Paralyzed Johnson Ready for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
 September 8, 2015| 
  • Team News
22-Year-Old Michigan Driver Races For The Second Time Of The 2015 Season Following March Injury

Monterey, Calif. - American paralyzed Pro Mazda racer Michael Johnson completed his first race of the 2015 season at Mid-Ohio SportsCar Course in August and looks to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend to be officially back in the groove. With the first race jitters out of his system following a March accident that sidelined Johnson for four months, the 22-year-old heads out west to make a statement.

"I'm really excited for the last two races of the season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca," said Johnson. "With my accident in March, being able to finish off the season the way it should have been will be a good springboard into the off-season. The two races at Mid-Ohio weren't the greatest but I'm hoping all the training I've been doing will pay off. Getting my body and mind in shape and just getting back to my normal self again should make for a better weekend at Laguna. I always love heading out to California - the weather and the people are really great. I haven't driven for a whole month now and I'm excited to get back out there and show what I can do. All the guys at JDC MotorSports having been working non-stop to get my car where it should be so I can perform with it. It means a lot to be able to close out my Pro Mazda career racing at Laguna."

His two races at Mid-Ohio did not go as he had planned and resulted in a 15th-place finish in both. Johnson realizes that his racing season this year has suffered with his setback because of his injuries. 2015 was going to be Johnson's second full season on the Pro Mazda team until a crash on his first practice session in St. Petersburg, Fla., left him with fractures in his hip and pelvis.

Regardless, Johnson is still excited to be back on the track. He was overwhelmed with the support he had at Mid-Ohio, from fans and family to the whole racing community. The Michigan native was welcomed and supported by everyone, following his lengthy journey back to the cockpit of his No. 54 JDC MotorSports machine.

The Flint, Mich., native will speed back into action at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with the opening practice sessions set for Thursday Sept. 10 at 9:20 a.m. and qualifications on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 8:00 a.m. Race #1 will be contested at 2:45 p.m. on Sept. 12 and Race #2 on Sept. 13 at 11:40 a.m.

Johnson drives for JDC Motorsports in the No. 54 Universal Coating entry. He is the first and only paralyzed driver licensed by INDYCAR to compete in the series' developmental ladder system, the Mazda Road to Indy, which prepares drivers for the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500. Johnson drives a specialty-equipped racecar with hand controls.

In addition to primary backing from Universal Coating, Johnson's racing efforts are also supported by BraunAbility, Arai Helmets and Adidas Motorsport.

For more information, please visit www.MichaelJohnsonRacing.com or www.JDCMotorsport.com and keep up to date with Johnson on social media at https://twitter.com/MikeJRacing or at https://www.facebook.com/michaeljohnsonracing.

ABOUT MICHAEL JOHNSON:
Michael Johnson is a 22-year-old Michigan-based autoracing driver, who is the first and only paralyzed racer licensed by INDYCAR to compete in the series' developmental ladder program, which prepares drivers for the VERIZON IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500. Johnson competes in the PRO MAZDA Series with JDC Motorsports. At age 12, Johnson went from being an up-and-coming motorcyclist, with 14 national titles to his name, to being paralyzed from the mid-chest area down. He currently has four rods and 15 screws in his back. In 2009, he had stem cell surgery in Portugal, and currently follows an aggressive physical therapy program. For his impressive career and athletic determination, Johnson was inducted into the Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame and received the Spirit Award in 2012. In 2014, Disabled Sports USA awarded him a scholarship to train with members of the U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Team. To race, Johnson uses a throttle lever on the left side of his steering wheel and brakes by pushing forward on the wheel. His story is truly inspiring and has been told by the likes of Road & Track Magazine and FOX News, among many others. For more information, please visit http://www.MichaelJohnsonRacing.com, https://twitter.com/mikejracing, or  https://www.facebook.com/michaeljohnsonracing.
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