Q&A with Most Popular Drivers, Jason Johnson and Dustin Hyde at the Port-A-Cool Texas World Dirt Track Championship
TMS Media Relations | Sep 15, 2012
Dustin “Tater” Hyde How many times have you raced at Texas Motor Speedway and what keeps bringing you back? I think it’s our seventh trip out here. What keeps bringing me back are all the fans and drivers. The crowd is great and it’s always fun to race in front of a lot of people. It’s the best competition around and I always want to win that cowboy hat. How old were you when you first got your start in racing? I started when I was thirteen in a stock car class and got it modified when I was 14. Who or what was your inspiration for racing? Definitely my dad. He raced when I was a kid and I’ve always looked up to him. What’s your greatest racing moment? I’ve had a number of unforgettable moments, but probably the greatest was when I won the 2006 Arkansas State Championship at my home track in Texarkana. What’s your racing dream? I honestly feel like I’ve reached my dream. I’ve got plenty of sponsors behind me, I get to travel, get to go racing every weekend and do what I love to do for a living so I feel like I’m living the dream now. Do you have a favorite motorsports driver? Probably Gary Wright, sprint car driver from Hooks, Texas – my home town. I grew up watching him race as a kid and he’s just a phenomenal racecar driver. What’s your favorite sport or hobby outside of motorsports? Probably fishing, does that count? Whenever I get time when I’m not racing, I’m always fishing. What made you want to come out to Port-A-Cool U.S. National Dirt Track Championship and how’s your weekend going thus far? It’s going good so far. We come out here every time. It’s the best competition around. We just keep driving to try and do better and better every time we come out here. As long as they have this deal, we’ll be here every year.
Jason Johnson How many times have you been out to Texas Motor Speedway? I know for sure I’ve been here definitely a few times. My first time was back in 2000, but our claim to fame was probably winning our first World of Outlaws feature here back in 2003. Someone like who that has been all over the world, what makes you want to come back? It’s a state of the art facility and we always like running in front of great crowds. Just the hype of the speedway with what goes on at the big track and what we get to do over here. Obviously, we wish it was on a NASCAR weekend so we could showcase in front of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and have him here, but all in all, we just enjoy coming out here. How did you get your start in racing? I’m actually at the age of 36 now, so I’m kind of amongst the elderly out here, but I first started racing go-karts at 4 and then I got to stock cars when I was 15 and started open wheel racing when I was 17. I’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of great people around me and throughout my career to bring me up through all the steps. Who was your inspiration? It all started with my father during my childhood. My father was a racer when I was a kid and he would drag me out to the Saturday night dirt tracks down in southern Louisiana. As time went on I learned a little bit about sprint cars. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not racing? Most of my time is occupied around racing and getting prepared to go to the race track, but I enjoy a little bit of golf. Also, I enjoy getting to spend time with family and friends out on the lake, doing a little bit of boating. I really enjoy the water. Most important is to have fun in life and a lot of fun with friends and family. You say you like golf. Do you have a favorite golfer? No, not so much. I got in to golf a few years ago during a sponsor event. Next thing you know it turned in to a challenge and I keep working and striving harder and harder to get my game better. Ricky definitely has me beat so I’ve got some more homework to do. Having raced for over 30 years, what’s your favorite moment? I’m not sure I have my one certain moment. I’ve had a lot of great times and a lot of success in my career. I’ve met a lot of great people all over the world and I think that’s what I’ve cherished the most about sprint car racing – all the great people you get to meet.