Newsmaker of the Week / / Jake Johnson

From a 31st place start, Late Model wheelman Jake Johnson, a 17-year old driver from Rehoboth, Mass., knew he had a long way to go in Saturday’s Snowflake 100, the preliminary race to the Snowball Derby for Super Late Models at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida the next day.

Johnson wound up eclipsing the big race, to an extent, with a head-up win in a controversial feature that took out the race leader, got the apparent winner set back and elevated Johnson to the highest profile win of his young career.

Seekonk Speedway schooled, ACT and PASS Touring Series refined, Johnson and his team savored the moment.

Winning big races away from one’s home turf is a heady challenge. But Jake Johnson did it, making northeasters proud, leaving the rest of the country’s Asphalt Late Modelers scratching their heads and, thereby, making News!