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Michelin Pilot Challenge

Johnson: Daytona Return Was “Business as Usual”

Michael Johnson is confident last year’s form will carry over into the 2019 MPC season…

Photo: Michael Johnson Racing FB

JDC-Miller Motorsports driver Michael Johnson said he had no anxiety in his return to Daytona International Speedway for the Roar Before the 24 test, one year removed from breaking his right leg in a crash at the pre-season test.

The injury forced Johnson and his co-driver Stephen Simpson to sit out the first first two rounds of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season, but the duo returned in impressive fashion with multiple podium finishes and a class win at Lime Rock in their Audi RS 3 LMS.

Speaking at the Roar, Johnson said he was able to focus on getting the car up to speed in the highly-competitive TCR class.

“There weren’t any nerves, I was just cautious going into Turn 6 for the first couple of laps,” he told Sportscar365. “After that it was business as usual. I just got it out of my head and just tried to do my job.

“It’s really great to be back. I really like this track. I’m bummed out that I missed it last year, so it’s good to be back. It’s good to be a part of this. I definitely want to get a good result here. I mean, it’s Daytona!”

Johnson indicated that the strong finish to last season has him confident heading into this year. When asked about his goals, the Michigan native wasn’t shy about setting a high bar.

“I think we have shown in 2018 what we have, and this year I want to do even more,” he said. “I want it to be us on the podium every single weekend. It’s very possible to do that.

“I think what we accomplished last year after I got back going again was really good. We’re going to continue that momentum. With Stephen Simpson, he’s a phenomenal driver.

“We both have learned this car over the 2018 season, so it’s great. It’s very comfortable. This weekend’s going well. We’re working with the Hondas to see what we can do to catch up to them, but it’s really good.”

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and reporter. In addition to his work covering primarily domestic sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is the lead announcer for SRO America's TV coverage as well as a pit reporter for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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