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

Wayne:  It appears in the coming months you will be starting to race in national events.  What are you doing to prepare for them?

Chase: Yes I will be driving for Van Dyke Motorsports and going to Oregon to for a ASCS National race. Seat time, I believe is the best way you can prepare for any event and these last months I have been extremely lucky on how much we have raced. I also spend time looking on the internet for videos and photos from other races on the same track. This will give me more knowledge as of to where exactly is the preferred line during a night of racing.


Wayne:  Your bio says you are a 4th generation race car driver, tell us about your family history of racing?

Chase: My family has a long line of race history. My family’s racing career started with my great grandfather, Frank Johnson. Frank is in the BCRA Hall of Fame. His son, my grandfather, Bob Johnson is a Champion Midget racer. My Uncle Rob has raced sprint cars for many years and has won a handful of races. Don, my father has raced sprint cars and a pavement modified.  I am very proud to carry on my family’s tradition in this great sport.


Wayne:  I see that you are studying mechanical engineering at SRJC.   What are your plans for the future with this line of study?

Chase: I am currently attending the Santa Rosa Junior College and am studying mechanical engineering. After 2-3 years at the SRJC my plan is to transfer to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to finish my study. Currently I am taking 14 units.


Wayne:  How do you balance racing with your education?

Chase: Well it defiantly keeps me very busy but I enjoy every second of it and wouldn’t have it any other way. M-Th I focus on school for the majority of the day and spend the nights in the shop preparing the cars for the races on the weekend. Friday-Sunday I basically spend all my time traveling to the track and at the track racing. Racing from helping getting the car ready to getting myself prepared takes up the majority of the weekend. Then my Sundays consist of driving back home or washing the car and trailer, updating my website, doing an interview for a press release, and hopefully I can sneak some time in my day to do some homework.


Wayne:  In addition to driving do you also do mechanical work on your car?

Chase: Yes, I grew up as not only a driver but a mechanic as well. My family has taught me that being a driver takes being a mechanic as well. When driving my family car I spend a great amount of time helping my Dad get the car ready to race. I believe that knowing the mechanical side of auto racing has helped me become a better driver.

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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