Johnson Chases For Checkered Flag: An interview with Petaluma’s Chase Johnson

Chase Johnson from Petaluma is a 4th generation race car driver.  He started his racing career at the early age of 5 and won six championships racing Outlaw Karts.   Today, thirteen years later, he has 150 feature main event wins and 7 championships.  Today he competes in high level sprint car racing and in 2012 was crowned Pit Stop USA Sprint Car Series Champion at Petaluma Speedway.  A 2013 graduate of Petaluma High School, his peers named him “Most Likely to Go Pro” in Student Standouts section of his senior yearbook. However his racing and life came to an abrupt halt on the night of March 16, 2013 during a practice session when his sprint car’s steering wheel malfunctioned causing him to lose control of his vehicle.  This terrible accident resulted in the death of his fourteen year old cousin, who also raced and was like a brother to him, and a 68 year old car owner who loved being at the track. In this interview you will learn about how Chase is doing today and how he has a changed view as a person and a competitor. Just this weekend Johnson charged to his first Podium of the Season at Petaluma Speedway placing third in the featured race.

Wayne:  How does it feel to start your season off with two straight top 5’s?

Chase:  It feels great, it has just pushed me even harder to improve and get closer to a win.

Wayne:  Your car number is 24 – is there any significance to that number?

Chase: Yes I chose that number because I looked up to Jeff Gordon. He drove the number 24 when I was growing up and still is today in NASCAR. I look up to Jeff for many of reasons but the major one was that his career path was a lot similar to mine today. He started racing quarter midgets young in California and progressed into sprint cars and midgets which then took him to the stock car world to be a NASCAR driver. My path was I started running Outlaw Karts at age 5, then moved into the Sprint Car at age 14.

3 thoughts on “Johnson Chases For Checkered Flag: An interview with Petaluma’s Chase Johnson”

  1. I have an 18 year-old, ready to graduate PHS student who’s been driving and wrenching all his life. It’s great to see Chase Johnson go after his passion and express gratitude and recognition to his family. His accident was heart breaking and tough for anyone to overcome . . . glad to see he’s back on track . . .

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