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Ricky Johnson

Ricky Johnson / Menzies Motorsports
DriverRicky Johnson
BasedLas Vegas, Nevada
WebsiteMenzies Motorsports
FacebookRicky Johnson
Ricky Johnson / Menzies MotorsportsRicky Johnson / Menzies MotorsportsRicky Johnson / Menzies MotorsportsRicky Johnson / Menzies Motorsports
Ricky Johnson / Menzies MotorsportsRicky Johnson / Menzies MotorsportsRicky Johnson / Menzies MotorsportsRicky Johnson / Menzies Motorsports
February 6th, 2015

Fresh Prince of the Hammers – Luke Johnson wins and Ricky Johnson second in Class

Photos and Words by Justin Banner of KOLAB agency

In their debut event in Ultra4 Racing, Luke and Ricky Johnson have impressive results at the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge and shows they are the Kings of all Off Road.

Luke Johnson started the as the one of the first pair off of the line while Ricky would start as the last pair in the Spec 4700 class. 

At the end of the day the father-son duo would end up being two of three finishers in class that had six at start. Later that night at the finish of the race a disqualification would change the entire event.

Luke had begun to pull a large lead using his experience in open desert racing out on the dry lake bed. This gap allowed him to maintain a top 5 position overall in the standings of the two lap race around the loop that makes up the Hammers Course in Johnson Valley, CA. At around Mile Marker 76, however, Luke would suffer a bent rear driveshaft that prevented him from exceeding 45-miles per hour or suffer a rear end or driveline failure.

Despite passing then leader Lance Clifford who was suffering battery problems and had to receive a jump start from a starter box, Lance was able to pass Luke again once he was at speed.

After the conclusion of the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge and into the early morning hours before the Nitto Tire King of the Hammers, it was discovered that Lance had received an illegal service with the jumper box as chase services are not allowed on course and any issues would have to be solved by the drivers at that point or walk to their closest pit.

This meant that despite finishing behind Lance, the DQ resulted in Luke getting the win in 4700 Spec class and moves him up to fourth in overall standings.

The disqualification also moved Ricky Johnson up to Second in class and ninth in overall standings. Not only would this mean a one-two finish for the Johnsons but a finish in the top two podium spots for their primary sponsor KMC Wheels.

“Dana Brown has a great quote in ‘Dust to Glory’ about the Baja 1000 that said, ‘What I thought I knew, I hadn’t a clue,’ that explains my whole Hammers experience completely,” Ricky commented at the end of the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge. Even with all of the Pre-running of the course, nothing could have prepared him for the actual challenge.

However, Ricky wouldn’t be a multi-time, multi-discipline champion if he did not use experience and grit to rise to the occasion. “For being over-motivated and under-prepared,” Ricky continued, “my co-driver and I did a great job.”

“We kind of went into it (the EMC) with a good plan,” said Luke at the end of the race before learning of the disqualification of Lance Clifford, “I went in optimistic and not knowing what I was getting myself into and I knew that my weak point was going to be in the rocks.”

While it can be easy to under appreciate the difficulty of the Every Man Challenge and the capabilities of the Spec 4700 class, Luke was able to plan efficiently with his co-driver who would help guide him along the feature obstacles that make up the EMC course.

“Goal number one for me was to finish and when we got into some of the gnarlier rock sections my plan was if I saw a winch point, I would try two times and if I didn’t make it winch the third. My co-driver, Jason Coffield, was awesome.

He hopped out, guided me through a lot of stuff, and ultimately had as flawless of a day you could possibly have.”







December 20, 2013

Ricky Johnson
Menzies Motorsports

Menzies Motorsports Logo

Rugged Radios is excited to sponsor one of the world's greatest racing legends Rick Johnson. Rick's rise to fame began when he competed in AMA motocross and Supercross during the 1980s, winning seven AMA national championships. As his career advanced, Rick began competing in the offroad TORC Series. In 2010, he won the Pro 2WD Trophy Truck championship, demonstrating Rick can race and win just about anything.

RJ’s Motocross Career

Johnson’s father was an avid motorcyclist and he bought his son a mini-bike when he was 3 years old. When he turned 16 in 1980, he earned his pro license. He won his first national championship in 1984 for the Yamaha factory motocross team. For the 1986 season, he was offered a job with the Honda team by team manager and five time former world champion Roger De Coster. He battled his Honda team-mate David Bailey throughout the 1986 season, coming away with the 250 title and the Supercross crown. During this season Johnson and Bailey were part of one of the most epic battles in Supercross history at the Anaheim stadium. He finished second to Bailey in the 500 class. Unfortunately, the rivalry was short-lived as just prior to the start of the 1987 season Bailey was paralyzed in a practice crash. Johnson would dominate the 1987 season, winning both the 250 and 500 crowns. In ’87 Rick also won what is considered one of Supercross history’s greatest races in the Super Bowl Of Motorcross at the L.A. Coliseum. After crashing in the first corner Johnson came back from near dead last to pass Jeff Ward and eventually privateer Guy Cooper on the penultimate lap to squeeze the win. He followed this performance by adding the 1988 Supercross and 500 titles to his name. Johnson started the 1989 season strongly but suffered a serious injury when he broke his wrist in a practice session. He would never fully recover from the injury. He soldiered on for a few more seasons but the injury proved too debilitating. He announced his retirement at the beginning of the 1991 season. At the time of his retirement from motocross racing at age 26, he was the all-time leader in Supercross victories. Johnson was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999.

Career after motocross

Johnson went on to have success in off-road racing and stock car racing. He took wins in the famous Baja 1000 twice and was American Speed Association stock car series Rookie of the Year in 1999, driving for Herzog Racing as a teammate to unrelated El Cajon, CA off-road racer Jimmie Johnson. Johnson ran twelve races in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series from 1995 to 1997.

Off-road racing

Johnson founded the Traxxas TORC Series for the 2009 season. He sold the series after the season to the United States Auto Club (USAC) and he concentrated on being a driver. Ricky Johnson won the TORC Series Pro2wd Championship in 2010 after a season long battle with Rob MacCachren, the defending champ. This championship came down to the last race of the season at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway with Ricky securing a second place finish to win the championship.

Ricky Johnson