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.




Ron guides Mark to get Kol into his tracks.



Touch down!


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.



Session 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.


This beverage 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 to sip.





The third and final qualifying session was held early Saturday afternoon. Johnson was already in the show but was trying to improve.





Backing 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.


Kol makes what would be his last burnout in the Big Wheel Jr. Fueler.




Kol's last back up.



Ron's last alignment.






Johnson left 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 Jr. Fuel.

   Big Yohns History - Photographer/Writer 

The Early Years - Racing

Sonoma Win || Pomona Win

2004 CHRR  ||  40th NHRA World Finals  ||  Inyokern 2005
2005 NHRR  ||  2005 CHRR  ||  2005 Fuel & Gas Finals
Shubert & Herbert Riceman Replica

"TV" Tommy Ivo Barnstormer
Shubert & Herbert Recreation  ||  Shubert & Herbert CHRR
ChiZler 204 Restoration ||  ChiZler V Recreaton


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