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Michael Johnson Ready to Race After Testing Injury

MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – MAY 03: #54 JDC-Miller MotorSports, Audi RS3 LMS TCR, TCR: Michael Johnson, Stephen Simpson during the SCC: Mid-Ohio at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on May 03, 2018 in Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, United States of America. (Photo by Jake Galstad / LAT Images)

With more than five months in the calendar year already passed, for many it seems the days have flown by. For Michael Johnson, though, they’ve gone by slowly – painfully slowly. Driving the No. 54 JDC-Miller Motorsports Audi RS3 LMS, Johnson and his co-driver Stephen Simpson planned to contest the full IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season in the TCR class. Those plans changed during the Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona test in early January.

Daytona Injury

Johnson – paralyzed from the waist down due to a motorcycle crash at 12 years old – was behind the wheel of the No. 54 during one of the Roar’s practice sessions when the car catapulted into the Turn 1 wall as he came onto the oval from the infield road course. As a result of the impact, Johnson suffered a broken right tibia and fibula.

Johnson’s injuries and the team’s preparations for a second car kept the JDC-Miller Motorsports team away from the Continental Tire Challenge paddock, but not for long.
“I’m feeling great,” said Johnson at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in early May, the third race of the season for the series. “It’s good to be back. My body is 100 percent now. I’m all healed up, so it feels good.
“The recovery time was a little rough for the first couple months, just to get my body to get over what trauma had happened to it. The hardest part was not doing anything. I just had to be chill and not do any movements or move the leg around or anything. That was the hardest part, but I started to get better and better. I started training more and working out and then finally was able to get back in the car a couple weeks ago. It felt good. I didn’t have any hesitation or any doubt that I could do it, I could get back in.”

Confidence Returns

Johnson’s confidence has been building, and certainly peak at Mid-Ohio on May 5. While the team ultimately finished fourth, tying his best finish in the series.  Johnson confidence in the race powered him to the class lead before handing the car over to Simpson.
Those five laps marked the first time Johnson has led the field in his Continental Tire Challenge career.
Despite the adversity, there’s one thing Johnson has reiterated time and time again.
“It’s good to be back with JDC-Miller Motorsports,” said Johnson. “This group of people is really great. They all stuck with me and they got the second car put together and they definitely are a top-notch team.”

If it races, I'll write about it, talk about it or shoot it with a camera. I began pursuing a career in motorsports journalism immediately after attending college at Kent State University. I have hosted multiple Motorsports talk shows, worked in Country Music radio, and now i spend every day on the air in the morning with 1300 and 100.9 WMVO and in the afternoons watching the roadways around Central Ohio for 93.7 WQIO. The excitement and the fans make everything I put out there worth while, it's been an exciting 15 years having covered everything from the Daytona 500 to the Rolex 24 and you can find me at pretty much any event run at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. What I like to bring is a look behind the scenes, a look at what and who makes the sport grow. From the guy that welds pieces back at the shop to the host in the tv booth. Everyone has a story and I like to tell it. My main focus here at TPF is looking at the men and women behind the microphone and cameras. My life long goal is to become a member of MRN or PRN Radio and bring the races to you. I hope that what I share now is enjoyable and gives you a unique look in to the world of motorsports. See you at a track soon

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