10/30/2005 Bakersfield, CA -
For Big Yohns Racing the Goodguys 7th Fuel & Gas Finals will
be remembered as their final race with the "Big Wheel"
Jr. Fuel dragster that Ron and Kol Johnson have fielded for the
last five years. In 1999 Ron Johnson decided he wanted to go
racing again and the VRA Jr. Fuel class fitted his bill. Unlike
others, Ron didn't just talk about it - he did it. Along with
son Kol, daughter Connie, Marc McCormick and several drivers
he gave his best to be competitive in the class. Over the years
they had mixed results filled with lots of good times and now
he's ready to move on.
A littile history: the car had
five drivers besides Kol. The former owner Bob Killmar made the
first pass after Ron bought it. Howard Haight made the second
run in the car, at Carlsbad, testing out the Cygnus computer.
Howard also drove two NHRA events in Comp Eliminator in 2002.
Jim Swedberg drove the car for its first two races, the 1999
CHRR and the 2000 March meet. Mendy Fry drove for the 2001 season.
Marc McCormick licensed in the car and ran an 1/8th mile bracket
race at Barona. As a matter of fact, Johnson probably the only
Goodguys Series/CHRR car owner to have two previous drivers who
are in the NTF 250 Club, Howard and Mendy.
In 2003, they won Goodguys Sonoma
race, led the points and set top time and low e.t. at every event
until McKray/Enriquez out e.t'd them and took the points lead
at the last race. The Johnson's finished second. Then went on
to win the Goodguys Nitro Nationals at Pomona in 2004.
The entire Jr. Fuel operation
is for sale and Ron just wants to have fun with his Shubert &
Herbert A/FD recreation at Cacklefest events. Who can blame him.
After a 45 year evolvement in drag racing Big Yohns deserves
a break and like he says, "I can load Shoobie by myself,
tow it by myself and start it by myself... how easy is that?"
Nonetheless, here is Ron and
Kol's last hurrah at VRA competitive racing.
The swan song
started with the first qualifying session on Friday when Ron
brought Kol into the water box for his burnout.
After the burnout
Kol backs up with the direction of Marc McCormick and his dad,
Ron guides Mark to get
Kol into his tracks.
Final tweaks before staging.
Johnson rolls the lights but
still cards a 7.912 at 177.69. Not what they were looking for
but good enough to make the show.
two was Friday afternoon.
Kol left hard and improved
his position with a nice 7.475 at 179.42.
Big Yohns Racing
hosted a Barbeque for the Junior Fuelers on Friday night. Ron
provided about 120 pounds of "Prime" Prime Rib and
they barbequed all day. They had "Pot Luck" for side
dishes and desserts etc. Had about 100 people join them.
dispenser contained the "infamous" 202 blend created
by Chris Karamesines. It is Ouzo and Green Chartreuse and the
202 refers to the proof count of the two ingredients. It is meant
The third and
final qualifying session was held early Saturday afternoon. Johnson
was already in the show but was trying to improve.
up from the burnout.
In spite of a turn-up change
Kol did not improve running a 7.499 at 178.67 leaving him in
the # 5 qualifying position.
First round of
eliminations on Sunday morning paired Kol Johnson with Fred Notkza.
makes what would be his last burnout in the Big Wheel Jr. Fueler.
last back up.
first but his 7.831 at 166.29 was not enough to hold off Notkza's
super strong 7.232 at 183.82.
And so ended another chapter
in Big Yohns Racing career. Seven years and a lot of fun in VRA