Race Weekend Central

Jarit Johnson Driver Diary: Getting Something Started, Expanding & Family Time

Joe Nemechek gave me an opportunity to go and run his Nationwide Series car at Nashville. It was locked in the show, so we were just trying to keep it up in the points. Joe’s guys are really great guys and he has really good equipment. So I went to Nashville and ran half the race. We had to park it due to a transmission problem. Then we went to Kentucky and I practiced the car for Joe. The orders were, “It’s in the show. Don’t wreck it.” We got it handling good, and then Joe flew in to qualify and race it. It was fun to be in a Nationwide car. I wish I could get in one more often, to get the seat time and be in that series.

As far as more races, we’re still working on things at this point. They have a great facility. The shop is cool. You walk in there and see all the win banners and the success that NEMCO has had. It’s such a bummer to see a team like that not having enough sponsorship. Shoot, they have good equipment. They have Hendrick motors. It’s just a bummer, but we’re trying to put our heads together to try to make something happen so that NEMCO Motorsports can stay in business and I can keep my driving career going. Joe and I and all those guys, we’re trying really hard to make something happen. Hopefully we can.

Right now, my K&N Pro Series team is regrouping. We’d like to go ahead and race at the fall Loudon and then Dover in the East car, that would be great. That’s what we’re looking at right now. I can’t find any money. I was successful last year, but all the smaller companies who would give us a couple thousand dollars here and a couple thousand dollars there, they can’t make that commitment now. I’ve had to back it down and focus on the business.

The All-Star Race was great. I took Connor and he had a blast. He slept about the whole next day. But it was really cool to go down there. We took him to the All-Star Race two years ago and sat in the stands, but he really didn’t get the whole concept of it. But since he’s four years old now, he knows what’s going on. He knows who Uncle Jimmie is. It was pretty neat. Jimmie took him around with him in the truck during driver introductions and then he got to sit in Jimmie’s car. So it was pretty cool for him-he had a blast! Is Connor a future driver? We’ll see what happens! Knowing how expensive it is, maybe we’ll get him a set of golf clubs and he can be the next Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson!

I’ve been working on the fabrication business. We got some new equipment to make wrought-iron railings and fences and all that good stuff. We can do yard art, yard ornaments and all that stuff. I’ve got that equipment at the shop and I’ve been playing around with that. I’m trying to grow the fabrication side of the business a bit more.

About the author

Amy is an 18-year veteran NASCAR writer and a five-time National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) writing award winner, including first place awards for both columns and race coverage. As well as serving as Photo Editor, Amy writes The Big 6 (Mondays) after every NASCAR Cup Series race. She can also be found filling in from time to time on The Frontstretch 5 (Wednesdays) and her monthly commentary Holding A Pretty Wheel (Thursdays). A New Hampshire native living in North Carolina, Amy’s work credits have extended everywhere from driver Kenny Wallace’s website to Athlon Sports. She can also be heard weekly as a panelist on the Hard Left Turn podcast that can be found on AccessWDUN.com's Around the Track page.

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