*This story was published in the July 9th edition of the Hastings Tribune.
For the late Bob Johnson, the love for his family, auto- mobile racing and KAM Raceway was evident throughout his life.
“He loved racing. He was there when KAM Raceway was first started,” his wife, Kathy Johnson, said. “He stuck it out, enjoyed it, saw the number of cars grow and saw everyone grow as a family out there.”
Her husband, who died in 2002, is remembered as a man who cared about his family and worked tirelessly to improve and contribute at KAM Raceway.
“KAM Raceway was home to our dad. That was the home track and that’s where we raced every weekend,” his daughter, Dawn Cloyd, said. “He was there in the beginning and was often there at 2 a.m. helping get- ting the track ready for the next day. KAM just meant a lot to him.”
Johnson, a native of Hastings, was involved with cars and automobile racing for a large portion of his life. He owned B&R Body Shop and had more than 30 years of experience with automobile racing.He was also KAM Raceway’s track president for one year and a member of the Tri-City Street Rods.
While he was known for his skill at drag car racing, he was also involved with assisting other drivers with stock cars, late models, midgets, and go-carts. This assistance was something that didn’t go unnoticed.
“There were people who needed guidance, and Bob was always out there help- ing guide everyone,” Kathy said.
His dedication as both a family man and racing figure encouraged others to be involved with automobile racing.
Johnson’s family now has five generations of family members either involved with racing or watching races every Friday night at KAM.
That family spans from Bob’s mother, Dean Johnson, 86, to his great- grandchildren Elizabeth, 4, Zoey, 3, Trevor, 2, and Adyen, who is 4 months hold.
For twelve years KAM Raceway has honored Bob’s legacy with the Bob Johnson Memorial event. This Friday, July 10, marks the thirteenth time in the event’s history.Anticipation for the event is high, with numerous out-of-state competitors expected for the 50-lap 600 CC Outlaw Race. The event will also include a special lawn-mower race event. Following the races, a free prize drawing and barbeque will be provided.
This special event perfectly sums up what Bob Johnson embodied – family, automobile racing and KAM Raceway.
“Racing was in his blood,” Dawn said. “Racing was like family and it didn’t matter who you were. Everybody out there is just one big family. It’s our race family.”