Salem Speedway Trials 200, July 18

The Trials 200 in Salem, Ind., was the fourth race of the season on the ASA Late Model Challenge Series circuit. American Legion/David Law Firm 76 Freedom Car driver Jerick Johnson and the rest of the race team arrived in Salem on Thursday afternoon for a show car and driver appearance. The Freedom Car was parked off of Main St. for all to see. American Legion Post 41 held a dinner for the team and community. Post members were wonderful hosts, and Celicia Miller baked a delicious 76 Freedom Car cake.

Later, the team headed to historic Salem Speedway where many drivers have met their match. This 33-degree banked race track is a sister to Bristol Motor Speedway. Action is usually fast and furious. And in turns three and four, cars often deposit paint on the outside wall. Johnson was tied for 15th in ASA Challenge Series points going into the race and was looking for a good showing. The 76 Freedom Car started out well, qualifying 10th. But what is usually guaranteed as an exciting, caution-filled race, ended up being quite different. The race was scheduled for 200 laps with a mandatory caution at lap 100. That 10-minnute intermission turned out to be the only caution of the night. Johnson wrestled his ill-handling race car to a 12th-place finish.

"It's not the finish I was hoping for this weekend, but the car is in good shape after a notorious track like Salem and we collected more points," Johnson said.