading, PA We rolled into Maple Grove Raceway on Friday evening just in time for a thunderstorm to narrowly miss the track and consequently us.  Saturday morning was a gorgeous start to the day. We set up the car and pit area along with the Phone Fuel Up free phone charging station compliments of the Great Lakes Nostalgia Funny Car Circuit. Plenty of crew and family, friends and fans were on hand to help for this test and tune outing for the Quarter Pounder. We need every pass down the track to get better and better as we're shooting for the tune up to get the QP into the 7.30-40's. Our goal all season long is to sneak up on the number and this weekend at the impeccable Maple Grove facility.  We prepped the car by adding fuel, changing plugs, setting valves and more.  Once the call was made we pulled into the lanes and got ready to run.  We fired the car and the crew removes the body pole and lowers the fiberglass lid on the flopper.  This run will be captured on video from inside the cockpit.  See the video below. Driver Kevin Johnson rolls into the burnout box and through under idle guided by the renown alcohol funny car driver and tuner Lou Sgro.  Up on the tire and into a blaze of smoke goes the new Goodyear slicks needed to overcome tire shake and loss of traction in the last set of tires.  Kevin pulls into the beams in a solo run.  Pre-stage and then staged.  The pro tree blinks and Kevin is off but double-steps the throttle once again [...]

By |2017-10-12T14:06:05-04:00October 5th, 2017|Categories: News|Comments Off on Glory Days at Maple Grove

Island Dragway’s Funny Car Throwdown

Island Dragway's Funny Car Throwdown August 6, 2017: Island Dragway, Great Meadows, NJ A beautiful day was on hand for the Island Dragway Anniversary event that features the Funny Car Throwdown.  There was talk of funny cars showing up from all around to join in on the fun.  We were invited as an alternate and planned to test and tune on our passes. The pit area was set up and the new crew of the day was good friend Bruce Schafer.  He along with ace tuner Bobby Toth and friend Tony Mazzarella.  We serviced the car setting the valves and setting up the chassis steering a bit to fix an issue sustained at the last race in Pittsburgh.  Thanks to fellow racer Jami Russell we set the toe to the proper amount and continued getting the car prepped for the first round.  We missed the call as we didn't have the time to fire the car and set the tune-up so we skipped the first round. Second round we were more than ready to give it a shot.  After a big burnout and a couple dry hops up to the line we staged and left but immediately the car broke free and spun the slicks.  Keivn back-pedaled the throttle and ran a soft 8 second pass.  Not expecting the slick issue but the tune up was close and the burnout pleased the crowd. Thanks to Island Dragway for hosting the funny cars and to Chris and Krista Massarella for coordinating it for the funny car owners. Nicole LaFerrara Photo Keith Hudak Photo Eric Paone Photo Eric Paone Photo

By |2017-10-30T20:14:32-04:00October 5th, 2017|Categories: News|Comments Off on Island Dragway’s Funny Car Throwdown

Good Vibrations Motorsports Funny Car Nationals

Good Vibrations Motorsports Funny Car Nationals July 15, 2017: Keystone Raceway Park, New Alexandria, PA The race team headed out to the show early Friday morning. Before long a trailer tire blew and the crew immediately went into action fixing replacing it with one of the spares.  Back on the road and just before arriving another tire lets go.  Time to employ the second and last spare wheel and tire. We finally arrived at the track nearly 8 hours later (what was to be a 4-5 hr trip!). We set up the pit area and unloaded the car in preparation for the big day on Saturday.  32 cars + were reported to be on the property and this was turning out to be one of the biggest funny car races in the country. This event was the first Funny Car Nationals to be video-cast live by Motor Mania TV and can be viewed in its entirety here.   https://livestream.com/MotorManiaTV/2017FCN Saturday morning we serviced the car and put in a tune up with help from friend and tuner Brian Gawlik. We fired it up and finished getting ready for the first round.  We were paired up against Total Insanity and Chris Massarella (who would go on to win the event).  After a big burnout the car lost fire after the first dry hop attempt.  Chris won that round and went on to run an event-quickest 6.99 e.t.  We were allowed to re-fire the car and make a pass.  After a double-step on the throttle the car ran a soft 8 second pass. Back to the pits to service the engine and get ready for second round.  We check the plugs, adjust the tune up, run [...]

By |2017-10-05T22:42:55-04:00October 5th, 2017|Categories: News|Comments Off on Good Vibrations Motorsports Funny Car Nationals