Luke Johnson a Top Contender in Area IMCA Sport Mod Ranks
Luke Johnson of Moorhead has raced everything from road hogs to Mod 4s to super stock during a career that’s spanned nearly 15 years. But it’s in the IMCA Sport Mod class where the 29-year-old has risen to the top of the area racing ranks.
He is a two-time IMCA Sport Mod track champion (2018 and 2019) at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo and was runner up at Norman County Raceway in Ada
“I definitely learned a lot,” Johnson said of racing different classes. “This class is my favorite so far. I kinda want to move up but I like where I’m at right now.”
Johnson leads the points at Norman County Raceway by eight over Rich Pavlicek of Casselton. He and Chris VanMil share the lead with two wins each at the 3/8-mile oval in Ada. He has 11 top five finishes in 13 starts this season in what has become a very competitive class locally.
“There’s very good drivers,” Johnson said. “The top 10 cars are really good. It feels good to win.”
Johnson started out in the two-person road hog division at Buffalo River Race Park as a teenager.
“James Taves — we wanted to get going racing, and we didn’t have money to put a roll cage in it. We worked for him and paid it off and that’s how it started,” Johnson said.
He went from the road hogs to the pure stock class, and then moved to the super stock class. He also raced in the Mod 4 division before moving into the sport mod class in 2016.
Since joining the class in 2016, he has 26 feature wins, including three this season. He and car builder Cody Erickson have worked to get the right set up on the #8K car.
“We’ve been getting this thing dialed in pretty good — I’d say that, and experience has really (helped),” Johnson said of the success. “It’s a combination of both of that.”
He’ll miss a few nights this summer for pre-wedding events; he and girlfriend Tyler Lashomb are engaged to be married on Sept. 25.
“I’ll race when I want and enjoy it for the year,” Johnson said.
But, since he’s leading the points at NCR, that has become a goal to win his first track title there, he said.
#8J IMCA Sport Mod
Residence: Moorhead, Minn.
Sponsors: Johnson’s Auto Repair, Randall’s Excavating, Unlimited Auto Glass, Valley Alignment and Repairs, Stalker Lake Golf Course, Bjerken Electric, Tax Man, T and E Chassis, Al’s Auto Parts, Eat Turkey, OTxteriors, BMW Homes