Johnny Walker will make a return to the Street Stock division this season at Stafford Motor Speedway. Walker is excited about the 2019 season. He won the Street Stock race at the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler last year.
Walker ran a partial schedule last year in the Street Stocks. Walker raced 10 times and won four races. Walker told 22News that it is a little tough running a partial schedule because of the handicap system when he starts so far back in the events.
“You have a lot of cars to pass and get up to the front and you’re also trying to keep the mind that these guys are racing for a championship and I am out there racing for wins and for fun,” said Walker.
Walker felt it was pretty cool racing with 2018 Street Stock Champion George Bessette, Jr last season.
“He’s a very clean driver. Very aggressive. Very clean. So it was kind of cool going toe to toe with him and seeing him flourish and get his championship,” said Walker.
We have seen drivers over the years cut back on their racing schedules whether they want to spend time with their families or do other things and just do not want to points race.
“I don’t know if it’s they don’t want to race for points as much as it’s about money everywhere you turn. Everyone’s certain for money. Sponsors don’t come as easy as they used to. I have lost one really big sponsor and one smaller sponsor. That means a lot more money is going to be coming out of pocket in 2019 unless we pick something up,” said Walker.
Walker told 22News that the 2019 season is going to be tough for him because of money and he would be racing every other Friday.
Walker does have a second car that was a Late Model from Tom Fearn. Walker hopes when money starts pouring in and putting some money behind the car to fix the car and the hope to have two cars running. Walker would keep the first car as his Street Stock at Stafford Motor Speedway and have fun with the second race car where he would start touring.
One race on his bucket list is to run the Street Stock race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Another track Walker would like to try is Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park as he has never run there before and New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Walker felt he had a great 2018 season even doing half the schedule was a little bit of a heartache to know that he had such a fast race car. When to show up with a 50 percent win ratio to him is outstanding.
“To know you have such a weapon but you know you’re financials are holding you back,” said Walker.
Walker showed up at Stafford once last season on old tires and came home with a ninth-place finish. Walker said at that point he would not be coming back unless he could afford tires. The upside of last season for Walker was able to enjoy racing in a different way and be able to kick back and help some of the other teams that have shown him a lot of respect throughout the years.
Walker’s life has been busy has he bought a house. He went back to school at Greenfield Community College to learn about machinery and working towards his engineering degree.
The NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler will take place on Saturday and Saturday. The Street Stock division will begin their Triple Crown. The 30 lap feature will take place on Saturday.