Johanna Long 2013 Preview

She is one of the few female faces in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Often called the “anti-Danica”, she draws in eyes every time she hits the racetrack. Johanna Long is one of the up-and-coming faces in NASCAR and is out to prove that she can race with the big boys.

June 29, 2012; Sparta, IN, USA; NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Johanna Long during qualifying for the Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-USA TODAY Sports

Johanna started racing at age 8 and quickly became a staple in victory lane. At age 14, she began racing professional Late Model Stock Cars and was the first female track champion at Five Flags Speedway. At 17, she became not only the youngest driver, but the first female to win the Snowball Derby. An event known as the “Super Bowl” of short track racing, she beat racers from many divisions, including some from NASCARs biggest series.

In 2010, Johanna joined the ranks of NASCAR when she made 6 starts in the Camping World Truck Series. Numerous top-20 finishes came in 2011 with a best finish of 11th at Texas. The NASCAR industry saw two very talented female drivers enter its ranks in 2010 thanks to Johanna and Danica Patrick. Driving for ML Motorsports, Johanna made 21 starts in 2012, making her the youngest female to ever drive in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Back for another season with ML Motorsports, Johanna will once again be a familiar face at the track in 2013. With many female fans and children alike vying for her attention, she is one to watch.

With a finish of 12th at Kentucky and Daytona, and a 13th at Iowa in 2012, Johanna can be competitive at almost any track. She was well on her way to a top-10 finish in Richmond until a cut tire sent her to the garage. Look for Johanna to improve in 2013 and hopefully she will get her chance at a Cup ride in the coming years.

Although she doesn’t like being compared to Danica Patrick, they do have a lot in common. They are both making huge strides for women in motorsports, both on and off the track. Johanna shows young race fans that you don’t have to be a GoDaddy Girl to race cars, you can just be yourself. As an avid social media user, you can connect personally with Johanna on twitter, just search @JOHANNALONG, and if you tweet her, she just might respond.

If you are like me, you are anxious to see what Johanna Long accomplishes next. I cannot wait to see her on the track in the #70 ML Motorsports Chevrolet racing with the big boys. At just 20 years old, she has already made a name for herself in racing and will forever be known as a great racecar driver.

Topics: Johanna Long, ML Motorsports, NASCAR, Nationwide Series

Want more from Beyond the Flag?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.