JOHNNY CLARK HAS SOUTHERN GOALS STILL LEFT TO ACCOMPLISH by MikeTwist
Beating the Best in the Business Still On PASS Champion's Mind
Johnny Clark is fresh off a championship season in PASS Pro Stocks (Super Late Models) and he is widely acknowledged as being one of the young stars of short track racing, but a racer has to have his goals for the futrue right?
“We are getting recognized nationwide in PASS,” said Clark. “When we went down to North Carolina, people took notice that we finished second to Freddie. We should have beat him, but that didn’t happen. So we are going back and I will keep going back until I beat him.”
When Clark’s PASS season allows him too, Clark will head back to Concord for another shot at the master. So far, he’s made pretty steady progress.
“I will definitely go back,” said Clark. “Two years ago down there, Query smoked us. Last year, we were able to give him a run for his money. He told me after the race that I had him nervous there for a few laps. That meant quite a bit because I don’t think too many people have had him very nervous lately. He’s the man when it comes to Concord. That is for sure.”
There have been a lot of drivers, from Charlie Bradberry to Ted Christopher, who have gone on record with the goal of beating Query. But in talking with Clark, you realize that his comments aren’t about trash talking, but rather setting the goal of going head-to-head with a guy that he respects and being able to see if he can be just a little bit better.
Clark had a strong run at Concord in the fall.
The relationship that Clark has with Query goes back a few years.
“It’s cool,” said Clark. “He came up here and raced with us at the Big Dawg [a one-time big money race held in Maine twoseasons ago] and I’ve gone there and run with him a couple of times.”
Clark looks forward to any chance that he'll get to go back to North Carolina and race.
One thing that Clark really hopes is that the rumors that he has heard about a track reconfiguration aren’t true.
“I’ve heard that the track management is thinking about taking out the dogleg,” said Clark. “I hope that they don’t. I wouldn’t have the drive to get back down there if they took that out. Right now, it’s a fast Unity [Raceway] with a dogleg,” said Clark. “I love it.”
Because of Clark's PASS title defense he probably won't be returning to Concord until this fall.
When Speed51.com recently caught up with Clark at the track, he was open about the things that he would like to accomplish in racing. More PASS victories and a win in the Banknorth 250 are on top of that list, but there is another thing that sticks out in Clark’s mind.
That is a trip down south to beat one of the best short trackers in the country, Freddie Query, on his home turf of Concord Motorsport Park. The rivalry heated up last season when Clark went down to Concord and finished second to Query in the Asphalt World Championships, a late-season open show at the track.
Query winning at Concord last fall. Clark wasn't far behind