A Look a Hunter Johnson, Pro Truck Leaderadmin
Hunter Johnson Ready for More after Opening Trucks Season with a Victory
By Chuck Corder
Hunter Johnson is driving down familiar Georgia backroads when his cell rings.
The 19-year-old Proxy Equipment Pro Trucks driver is headed to dinner with girlfriend Meagan after a long day at J-Cor Trailers Sales. Still, Johnson had a few minutes before they arrived to describe what scoring a season-opening win at Five Flags Speedway earlier this month felt like.
“We went down (to Pensacola) not really knowing what to expect with the new (tire) rules,” the Griffin, Ga., native said. “We ran an old set the Curt Britt team had laying around during practice, and I liked the old set of tires. We put a new set on for qualifying and I liked ’em even more.
“The race came, and the truck was hooked up from the beginning. The truck came alive.”
Johnson hopes his family-owned No. 1 is hooked up once again Friday night when the Proxy Equipment Pro Trucks return to the famed half-mile asphalt oval and close the night with a 30-lap feature. The Faith Chapel Outlaws (35 laps) are slated to open the feature festivities following the conclusion of heat races, which start at 8 p.m. Friday. The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen (25) and Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks (20) also share the evening’s card.
The grandstands open at 5 p.m. Friday and admission is as follows: $15 for adults; $12 for seniors, military, and students; free for children 11-and-under.
Johnson is gracious with his praise for those along the way that helped him in his young career. Ultimately, though, he points to two men as influential mentors: Mark Johnson and Curt Britt.
Mark Johnson was racing dirt long before Hunter came along in 2002 and continued his career until 2010 when he sold his stuff and bought his son a go-kart.
Despite not knowing much about karts, the Johnson boys ran a couple of races toward the end of a Georgia racing season and Mark Johnson had one question for his boy.
“You sure you want to do this?” he asked Hunter, 8 years old at the time.
“Yes!” came an emphatic answer from the younger Johnson.
They bought a new kart that was race ready and begin to prosper in the next three years. Johnson switched to Legends, racing the popular series at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Ga., and other southeast tracks until he was 15.
That’s when a friend introduced Johnson to Britt, a setup wizard and the genius behind many of the Pro Trucks that compete regularly at Five Flags. Grant Thompson, last year’s series champion, was a client of Britt’s as well as several others.
“Working with Curt is amazing,” Johnson said. “He knows what he’s doing and is a fun person be around. I love hanging around with him and his family.”
Britt helps Johnson at the racetrack, assisting with tires and setup adjustments once the truck rolls off the trailer.
Last year, working with Britt, Johnson found Victory Lane once and finished second to Thompson for the track title. Johnson learned valuable lessons in his first win and first competitive season at Five Flags.
“I learned to conserve the tires better,” he said. “There were a couple races where I burnt up my stuff trying so hard to get to the lead and that first win.
“I knew we could do it. It was just a matter of time. Hopefully, we can start knocking out more and more wins.”