Johnson family bonds over racing at Jamestown Speedway

·4 min read

Jul. 16—JAMESTOWN — Despite Father's Day already having passed, every time the Johnson family heads to the Jamestown Speedway it returns.

Since he was 13 years old, now 17-year-old Jordan Johnson has been joining his dad, Spencer, on the race track competing in the WISSOTA Street Stock races.

"My dad, he's always competitive and fast in the street stocks and it just drives me," Jordan said. "I want to be just like him, it's my goal. I want to be able to go out and win races just like my dad. It helps with him knowing so much about the class and how to set up the category and that type of stuff with me making the decision to go to a street stock."

Spencer said some of his favorite things about racing are the time he gets to spend with his family and seeing his son's progression.

"There are a lot of stuff about patience and just accepting some things that are just out of your control, you have to be able to take the good with the bad," Spencer said. "When it's good you celebrate like crazy and when it's bad you just go, 'Well, chalk that one up for experience and hope it doesn't happen again. He's having fun, I can see the juices are flowing every time he gets in the car, he's getting faster and faster and faster, every time he sits behind the wheel. That's exciting for me."

At the point of writing, Spencer sits in seventh and Jordan sits in ninth in the WISSOTA Street Stock standings. Jordan said in order for both him and his father to climb up the standings they have to consistently finish in the top five in races.

Despite competing against each other, the two said they are constantly looking out for each other on the track. That doesn't mean that the two are not looking to win every time they start a race.

"I wish I could say that he's just another competitor and I'm locked in but I'm always wondering how he's doing and watching," Spencer said. "If he's in front of me, I'm always watching how the car is handling, how he's handling the car. I told myself the last time we raced in Jamestown, which would've been July 4, he started on the outside front row for the feature, had a little bit of trouble at the beginning of the race. I started 10th and we got next to each other there a couple laps in and I was just watching how the car was handling and how he was doing and I had to tell myself, 'Nope if your car is better you need to get moving.' So I did pass him and moved up to sixth place where he finished 10th for the feature, which was still good for what had happened to him at the beginning. Without that experience of collecting your thoughts and getting back after it he got rattled a little bit and that hurt him."

During the week, the father-and-son duo go to the garage together, work on assessing the damage to their cars and fix and replace what needs to be repaired.

"He'll do his own car usually and I'll do mine but he does work out of town right now so I try to help him out when I can," Spencer said. "The nice thing is the last few races the cars have been staying pretty clean and so no damage to repair or any of that type of stuff. So, it's just now how can we tune the car to make it faster, shim here, or spring there, try something different. That's the fun part about racing is trying things different. If it worked, great. You keep going that direction. If it didn't you try something different."

Jordan said he and his father have formed a very close bond through the sport.

"The bond between my father and I because of the sport of racing is like no other," Jordan said. "It's just crazy whether it's being in the shop when he gets off of work and I get off of work till the sun goes down. It's just talking over things and explaining how the car acts and thinking of things to fix and going over parts and pieces and at the track.