Russell Lee Johnson
Dec. 23, 1954 - Jan. 28, 2014
Went to be with the Lord. Leaving behind
his mom Edna; sister Carol; brother Johnny; wife Hope; kids: Wendy,
Jennifer, Russell, Megan, Tiffany, Alex, Emily &
unborn son; grandkids Kristen, Bobby &
Here's #023 Russell "Superman" Johnson racing Chris Pabst in an Enduro at Stockton 99 Speedway. Click to enlarge.
A great friend and competitor at Stockton 99 Speedway. Here's two articles featuring Russell from the Record Newspaper in Stockton:
Record Staff Writer
September 20, 2013 12:00 AM
STOCKTON - Russell "Superman" Johnson can't leap tall buildings, but he can drive through a couple of tons of crushed watermelons.
The Stockton driver with the Superman-themed car will be part of the annual 199-lap Watermelon Bash Enduro at 6 p.m. Saturday at Stockton 99 Speedway. Track official Tony Noceti said there will be about two tons of watermelons on the track, and fans are invited to come on the track and smash them.
A truck adds soap and water, and then the race starts.
"It's a blast, it's one of the most fun races out there," said Johnson, 58, whose 1977 blue Chevrolet Malibu Classic has a Superman doll attached that seems to by flying as he speeds up.
"Normally an enduro has soap and water on the track, but the watermelons make it much more slippery out there. And it's a lot of fun that the fans get to participate."
Enduros are unlike any other type of auto race. About 50 older and battered late model cars will compete in the race. There are no caution flags, crashed or stopped cars remain on the course as obstacles and a race is usually not halted unless for complete track blockage, fire or injury.
"I've done many and it gets wild, but I've never been hurt," Johnson said. "If you do feel like you are in danger, you wave the red flag you have in the car and officials will stop the racing and get you out. You don't want anyone to get hurt."
The Northern California Modified Association's Sprint Cars, Pro-4 Modifieds, B-4s, Pure Stocks, and Mini Cup divisions will also compete.
Record Staff Writer
January 01, 2013 12:00 AM
STOCKTON - Russell Johnson of Stockton doesn't want to wait long to begin the auto racing season at Stockton 99 Speedway.
And he won't have to.
The opening event of the year is one the first day of the year Johnson and other races gather for the annual 299-lap Polar Bear Enduro at 4 p.m. today at Stockton 99. An Enduro is a grueling, physical race on a wet or soapy track, so Johnson figures it's a great way to celebrate 2013.
"I can't think of a better way to start the new year than in a race car," said Johnson, a 58-year-old Stockton resident who competes in a Superman-themed 1977 Chevrolet Malibu Classic. "It's a fun and challenging race. It's one of the few as long as 299 laps that we do. It's always a lot of fun and a good challenge."
Promoter Tony Noceti said 43 cars were in the event last year, and he hopes to match or surpass that number.
Ryan Strmiska of Manteca, who has won a number of enduros in his 1979 black, pink and white Chevy Camaro, said it gives the drivers something to look forward to in what is traditionally the offseason.
"I think it's a good idea, and we get a good turnout for it," Strmiska said. "Sometimes it can be a little cold, but drivers seem to really like it.'
Today's forecast is for a high of 51 degrees and a low of 28.
Johnson, who has raced his car in 22 enduros without a DNF (did not finish), has yet to win the Polar Bear Enduro. He has finished fourth and sixth. Strmiska had a great chance to win last year's competition and was running at the front of the field when he was forced from the race by ignition problems.
Gates open at noon, and there will be racing in the Basic 4s and Powder Puff divisions.