Gunner Johnson: Mini Stock Champ Seeks First Late Model Win

Gunner Johnson: Mini Stock Champ Seeks First Late Model Win

Earlier in his career, Gunner Johnson had made a name for himself in Kentucky by racking up RWD mini stock wins. However, he’s still chasing his first 604 late model victory since entering the class in 2021. Johnson hopes this Friday might offer that breakthrough moment, when the Dirt2Media American All-Star Series Presented by PPM Racing Products rolls into Ponderosa Speedway in Junction City, Kentucky.

In 2020, Johnson won 10 mini stock features. The next year, he scored 11 and a track championship at Lake Cumberland Speedway in Burnside, Kentucky. He then sold his beloved mini stock and went 604 late model racing. It’s been an adjustment for the 21-year-old out of Olive Hill, Kentucky.

(For more on the mini stock, read “Gunner Johnson: Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow”.)

“It takes some time to get used to,” said Johnson of getting acclimated to late models. “Getting the feel of the car up on the bars, that’s the biggest thing, because they don’t do that in mini stocks.”

There’s also more tire, more power, and more competition.

Nevertheless, Johnson hasn’t given up. After wrecking his car last year, and competing only in a handful of races as the result, he returned to 604 late model racing this season.

This past weekend, Johnson raced with the American All-Stars. At his home track of Willard Speedway in Kentucky, he came home with his best series finish yet, a fifth, against stiff competition.

“It boosted my confidence, for sure,” Johnson said of his performance at Willard Speedway. “[The finish puts me] on top of the world.”

With some pep now in his step, Gunner Johnson heads to Ponderosa Speedway on Friday, August 4. There he’ll once again compete against the touring stars of the Dirt2Media American All-Star Series presented by PPM Racing Products.

As Mike Marlar shown in a World of Outlaws Late Models race at Ponderosa Speedway, track experience can be a huge advantage, and Johnson has that when it comes to the Junction City, Kentucky, track.

(For more on Marlar’s race at Ponderosa Speedway, read “Mike Marlar: What Contributed to his 22nd to 1st Run”.)

Outside Groove Note of Transparency: Outside Groove is a sponsor of the American All-Star Series. The American All-Star Series paid for the production of this article. The content is not subject to the approval of the American All-Star Series.