Three months removed from her first start in two years at the Snowflake 100, Johanna Long Robbins will get back behind the wheel once again for the Alabama 200 in March. She will be behind the wheel of the Ronny Kittle-owned No. 18 just like at the Snowflake, while receiving support from Ronnie Sanders.
While she is a former Allen Turner Pro Late Model Series champion with wins at Five Flags, Mobile and South Alabama Speedway, this will be her first trip to Montgomery in a Pro Late Model, as well as her Alabama 200 debut.
There is already some familiarity between Robbins and Sanders, with husband Hunter Robbins driving for the Georgia legend in the Super Late Model ranks.
“I’m excited for it. Hunter races for him so we’re close to them. It’s actually Ronny Kittle’s car I’m racing, we ran the same car at the Snowflake and it had a lot of speed,” Robbins told Speed51. “We’re just excited to just go and have some fun.”
While the 2010 Snowball Derby champion has competed at the half-mile in the past, those races were in a Super Late Model. Robbins has taken part in two Southern Super Series races at Montgomery in 2013 and 2015, with a best finish of seventh.
“It’s actually been a while since I’ve been there and I’ve only been there twice, so I don’t have the experience. Having some laps around there will be nice but I haven’t raced these past couple years. It’s just exciting to get back in the car and gain some experience again and get familiar with it.”
Robbins’s time behind the wheel has been limited since her and Hunter started a family, spending the bulk of that time in a Pro Late Model to help her stay sharp behind the wheel. Among those starts include a second at Mobile in October 2018 and an eighth in the Snowflake 100 later that year.
While still on a limited schedule, the 2021 season will see her get back behind the wheel of a Pro Late Model for more races after the Alabama 200.
“It’s always fun to have something to look forward to again. I’m just really thankful for the opportunity, my husband helped me out a lot in letting me do this. It’s a lot of fun.
“We’re actually going to run a couple Pro Late Model races along with our Super schedule with Hunter. I’m excited to get going this year, hopefully I’ll get to run a couple more times than I did last year and get better.”
While her experience at Montgomery is limited, she will be surrounded with people who have had success at the facility. Sanders is a multi-time Show Me The Money Series champion as a car owner and crew chief, while Robbins is a two-time series champion as a driver.
Ten years removed from arguably the most popular Snowball Derby win in the race’s history, Robbins is looking for another big victory.
“That would be huge. It’s about a long race and survival. Hunter actually has a lot of experience around that racetrack, he’s one of the best there, so having him there helping me with what I need to do to be fast. It’s mainly about going out and having fun, getting the experience and being there at the end.”
Broadcast information for the Alabama 200 will be released in the days leading up to the 57th Annual Alabama 200.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo