LUCAMA, NC – Ethan Johnson is hoping to become a dominant driver in the Bandolero class at Southern National Motorsports Park in 2017.
The 13-year-old from Apex, North Carolina has won races at Southern National Motorsports Park as well as at East Carolina Motor Speedway. This season, the landscape in the Bandolero division has changed and Johnson could be poised for a breakthrough season.
“We’re gonna try to run the full season,” Johnson said. “We’re gonna travel to three different tracks, Wake County, Southern National and East Carolina. Hopefully we can get a nice amount of wins this year. I think we’re going to have a better chance this year than last year.”
Johnson is usually a contender when he’s competing in a Bandolero race, whether it’s at Southern National or elsewhere. Last season, he scored eight podium finishes at Southern National’s regular season, which included a win in September.
Johnson’s consistency, however, is not the only reason he could be a dominant force.
In the past five years, Blaise Brinkley has dominated in the Bandolero division with countless wins and a handful of championships. This year, Brinkley will be competing in Limited Late Models, making room for some new faces in victory lane.
“I think we can pull off a nice amount of wins,” Johnson remarked. “We had a strong car when we went to go test and ran some nice laps early in the year that we never ran last , that took us a few races to get to last year. Since Blaise Brinkley moved up, I think we’re going to have a decent shot. Just need to see which of our other competitors can pull something off this year.
“I think we have a really good shot at getting wins and hopefully a couple championships.”
Johnson was one of a handful of Bandolero drivers to practice ahead of Sunday’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Season Opener presented by Rockside Tire of Smithfield, which will commence at 3pm. The 20 lap Bandolero race is the second feature on the seven race card.
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