ST. PETERS, Mo. — It’s about to be a brave new world for 15-year-old Sam Johnson, and the dirt go-kart standout is looking forward to every minute of it as he transitions into the next stage of his young racing career.
Johnson was revealed Wednesday as the newest member of the potent Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports national midget team, and will compete full-time on the USAC National Midget Series trail in 2018, as well as in select POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League events during his rookie season in the midget ranks.
The Missouri young gun, who has also spent time in a pavement late model at Lebanon I-44 Speedway and scored a highlight go-kart victory at the Midwest MAXX Daddy Race of Champions in the Jr. 3 class earlier this season, is eager to embark on his next chapter as he advances into bigger machinery on a regular basis for the first time.
“It’s pretty exciting, and I won’t lie, it’s crazy to think about the fact that this is what we’re doing next year,” said Johnson of the emotions he felt when announcing his move to the Kunz team.
“This is a huge opportunity and I can’t thank everyone involved enough for giving me the chance to make this step into one of the best teams in the sport. I’m looking forward to getting out on-track and getting some laps under my belt, so I can get comfortable in the car and adjust to the different feel of driving a midget. It’s a big jump, but one I’m excited to make and I’m looking forward to performing and showing everyone what I can do.”
Johnson said that the opportunity to drive for the six-time and defending Chili Bowl champions came about largely due to his older brother Adam, who had spent time driving on the CRA JEGS All-Stars Tour in the past near Indianapolis and made an inquiry to the KKM shop over the summer when he was in the area for a pick-up basketball tournament.
“This all started back in July, actually. Adam was up in Indiana for a basketball tournament and called up to Keith’s shop, just curious to see what was out there and if there were any openings,” explained Johnson. “He was able to meet with them and talked over some details … and then it kinda went black for a while after that.”
“Fast forward two or three months later, and Adam went up to PRI and talked to Keith again … and we’ve ended up getting everything together and sealing the deal. It’s been a process, but it’s definitely a relief to have everything lined up and ready to go.”
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