CARTERSVILLE, GA — When you mention the names of National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Inductee Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN and 411 Motor Speedway in Seymour, TN, plus the fans of both, there is just a magic that has been created. That magic was created on March 21, 2015 during the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series season opener.
Johnson drove the NeSmith Chevrolet Special powered by a Chevrolet Performance CT525 Engine to his second straight Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series National Championship in 2015.
In eight races, Johnson had one win, a series-leading six top five finishes, a series leading seven top ten finishes, a series-leading two Fast Time Awards, and a series-leading 91 laps led. The stage was set for his 2015 Championship run at the 411 Motor Speedway season opener in front of a standing room only crowd. Not even a second straight title could top this act.
Johnson rolled a left-rear tire off the wheel on the first lap of his qualifying run. As the defending series champion, Johnson took a provisional and starting 23rd in the 50-lap main event. The “Chattanooga Flash” brought the crowd to their feet by putting on a passing clinic, and taking the lead on lap 35. Johnson led the final 15 laps for the victory.
At most racing events, the crowd begins to file out to the parking lot at the drop of the checkered flag. That didn’t happen at 411 Motor Speedway on March 21, 2015. After taking the checkered flag, Johnson drove across the scales in the infield to check the weight of his race car, and then idled clockwise around the second and first turns to stop on the front straightaway.
When Johnson climbed from his race car to receive the trophy and conduct the post-race interview, he saw a rare sight. For a driver that has won hundreds of races in his 40-year career, it was a sight so rare that it actually got him a little emotional.
No one had left the grandstands. They all stayed and stood to give Ronnie Johnson a standing ovation in appreciation for what they had just witnessed. Not all of those race fans were Ronnie Johnson fans when they arrived at the track earlier in the afternoon, but they were all Ronnie Johnson fans at that moment.
Back to front victory are few and far between in dirt late model racing nowadays, but when they happen they are magic. Johnson and the fans will return to 411 Motor Speedway this Saturday night for the $3,000-to-win 50-lap 2016 Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series season opener.
The back to front victory may not happen, but there is still a special bond among the defending and two-time Chevy Super Series National Champion Ronnie Johnson, 411 Motor Speedway and the fans.
On track activities begin tonight at 411 Motor Speedway with an Open Practice Session from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. On Saturday, the pit gate opens at 1 p.m. with Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series Pre-Race Registration and Technical Inspection from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Drivers Meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. with hot laps to follow.
The Chevy Fan Zone will be open from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. where the Chevy Super Series drivers and their race cars powered by the production-based all-aluminum Corvette Racing Engine will be on hand to meet and greet the race fans, pose for photos and sign autographs. There will be a special Easter Egg Hunt for the kids in the Chevy Fan Zone at 4:30 p.m.
411 Motor Speedway is located one mile south of U.S. Highway 441 on U.S. Highway 411 at 632 Maryville Highway, Seymour, TN 37865. For more information call 865-257-7223 or visit the track web site at www.411motorspeedway.net and their Facebook page at 411 Motor Speedway.
For more information about the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series visit the series web site at www.525superseries.com, or visit the series on Facebook at Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series.
-Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series Press Release
-Photo Credit: Adam Stewart