Thursday, July 22, 2010

Johanna Long Makes Truck Series Debut at ORP

ballew MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 19, 2010) – The AAA Insurance 200 will mark Johanna Long’s debut in one of NASCAR’s top-three series.  The Pensacola, Fla., native will drive the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports (BBM) Toyota Tundra at the famed O’Reilly Raceway Park in her first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series outing.

Long has already collected an impressive list of racing accomplishments.  At only 18 years old, she touts Late Model championships in the Blizzard Series and Gulf Coast Series from the 2009 season. Long won five of the 36 events she ran en route to her championships and captured the pole for the esteemed Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in 2009. Long also competed in two ARCA events last season.

Long has tested with BBM twice.  She worked with the No. 15 team at Caraway (N.C.) Speedway and Gresham (Ga.) Motorsports Park (GMP) in preparation for her inaugural NASCAR race. While at GMP, Long clicked off the fastest lap time at the half-mile asphalt oval. Her time of 17.218 seconds was the quickest among NASCAR’s top-three series since the facility was repaved last season.
Long will carry the colors of John Andretti’s Race 4 Riley event on the hood of her truck. Thanks to people like John Andretti and Dave Wilson, and their support of Riley Hospital for Children, we’re one step closer to every child having an equal chance of growing to adulthood. The three-day Race 4 Riley event begins on Wednesday, July 21 with donations going to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Long Comments on the AAA Insurance 200:

“I’m really excited to go racing trucks.  I’ve been racing Late Models my whole life and this is the next step.  I’m ready to take it.

“After a few test sessions, I’ve learned that Late Models are a lot different than trucks. Late Models are a lot lighter, and when you go in the corners, you can slam on the brakes and turn the car wherever it needs to go. You have to be a little easier in the trucks. They’re a little lazy.  You have to let off the gas and then start turning it. It’s a lot different to get used to.

“I’ve been to ORP before in Late Model competition.  It’s an awesome race track. It’s definitely a racer’s track. The turns are really wide, so you’re all over the place. I did pretty well with my Late Model, so I’m excited to go back.”

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