Feb 23, 2011
Rising Star Max Johnston Interview
Recently, Shane Collins spoke with Max about his recent car troubles and his involvement in the Rising Star Program.
Shane: What does it mean to you to be in NASR rising star program?
Max: It means a lot to me to be apart of the NASR Rising Star Program. I feel very privilege to have been accepted amongst the other 7 drivers.
Being a Rising Star is another thing that I can put towards my name. I know how great the benefits are going to be and I am looking forward to approving my racing in many ways.
Racing at my Sydney Speedway over the past 2 weekends have been great, but what has made it even better has been the people that have approached me and congratulated me on being a Rising Star. Being noticed by people in the pits is great for my confidents and makes me feel a lot more accepted as a Sprintcar driver. This means a lot and I am ready to commit to it 100%.
Shane: What are your short-term goals in Sprintcar Racing?
Max: My short term goal in Sprintcar racing (prior to my motor having problems), was to finish off my rookie year as the number one rookie at Sydney Speedway. Also, currently I was running 8th in the track championship and I feel that to finish in the top 10 would be a great achievement, as this is my first season in the car.
I was also looking forward to having a crack a the NSW titles at Dubbo in March. This was very exciting to myself and my team when we decided that we were going to race. It was going to be my first crack at a track with a wall, but since the motor has had its problems my chancing of racing there are not looking very good.
Shane: What went wrong with the engine?
Max: The engine dramas happened in the first heat recently at Sydney Speedway. I had only completed 2 laps. As I came into turn 3 I lost power and before I had time to shut the motor off. All I heard was a bang and then the horrible sounds of the piston smashing the heads. Not a good feeling at all.
The team and I were very confused to what had happened - I didn’t lose any oil pressure and the water was only running at about 185 degrees. All I can say is that it all happen so fast, and it is the worst feeling ever.
Shane: How much will it cost you to fit a new motor or repair it?
Max: It is not going to be a cheap to rebuild, as it has cracked the block, destroyed all the pistons, couple of rods and smashed the head. Plus the crank and cam need to be crack tested. We have worked it out that it looks like it will set us back about $10,000. If I get the motor fixed I will have to sit out the rest of the season and wait till next year to have another crack. To get a new motor would be awesome, but they aren’t cheap and start at about $20,000.
Shane: What does it mean to get back racing as soon as possible?
Max: I would love to be racing as soon as possible. I feel as a driver that if I have to sit out the rest of the season, it would really put my behind in my career. I’m so young and new to Sprintcar racing; I feel that I need to be doing as many laps as possible to build my confidence for next year. The main reason I really want to get back out there is because I want that rookie of the year!
Shane: Who would you like to thank?
Max: I have to thank my family - if it wasn't for them I wouldn't be where I am today. Also to my crew chief Jim Smith, he puts 100% into the team and works so hard to get me to the track each week and to make my racecar a competitive car.
Also to my sponsors that are with me now, thanks for supporting me and being apart of Max Johnston Racing - Nick Crawshay form Fincar Automotive Finance, Alliance Motor Auctions, Joust Racewear, Camden Signs, RADesigns (the beest helmet painting out there!), Sparco, Johnston Automotive and NASR.
Shane: Thanks for your time Max, good luck with getting back on the track.
You can visit Max’s website at www.maxjohnston38.com.
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