Stafford Springs, CT — For Ludlow, MA native Johnny Walker, the 2016 season at Stafford Speedway was the realization of a dream come true as he won the DARE Stock track championship. Walker had been agonizingly close to winning the championship in 2013 and 2014, finishing second in the standings each season before taking the 2015 season off. Now that he has a championship under his belt, Walker is ready to go for two in a row in 2017 with his #01 Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair / Garrett’s Carpentry & Drywall Chevrolet.
“It’s been a couple of months, but it’s actually just now setting in that we won the championship,” said Walker. “We love Stafford and the track has always treated us good. Racing for the championship and points was really stressful last year and now that we got that monkey off our back with the championship, the goal is to have fun and try to win as many races as we can. We don’t want to worry about points like we did last year. If we can go back to back and add our name to the Stafford record books, that’s a pretty small list of drivers who have done that and it would be pretty special to add our name to that list.”
The 2016 season was a class in both domination and consistency for Walker and his #01 team. Outside of a 12th place finish on July 8th, Walker finished each of the other 16 races on the schedule in the top-5 with 13 podium finishes. While Walker says the pressure of the championship chase started to wear on him during the season, his results on the track didn’t show that as he finished the final 8 races of the season on the podium. Walker and his team have been hard at work replacing the body on his #01 Chevrolet during the winter and he will debut a new paint scheme for the 2017 season in the Stafford booth at the Frank Maratta Auto Show on March 10-12.