Johnson enjoys chance to travel, dominates in IMCA Wild West Northern SportMod Tour

1st Class Chassis Wild West Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod Tour Champion Michael John­son. (Photo by Melissa Coker, Melissa’s Out On A Limb Photography)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Looking for a one-word description for Michael Johnson’s charge to the championship in the 1st Class Chassis Wild West Tour for Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods?

Try dominating.

The Bakersfield, Calif., driver won six of the eight events, towing nearly 3,000 miles one way to tour doubleheaders in Wyoming, Nevada and Utah.

“I had never been to any of the four tracks before. My brother (and eventual tour runner-up) Kevin and I decided we wanted to have fun this year, do something different and take the family along,” Johnson said. “Winning this tour is something that I can look back on that was pretty cool and that we got to race at a bunch of tracks we normally wouldn’t have to do it.” 

After winning on opening night and running fourth at Sweetwater Speedway, Johnson swept twinbills at Winnemucca Regional Raceway and Diamond Mountain Speedway.

He ran his winning streak to five, then finished second behind his brother in the finale at Desert Thunder Raceway. Johnson is the only driver with multiple wins in the 17-race history of the North­ern SportMod portion of the tour.

“I’m not a fan of big tracks. Winnemucca is about the closest to what I’m used to running close to home,” he said. “We had a lot of fun on the tour and got to race with a lot of good drivers.” 

Despite two months away from the track due to Covid-19 shutdowns, Johnson more than doubled his career win total coming into the season, complementing 15 feature victories with another nine top five’s in just 26 starts.

“I’m a firm believer in prep work,” said Johnson, 10th in national point standings. “A good mainte­nance program is huge and it really paid off for us this year.” 

Starts-8 Wins-6 Additional Top Fives-2

His Crew: Father Bruce, brother Kevin, wife Erin, children Clayton, Abbie and Emilie, and Scooter Black.

His Sponsors: All Lit Up Graphix, RPM Collision Center, Skinny’s Automotive, Randy’s Sewing, Victory Circle Race Cars and Sivesind Suspension, all of Bakersfield; Olson’s Racing Engines of Hanford; and Eibach Springs of Corona.