Last is First – Race, That is…
Panhandle Motorsports continues to make “firsts” at NASCAR tracks – this time at the last race weekend of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Camping World Truck Series Ford 200 (NCWTS) under the lights on Friday, November 19th. It’s also the first race at the 1.5-mile oval in the NCWTS for driver Johanna Long. The start will be her seventh NCWTS race this year, after three starts with Billy Ballew Motorsports where she logged two top 20 finishes – her best at ORP in July with 17th; and three starts with Panhandle Motorsports at Las Vegas, Martinsville and Texas. In all six of her starts, Long has qualified in the top 20 – the fastest coming at Texas Motor Speedway, qualifying 9th & making history as the highest-qualifying female at that track.
Miami Brings the “Heat” – Long Brings the “Chill”
A Blizzard Series Champion in late models, Johanna, first and foremost, looks to continue her Truck education at Texas with a veteran crew. However, noting that she’s following her Homestead-Miami Speedway attempt by racing one of the biggest late model finales of the year – the Snowball Derby -the team felt it would be appropriate to pay homage. The No. 20 Panhandle Motorsports Toyota Tundra will sport a Five Flags Speedway/Snowball Derby decal for the truck race on Friday. “I love to race the trucks, it has been quite an education this year – complete with highs and lows,” said Johanna. “After focusing so much on speedway development for me, I can’t wait to get back to a little short track racing. There is just nothing like the Derby – it’s where I came from, it’s my hometown (Pensacola, Fl). I’m happy to showcase the spirit of that whole weekend on my truck at Homestead. I don’t have lucky charms or superstitions, but maybe it will bring a little bit of luck to us!”
Tweet All About It!
A longtime Twitter user, Johanna will be hosting her second “Fan Tweetup” at Homestead Miami Speedway on Friday. Held at the Homestead Miami Speedway Fan Display at the track at 12:30pm ET, she’ll meet and greet with Twitter fans and talk shop. .
Onwards & Upwards for Bright 18-year-old
Hopeful for a Rookie season next year, Johanna is actively seeking sponsors for the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule. “This year has been amazing – to be able to get to some of the biggest tracks on the schedule – and I’d love to really show what a full year can do for my development,” she said. While I’ve got to focus on my schoolwork and finishing high school, it’s important to me to follow my dreams in NASCAR. We’ll keep trying – and if you have a company that wants to come on board, give me a call!”
A Cowboy in the Tropics – with Two Indians
Panhandle Motorsports is again enlisting the help of veteran crew chief Kevin ‘Cowboy’ Starland, who will be handling the truck chief duties for the No. 20 Panhandle Motorsports Toyota Tundra. Starland, well-known as crew chief for the No.15 Billy Ballew Motorsports (BBM) truck, has the benefit of working with drivers such as Johnny Benson, Steven Wallace & Nelson Piquet, Jr. He will also be joined at Homestead-Miami by two new “honorary crew members” – Girl Scouts Tropical Florida Council. As part of the partnership with the Girl Scouts through the weekend, the girls will have a chance to learn the ins and outs of being part of a NASCAR crew.
No. 20 Panhandle Motorsports Toyota Tundra: Chassis No.02, built by Kyle Busch Motorsports & Triad Technologies. Second track appearance by this chassis – the first being at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in September.
Crew Chief: Kevin “Cowboy” Starland
Race: Friday, November 19th, 2010 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Length: 134 laps/201 miles
Track Layout: 1.5-mile oval
TV: SPEED TV Prerace 7:30pm, Race 8pm CST; Radio: MRN Broadcast, Sirius NASCAR 128
Demi Knight Clark, Girl Friday PR & Marketing
Johanna Long & the Panhandle Motorsports No.20 Toyota Tundra