After having success the past two seasons at the Mini Stock level, Johnny Paradzinski will tackle a new challenge in chasing Rookie of the Year honors on the Outlaw Midget tour.
“I’m excited to try something new,” he told Short Track Musings. “There is a lot to learn with no suspension and non radial tires. But we are up for the challenge and excited to let the old man give it go.”
While Rookie of the Year honors are the goal, Paradzinski isn’t holding his breath, knowing a total of 40 cars registered, with a bunch of those being rookies.
“We are hoping to gain experience and hopefully by the end of the year be a top-10 or even top-5 car,” he added.
Beyond the new car, it will bring new tracks for Paradzinski to experience, including his first trip to Full Throttle Motor Speedway and a trip across the border to Chapel Hill Raceway.
Just because something new is on the horizon, he hasn’t given up mini stock racing yet, as the team is currently building a new car.
“The plan with mini stock is take our time with it, make it fast at practice and figure out the bugs before we race it,” he said. “We aren’t in a rush and hope to make it out for the playoffs or a couple specials.”
After winning the Mighty Mini Championship in 2016, he moved up to Sunset Speedway’s Mini Stock division last year, scoring five feature top-fives along the way.
“We learned a lot about how to make your car faster,” he said. “There was huge jump from mighty mini to mini stock. We did have one win and we were a competitive car but we found our car was a tired old girl and it was time to try something new.”
As he noted, the highlight of the year was scoring a feature victory on July 22, adding that it took a “huge load off of our shoulders” and let him know his team was headed in the right direction.
Just as Paradzinski has a lot going on, the division has dominated the off-season headlines with the mandated tire for most of the tracks, and the new “STOCK” Car Nationals at Flamboro Speedway.
“There’s a lot going on in mini stock right now, some for the good and some for the bad,” he commented. “Once all tracks are on the page mini stock will start to gain more cars. There is a solid following now and it still is one of the cheaper ways to full body racing.”