Driver jerick Johnson races in bumper-to-bumper traffic at New Smyrna Speedway. Photo by James V. Carroll

Freedom Car continues strong run

For the Legion Racing team, the numbers were good. Six nights. Six races. Six top-four finishes for driver Jerick Johnson and The American Legion/David Law Firm 76 Freedom Car at The World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing in Florida. And here’s another number: Johnson is third in championship points in the Crate Late Model division with one race remaining at the New Smyrna Speedway near Daytona.

“We are very excited at the fast start to our 2011 racing season,” Johnson said, following his third-place finish Thursday night in a 25-lap feature on the half-mile oval. “The only thing we are missing is a first place.”

Johnson’s string of up-front finishes began last Thursday with a fourth-place finish. Since then he has accumulated two more fourth-place finishes, two third-place finishes and one second-place.

Johnson is also in position to capture second place in the overall points championship in his Crate Late Model 2009 Ford. Entering last night’s race, Johnson was third in points, 12 points behind second place. His third-place finish last night narrowed the gap to four points.

“All we have to do is have a decent race and take the checkered flag two spots ahead the 16 Car to finish second in points,” Johnson said. “But a win would be sweet, too – even if the 16 Car finished second. We’d trade second in points for a win here. A win would be icing on the cake.”

Johnson and crew head home to Mooresville, N.C., following tonight’s race to prepare for a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Race March 26 at Greenville Pickens Speedway, located in Greenville, S.C. It will be the Freedom Car’s first appearance at the track.