Driver Jerick Johnson and The American Legion/David Law Firm 76 Freedom Car arrived at New Smyrna Speedway in style fitting royalty Wednesday afternoon.
Nearly 50 American Legion Riders from northern Florida met the race team at the Georgia-Florida state line. The Riders escorted the 76 Freedom Car the final 100 miles to New Smyrna Speedway near Daytona.
“It was really awesome to see all the Riders, motorcycles and support vehicles waiting for us at the Florida Welcome Center,” Johnson said. “It make us feel sort of special, and we appreciate the effort it must have taken to put this all together.”
The 76 Freedom Car is in Florida to participate in as many as nine races in nine days at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at the half-mile oval New Smyrna Speedway. During the same week of racing last year, Johnson finished seventh in overall points.
“We brought two cars with us this week so we can be in a position to race every day,” Johnson said. “We were in the wrong place at the wrong time a couple of races last year. One time we lost the entire driver side sheet metal. And another time our nose was ripped off. But we still managed to pull off a seventh-place finish in the race series.”
Once at the track Wednesday, the Legion Riders wanted a picture of them around the 76 Freedom Car. That request presented a problem. Wednesday, race teams were permitted to choose their infield pit area, but not permitted to unload cars from the haulers. After discussion with track officials, Johnson’s crew unloaded the black POW/MIA paint scheme 76 Freedom Car from the hauler, and the Riders got their photo opportunity.
Today is a practice day, and the first race is scheduled for Friday evening under the lights. Keep up to date on race results here. http://www.legion.org/racing