Johnny Lindquist invited to Super Nats
Castle Dale resident Johnny Lindquist broke into kart racing when he was 12 years old. He was a relatively old man for just entering the game. Kart racers usually begin at age 5. Even with his late arrival, he has done very well against more experienced, as well as, in some cases, older drivers.
Johnny's racing debut came in Price at the Desert Thunder Raceway. He had an eight horsepower yard kart and raced on the dirt track there. His first year, in 2005, he raced 11 times and won 10 of those races. He continued to race in the junior class during the 2006 season and took second place overall.
When Johnny turned 14, he was no longer eligible, because of age, to race in Price and didn't race for the 2007 season. During the break, Johnny and his dad, John, began work on a new kart. They had done some research and decided to look into racing on the asphalt track at Grand Junction Motor Speedway. So a sprint kart was undertaken.
John talked with Stacey Cook, the owner of the track in Grand Junction and found out what was needed to make the transition to asphalt. Johnny's first sprint kart was a CRG Italian chassis with a Parella Leopard 125 c.c., 28 horsepower, two stroke engine.
One weekend, John, Johnny, and mom Marie, went to Miller Sports Park in Tooele to do some practice there. Johnny was invited to race in the Rodizio Grill race. He took second place.
Johnny began touch and go (TAG) sprint kart racing when he was 15. In June 2008, Johnny took second place in the junior class in the club championship and then fifth at the TAG sprint world championships in Colorado. "I watched Johnny before a race. Most of the other racers where very excited and nervous, chewing their fingernails. But Johnny would just sit in his kart and think about the race. He does not get all stressed out like the others. He just stays quiet and reviews the track in his mind. Sometimes he will catch a short nap and rest up to prepare for the race," said John.
Johnny raced all summer in Grand Junction and Denver races. He was gaining experience for the big one, the Super Kart USA Nationals in Las Vegas, Nev. That race would draw racers from all over the world and was by invitation only. He received that invitation. The Super Nats were held in November and the entire family went to watch, help in the pits, and cheer Johnny on. "This is the biggest international race in the country," said John. "There were racers from Canada, Australia, just all over the world." In his first international race, Johnny took 28th in a field of 55 which includes racers of all ages from all over the world.
"I am looking forward to March when the season opens again. I am changing to race the stock moto shifter class. These are karts which have six gears," said Johnny. He will be based out of Grand Junction and race around the intermountain West for the summer season.
John said, "We are so grateful to Vance Jensen, our neighbor. He has worked countless hours over the past four years helping Johnny with his karts. Also Stacey Cook and his brother Darren, from Grand Junction, for their help. The karting club at Grand Junction is so helpful. Everyone helps each other with parts or whatever you need. Everyone is willing and helps each other."