Luke Johnson has quickly made a name for himself in the Pro Buggy Class of the Traxxas TORC Pro Series and if this past weekend in Bark River, MI was any indication, he’s not going to slow down any time soon. His first win in the class at Eldora Speedway earned him a snapshot on top of the podium and now after back-to-back-to-back wins at Bark River International Raceway, he’s got a whole lot more smiling to do.
The heavy rains that swept through the Midwest in early May wiped out an entire night of racing at Eldora Speedway in New Weston, OH. Bark River International Raceway hosted the make up Round 3 and Luke put on quite a show for the rowdy Michiganders. Luke was one of the front runners early, driving wheel to wheel with Andy Zipperer and John Frana. Turn-by-turn, Johnson drove his way in to perfect position to make a move on the leader. “I just had to be smart, trying to figure out where I could make the move on Andy, who did not make it easy. He made a mistake at the last second and I was able to make the pass,” commented Johnson. Following his win at Eldora, Luke separated himself further in overall points right out the gate.
Take note that Luke Johnson confirmed his Pro Buggy program only days before Eldora. To come out and smoke the field of 8 buggies is a huge testament to his crew and sponsors that came on board to join him for the 2013 season.
Five laps is all it took on Saturday for Luke to earn his second win on the weekend. By the halfway point, Luke had already made his moves and was out front, where he would stay for the remainder of the race. His PEAK Motor Oil Red Bull Undead Power #14 Pro Buggy didn’t go uncontested, however, as competitor John Frana pushed Luke to keep the pace he was setting. “Today we grabbed another win, stayed consistent and getting on the box. I knew Frana wasn’t going to let me rest in the second half of the race,” a humbled Johnson explained.
On any normal race weekend, two wins earn you bragging rights until the next round. However, with one last day of racing, Luke was not content and sought to build on the already accomplishing weekend. “Hopefully we make it three-for-three this weekend,” Johnson, anxiously waiting to take the track.
Unlike the previous two days, Johnson would have to come from behind if he wanted to complete the hat trick of wins. Rival John Frana had his four-wheel drive buggy dialed in but Luke proved that the most important element in racing is the driver himself. Luke focused on the opportunity to make a personal best in his racing career and found the right lines to overcome Frana to took the checkered flag for the third time on the weekend.
“I can’t believe we pulled it off. We are four for four. I had two of the best races of my career here at Bark River and I really had to work for it. Peak Motor Oil, Undead Power, Red Bull, BF Goodrich Tires, Replay cameras, everyone has been so instrumental in getting me to this point,” an ecstatic Luke Johnson exclaimed as father, Ricky Johnson, celebrated with his overjoyed son beside his #14 Pro Buggy. Luke now sits twenty six points ahead of second place, JR Wheeler, in the 2013 overall points championship in Pro Buggy.
The Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL continues on June 29th-30th at Crandon International Off Road Raceway. Luke is already getting his taste of the northern woods of Wisconsin, as he skipped out on traveling back to his home base in Southern California and headed directly for Crandon. Having already tested on Tuesday, Luke will be spending the next 8 days prepping his #14 PEAK Motor Oil Red Bull Undead Power Pro Buggy to keep his unbeaten streak alive at The Big House.
Sponsor Undead Power has partnered with Luke to run a special online promotion. Go to www.lenmar.com and enter discount code “LJ14” to receive 10% off purchases. 10% of all Powered by Lenmar products purchased will also go to Luke Johnson’s new Pro 2 Truck!
Photography by Mike Roth