The Johnson name is well known, in Southern California racing circles. From car owners, to crew chiefs, to drivers, the Johnson name is also synonymous with winning. While we are not talking about Jimmie Johnson here, a member of the Johnson family will be making his second career start, in Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series competition. Rod Johnson Jr., or Rj Johnson, as he is known, will take to the track on April 14, for the “SPEARS Manufacturing 100 presented by Berchtold Equipment” at Kern County Raceway. It will be his first SRL start since 2016, when he finished 23rd at the Irwindale Event Center.

Johnson has come from a long line of racers. His grandfather Don was a car owner, who accumulated 11 championships, and well over 100 victories, with many different drivers. His father, Rod Johnson, was the inaugural Super Late Model Champion at Irwindale Speedway and won over 75 Modified features, all over the state of California. The younger Johnson has had his fair share of success as well, winning three consecutive championships at Irwindale Speedway in the Super Trucks, Late Models and finally Super Late Models, from 2009 to 2011. More recently he has served as crew chief for 2017 SRL Rookie of the Year, Ricky Schlick. This weekend, R.J. will team up with Schlick, and is excited to get back behind the wheel of a SRL Super Late Model.

“I am very excited to race at Kern (County Raceway) and be back in the SPEARS SRL Series”, Johnson told the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. “This is basically a brand new car, as we only got to run about 50 laps prior, but the motor wasn’t quite up to par. But with the new Hamner Racing Engines power plant, I think we have a good shot at having a good run.”

Johnson continued, “I have to thank Dave, with Reeves Auto Repair, Bob with Southwest Tenant Development, my dad for all the countless hours to get the car ready and my family for all their support! I can’t wait to get out there and have a blast racing with some of the best (drivers) in the country.”

While most of R.J.’s experience is at Irwindale Speedway, he also has experience at Kern County Raceway. In two NASCAR K&N Pro Series West starts at the facility, he has accumulated an average finish of tenth, including a ninth place effort this past March. It was a finish he would love to improve upon, amongst the 28 car pre-entry that he will face this weekend. Of course his ultimate goal is to bring home the $5,000 winner’s share of the purse, thanks to the Winners Bonus sponsored by COMP Cams and FAST – Fuel Air Spark Technology.

Come out to Kern County Raceway this weekend, April 14th, to watch R.J. make his return to the track. Front Gates open at 3:30 pm, with qualifying for the NASCAR Late Models, and INEX Legends beginning at 4:15pm. The on-track autograph session is set for 5:00 pm, with Opening Ceremonies scheduled for5:50pm. SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Qualifying will commence at 6:00pm with the Main Events for the NASCAR Late Models, INEX Legends and SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series following.