Race Weekend Central

Jarit Johnson Driver Diary: Behind the Scenes, Still Searching & A New Niece

It’s not easy or cheap to run a race team. You’ve got all the overhead. The way we raced last year we made ends meet and were still competitive. We relied on volunteers and sponsors to provide us the parts and pieces we needed. Some of the teams at the racetrack in the K&N Pro Series with sponsors are at the track with 30 or 40 grand to go racing that week.

Last year, I think we did most of our races for like $7,000. That’s where I have to look at the business too. I’ve got to pay the bills, all the utilities and the rent. We do a lot with a little, which can be frustrating at times. Trying to find the money is tough right now. So, we are racing when we can.

We do have a lot to offer sponsors. We can entertain employees and clients at the track. Online marketing, PR/media exposure, there are lot of things we can offer a company most of which have little to do with the actual racing. We are a race team, but we operate like a marketing company. There is a lot that comes with a package and it can be done for much less cost than many other teams. There are also television opportunities. Everybody in the K&N Series does a good job with the TV stuff, the TV package is great. We’ve got our hopes up and we’re going to try to be at Loudon and Dover.

For me, I’ve got to stay in shape for driving. I drove Joe Nemechek’s Nationwide car at Nashville and Kentucky. I’ve got a late model here that I wasn’t going to run this year, but we’re thinking about maybe going to run that a few times.

I’ve had a few drivers rent out my late model team. Max Papis did a few months ago and recently I had a young driver in the car. I’ve been trying to coach him in the late model at Hickory. We went last weekend, and unfortunately he got wrecked and tore the car up, so we’re in the process of putting that back together.

Our East cars are here in the shop with new bodies hung on them and they’re getting ready to go out and get painted. Hopefully we can send the motor out and get it freshened. I have my regular business, too, and I’ve got some other things going on with that business to try and bring in some extra money to make it to the races.

We went down and saw Genevieve, our new niece, a couple days after she was born and we had a good time with her! She’s beautiful! Jimmie and Chani are ecstatic and they are enjoying it, and the baby is as healthy as can be. We might make a trip down this weekend to visit since they’re at home and back in the comfort zone. It’s pretty cool to be an uncle and I know Jimmie’s having a blast becoming a parent.

Any sponsors out there wanting to put together a NASCAR marketing program should give us a call. Let’s go racing!

About the author

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Amy is an 20-year veteran NASCAR writer and a six-time National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) writing award winner, including first place awards for both columns and race coverage. As well as serving as Photo Editor, Amy writes The Big 6 (Mondays) after every NASCAR Cup Series race. She can also be found working on her bi-weekly columns Holding A Pretty Wheel (Tuesdays) and Only Yesterday (Wednesdays). A New Hampshire native whose heart is in North Carolina, Amy’s work credits have extended everywhere from driver Kenny Wallace’s website to Athlon Sports. She can also be heard weekly as a panelist on the Hard Left Turn podcast that can be found on AccessWDUN.com's Around the Track page.

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