News & Multimedia

Johanna Long: All Access

Welcome to my first blog entry for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I’m excited to be given the opportunity to write about my experiences so far in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as well as my journey leading up to the Indy 250 with ML Motorsports. This year has been filled with many first time experiences, challenges and tons of excitement and I couldn’t be more eager to share it with all of you.

I’ll give you all a quick background of my career so far in racing. My dad raced Late Models when I was a little girl, so I grew up around the sport and absolutely loved everything about it. I started begging my dad to put me in a go-kart when I was five, but it took a few years of convincing him before he would give me a shot behind the wheel. When I turned eight, my dad took me to a go-kart track in Baker, FL which was a mistake on his part because I was NOT leaving without a go-kart or some type of agreement that he would let me race. He finally gave in and from that point forward I started racing and I haven’t turned back since.

My dad moved me up to the Late Model series at age 14, and by the time I was 17, I had many wins and a couple of championships under my belt. When I turned 18, my dad started his own NASCAR truck team to give me that final opportunity to reach my long-time dream of making it to the elite level, but with limited funding it was extremely tough to get to the track week in and week out so we ended up doing a partial schedule in 2011. Over the offseason, I was unsure about my future in racing because our family team was only promised five races. Then, I was introduced to Mary Louise Miller, team owner of Warsaw, Indiana based NASCAR team, ML Motorsports. We both had similar goals and were eager to pave the way for women in racing, so we hit it off really well.

My dream of racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series became a reality over the offseason as I signed with ML Motorsports to a 21-race schedule for the 2012 season. It was an awesome feeling to have someone believe in me enough to give me this opportunity. Growing up, I never imagined that I would be 20 years old racing at this level with the most talented drivers in the world at amazing tracks like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It has been a huge learning curve considering this is my rookie year. It has been all about learning the Nationwide Series cars as well as the tracks that I’ve never been to.  My main objectives are to learn and gain as much seat time and experience that I possibly can, while proving that I belong in this series. It’s extremely important to me as a driver to gain respect from my fellow competitors, the media and fans. So far, I feel like I’m gaining that respect one race at a time, which is rewarding in itself.

I’m now nine races into my season, and I feel pretty optimistic about my performances and future races. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not content with where I’m currently at, but I feel like our team continuously progresses at each race that we attend and we are anxious to continue that momentum.

I hope you all have enjoyed reading my first blog. I can write for days, but I will stop and save some of my thoughts for next week’s blog. I will call this entry my “Intro Blog.” My next blog will be all about my experiences and challenges so far in the Nationwide Series as well as my quest leading up to the Indy250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I don’t know about you all, but I’m getting EXCITED! 

-Johanna
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Johanna Long: All Access
 
Johanna Long: All Access
Read More
Related Media
Kurt Busch and Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
Hunter-Reay and Busch Team Up Again
Ryan Hunter-Reay and Kurt Busch will be teammates again Dec. 13-14 when they will represent the USA in the Race of Champions' Nations Cup at the Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados.
Read More
Brad Keselowski
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Keselowski’s Clutch Win at Talladega Seals Eliminator Berth
Brad Keselowski pulled off the improbable win in his No. 2 Ford, overcoming an early incident to climb back into the perilous Talladega drafts and then surviving the final furious laps to win by .141 of a second over Matt Kenseth. The 2012 champion advanced to the “Eliminator” round, which begins this weekend at Martinsville.
Read More
Kevin Harvick
 
Harvick Wins in Charlotte
With the dominant car in Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kevin Harvick led 162 laps and survived a wild two-lap dash to the finish after the final caution en route to his third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win of the season and a free pass into the Eliminator Round of the Chase.
Read More
Marc Marquez
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Marquez Clinches MotoGP Title at Motegi
On Sunday, the Repsol Honda rider became the youngest two-time world champion in the premier class by finishing second to Jorge Lorenzo at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan at Honda-owned Twin Ring Motegi.
Read More
Borg-Warner Trophy
 
New IMS Website Debuts
Fans of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will find a new online experience at the redesigned IMS.com.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 577
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Phil Sparks at (317) 492-6463 or email at psparks@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
#TBT: How many animals have made it to the #Indy500? Ducks, horses and cats to name a few. http://t.co/mRc6Tsiwhk http://t.co/ekazTuetOw
about 10 hours ago