For the second straight year in 2019, the ARCA Midwest Tour championship battle came down to the wire, with Casey Johnson prevailing over Austin Nason for his first championship with the tour. Johnson starts his championship defense Saturday as the Midwest Tour gets set to kick off their at Grundy County Speedway.
While the ARCA Midwest Tour has yet to start their campaign for 2020, the same can’t be said for Johnson. He has competed across the state of Wisconsin and into Indiana for an ARCA/CRA Super Series race at Anderson Speedway, with one win to show for it at Slinger Super Speedway in the middle of June.
As his schedule has gotten busy behind the wheel, the itch to compete with the Midwest Tour has remained.
“I’m extremely excited, that’s our biggest series up here in the Midwest,” Johnson told Speed51. “To be delayed here as long as it has, we’ve all been itching to get out there.”
Johnson has two previous starts at Grundy County with the Midwest Tour, with a best finish of seventh in 2018 to show for it. After the series took the year off from going to the Illinois 1/3-mile, he looks forward to getting back to Grundy for the Wayne Carter Classic.
“It’s a rough little bullring, it races like the Dells up here. I’ve been down there two or three times and I love the place. I can’t wait to get there.”
The 2020 season has brought a few changes to Johnson. Former ASA Challenge Division champion Travis Dassow and car owner Dennis Chase joined forces to compete across the upper Midwest and at select events outside the region with Johnson behind the wheel. The partnership has already paid off well with a win.
“It’s gone really well, we’ve only ran two or three races but we’ve got a win and some fast times. The car’s got a lot of speed. With Travis and Dennis Chase teaming up together and letting me drive that thing, I think it’s going to be pretty good.”
Johnson will have a chance to become the first repeat ARCA Midwest Tour champion since Ty Majeski won four straight from 2014 to 2017. He says the championship will once again come down to one thing.
“Consistency, that’s all it’s going to come down to. All the races are over 100 laps and anything can happen,” he stated. “You’ve just got to make sure the car’s underneath you and use your head and you normally come out on top.”
Speed51 will provide coverage of the ARCA Midwest Tour season opener at Grundy County Speedway. Stay tuned for more details regarding that coverage.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo