Johanna Long is the 2009 Blizzard Series Champion!
September 25, 2009 - Johanna Long, the 17-year-old Pensacola, Florida driver, continues to run with the big boys of racing. Make that win against the big boys. She became the first woman to clinch the Blizzard Series Super Late Model points championship Friday night at Five Flags Speedway. Long finished fourth to win the title by just 5 points over Augie Grill, who won his second straight Blizzard race.
A year after winning the Pro Late Model championship at 16 years old, she's now the Blizzard Series champion at 17. "It's awesome, a dream come true," Long said as the fans roared their approval. "I never thought I'd be here. My family and my crew have supported me all season. It's just great."
Grill was the fastest qualifier and dominated the race, leading all 100 laps. Long started second and stayed in that position for the final 13 laps to clinch the title. "I told my crew on the radio that I wasn't going to do anything to lose one more position," Long said. "My whole goal this whole race was to stay out of trouble and win the championship."
Long's father, Donald Long an accomplished driver in his own right and who still runs from time to time, didn't even race Friday night so they could focus on Johanna's performance. In the end, Donald, his family and the Panhandle Motorsports crew celebrated a championship with his daughter. "We had some good fortune," Donald Long said. "It's good when a plan comes together."
Next up for Johanna will be: A flight to the Kansas Speedway early next Thursday morning October 1st, to spend the day as a role model and mentor to 600 area Girl Scouts at the ARCA REMAX Series "Kansas Lottery 150" then back home to Pensacola, Florida before the Long family heads North once again to North Carolina as Johanna will compete in the "American 200" ARCA race at Rockingham Speedway in Rockingham, N.C., on Oct. 11 where she will drive the Grandmarubys.com, D'Hondt Motorsports, Toyota Camry.
After stops in Winchester, In on October 18th and Nashville Fairgrounds on November 1st, to race against the Super Late Model's best once again, On December 6th, Johanna will be back home in Pensacola as the Panhandle Motorsports team gears up for a Showdown in the Superbowl of Super Late Model racing - "The Snowball Derby"
Quite a whirlwind schedule for such a talented young lady and rising star.