Johnson (center) is sitting eighth as of June 21, 2023 in IMCA late models National points and second in rookie late model national

Beau Johnson, 14, took his first race win at Off Road Speedway on May 27th, marking him the youngest feature winner at the track. Most 14 year-olds are finalizing driver’s ed, but Beau Johnson has his sights set on a rookie championship. 

The young racer finished first in the IMCA Sunoco Late Model Class. Racing against seasoned competitors and a four-time and defending national champion, Johnson led the 25-lap race start to finish. He took the finish line about four car lengths ahead of the next racer. The win came in Johnson’s seventh International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) race.

“It felt good to finally get one off my back, and hopefully get more and more,” said Johnson about his first win. 

An upcoming freshman at Plainview High School, he meets the minimum age requirement for IMCA rules. Johnson is the youngest competitor to win at Off Road Speedway, confirmed the track’s promoter, Jerry Pospisil. At nearly 14 and a half, Johnson is also one of the youngest feature winners in division history. 

“He’s an extremely talented young kid. He’ll be a contender,” said Pospisil, speaking on Johnson’s “natural ability.”

From a racing family, Johnson’s interest comes from his father, Jim, as well as his uncle and cousin. Jim has been racing for 35 years, won several championships, and is now crew chief for his son. 

Johnson started his career by racing go karts at the track next to the big oval in Norfolk. He grew up watching races, and he credits this knowledge to his success. As soon as he hit the age requirement, he began racing Late Models on the speedway. 

It’s a big step up, said Johnson. Competing in three races at I-80 last year gave him experience and prepared him for this year’s season. 

Johnson will make as many speedway starts as possible, frequenting tracks in Norfolk, Albion, and Columbus, and pursuing national rookie of the year honors. 

“Everything finally came together for us,” said Johnson in an interview with IMCA. “Now we want to keep racing and win rookie of the year.”