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Johnny Rodriguez

Four RRS winners in busy weekend of HammerDown! racing - HD Staff - August 21, 2005 - Rocklin, CA. ...Saturday August 20th was the busiest day in the brief two year history of the Racer's Racing Series. The RRS is's point system that offers points at 60 of the most prestigious grass roots open-wheel events. Four events from Saturday qualified as RRS races. Saturday winners were Brian Tyler (USAC Silver Crown at Springfield, IL.), Johnny Rodriguez (Hut Hundred USAC National Midgets), Daryn Pittman (World of Outlaws - Billings, MT.), and Bud Kaeding (Sprint Bandits - Lakeside).

J-Rod tries un-winged sprints this Saturday at Perris - By Scott Daloisio - Perris, CA. 04/26/05 ...Defending USAC Western Midget Champion Johnny Rodriguez will be a part of the show when Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply presents the Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Cars at Perris Auto Speedway this Saturday night. Rodriguez, who calls Elk Grove in Northern California home, will be driving the well known Mark Priestley yellow #7 when the series begins a stretch of 10-straight weeks of racing on Saturday. The Priestley car has been driven by USAC National Sprint Cars stars Tracy Hines and Josh Wise earlier this season and was sixth at The PAS two weeks ago with Indiana's Hines behind the wheel. Newer fans may only know of Rodriguez' prowess in a midget, but the 29-year old newlywed is no stranger to sprint cars. He actually began his career racing sprint cars with the now defunct NARC series in 1995. He won Rookie of the Year honors with NARC in 95' and won the track championship at Chico's Silver Dollar Speedway in 1999. When Rodriguez pulls into the pits on Saturday he will meet a bevy of fellow champions and sprint car stars including Yorba Linda's Rip Williams, Charles Davis Jr. of Buckeye, Arizona, Mike Kirby & "Super Rickie" Gaunt of Torrance, Ventura's Cory Kruseman, Concord's Damion Gardner, Steve Ostling of Corona, Orange's Tony Jones and Temecula's Mike Spencer. Saturday's show will consist of qualifying, the three lap Snap-on Tools Trophy Dash, 4 heat races, B Main and a 30 lap A-main event. Spectator gates will open at 5:00 PM.

Spring 2004: ...Johnny Rodriguez was awesome in going from 17th to 2nd on the fast one-third mile paved track. In the 100 lapper, the Elk Grove, CA. pilot was at full song and was driving around cats like a fisherman on his way to work at the wharf. Rodriguez is a driver that has talent, and also has the PR and media savvy to succeed. The former winged sprint car champion looks to us like he is going to demand that folks notice him with continued good runs.

...Johnny Rodriguez, the midget and sprint car driver from Elk Grove, CA. and his buddy Bubby Greene have donated to the Racers Racing Series, taking the Top of the Billboard from Trane Air Conditioning.

Johnny Rodriguez of Elk Grove, CA. was honored as the USAC Western States midgets Most Improved Driver for 2003. Johnny "Lightning" has always been a HammerDown! favorite, and we are proud of his success in the little cars.

Johnny Rodriguez has the HammerDown! at Stockton 99 Speedway

Johnny Rodriguez, the 1995 HammerDown! NARC Rookie of the Year and 1999 Silver Dollar Speedway Champion purchased a Beast / Esslinger asphalt midget over the winter and plans on running 12 U.S.A.C. Western States Midget shows. He has scheduled 40 dirt sprint car shows, to go with the midget dozen, creating one hectic year. Johnny "Lightning" will have Richard Brown, former Civil War 360 sprint hero, Glen Boune, and Garret Andrews on his crew for 2002.

Johnny Rodriguez Y2K, a classic picture from Steve Lafond

Rodriguez Sets New Goals for 2002 Race Season By: Troy Hennig – Public Relations (530) 392-1573 ...After being a predominantly 410 sprint car driver on dirt for most of his six year driving career, Elk Grove’s Johnny Rodriguez plans to broaden his horizons in 2002. The 1995 NARC Rookie of the Year and 1999 Silver Dollar Speedway Champion purchased a Beast / Esslinger asphalt midget over the winter and plans on running 12 U.S.A.C. Western States Midget shows. Even with the new addition of the asphalt midget, Rodriguez still plans on racing 40 dirt sprint car shows. A majority of them will be focused in the 360 ranks as he has 30 race dates set. A total of 10 races are planned for his 410 sprint car program with all them being Golden State Series King of California events at Chico and Placerville to go along with the Gold Cup Race of Champions in September.

Johnny "Lightning" Rodriguez is locked and loaded after Mother Nature rained on the Mini Gold Cup Saturday (Photo by Juice Jones)

Traveling will be a big part of Rodriguez’s plans in 2002. Two separate trips are planned to head up north as he will once again participate in the NST Speed Week in July and in August head to Washington to race in the Thunder in the Valley at Skagit Speedway. Other 360 racing events include most of the California Civil War Series and Placerville Speedway on Saturday nights. The U.S.A.C. Western States Series schedule will heat up in November when Rodriguez will race Turkey Night at Irwindale Speedway. From there he will travel to Las Vegas, NV and then to Tucson, AZ. Other tracks throughout the summer months will see Johnny at Altamont, Stockton and Madera Speedway.

Rodriguez explains why he is eager to go asphalt midget racing, “It just seems like if you want to open more doors in your driving future you need to get into a midget.” He continued by saying, “if nothing else it will make me more of a versatile driver in the long run. I am very excited about this new challenge in my life.” Another new adventure in his racing career will be a switch to a new Eagle chassis in his sprint car program. “It seems all of the top sprint car guys are running Eagle chassis,” said Rodriguez.

Also a new crew chief and crew members have upgraded his chances to end up in victory lane. The new addition of crew chief Richard Brown brings many years of experience. In the past Brown has turned wrenches for Doug Wolfgang, Jeff Swindell and Tyler Walker and now brings his talents to Rodriguez. Two-time Civil War Champion Glen Boune will also serve as a crew member. Boune brings knowledge as a former driver to help Rodriguez. Finally the newest member of the team on a part-time basis will be Garret Andrews. Although Garret has his own driving deal, a Ford Focus Midget, he will make the most of Rodriguez’s races after spending all of last year with Sammy Swindell.

This “super crew” and new chassis has already paid off. In his first race of the year, Rodriguez finished fourth during round number one of the Golden State Series that also was opening night of the Mini Gold Cup in Chico. “The Eagle chassis felt really stable last night and I think the combination of the chassis and my new crew made me feel more comfortable in a sprint than I ever had before. I am really excited about this season on dirt.”

Sponsors for this upcoming season include A.R.T. Enterprises, which is the new Eagle chassis distributor on the West Coast. This is the second year that Dave Dunn Specialty Racing Engines have supplied horsepower for Rodriguez. “Dunn’s motor’s are second to none when it comes to reliability and horsepower,” said Rodriguez. Continuing help from Owens Motorsports along with James M. Soares Trucking, Ramos Oil and Enos-Aday racing is very beneficial and appreciated by Rodriguez. “I’ve never been more excited about an upcoming season than I am this year,” said Rodriguez.

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