2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series debut eludes Johanna Long

Credit: Carol D'Agostino/Skirts and Scuffs

There was a time last year when Johanna Long, driver of the No. 03 Mike Affarano Motorsports Chevrolet, doubted whether she would ever be back racing in NASCAR. When her hot-pink Camaro rolled off the truck at Richmond International Raceway this weekend those doubts disappeared, for just a little while anyway.

“It was hard and very depressing not to be racing. I started to think that I wouldn’t get another chance to race in NASCAR,” says Johanna Long. The 22-year-old lost her ride at the end of 2013 when ML Motorsports owner Mary Louise Miller folded the team due to lack of sponsorship.

Since then Long has taken every opportunity to get in a racecar. In 2014 she competed in a dozen or so races, mostly Late Models. Despite the setback, her career goals remain intact. “I am a racer. My goal is to be in a racecar. That hasn’t changed.”

Long has used her time off the track to stay in shape – both mentally and physically. “I wanted to stay sharp since I didn’t know when I’d get back in the car. I am probably in the best physical shape that I have ever been. I stayed in touch with the sport and watched races so I could be mentally and physically prepared to get back in the car whenever that happened.”

Unfortunately, after a disappointing qualifying finish, the No. 03 team had to load up the car to go home. According to team owner Mike Affarano the team will try it again on May 17th at Iowa Speedway.

Despite yet another setback to continuing her NASCAR career, Long's enthusiasm and determination may be what keeps her going. “I have been around race tracks since I was 8. I love the sport. I love everything about racing – even the smell of the fumes. I am not giving up,” 


Carol D'Agostino is an avid NASCAR fan and Fantasy NASCAR enthusiast. Carol has been writing a weekly column called NASCAR Fantasy Fusion for Skirts and Scuffs since October 2011. She owns and operates Purple Cat, a public relations and marketing firm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. She also serves as Main Street Manager for the Town of Centreville. In addition to NASCAR, Carol is a Philadelphia Phillies fan and enjoys gardening and cooking.
2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series debut eludes Johanna Long 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series debut eludes Johanna Long Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Friday, April 24, 2015 Rating: 5