ROAD TO THE RANCH: KADE JOHNSON
Kade Johnson’s Loretta Lynn’s campaign started back in 2014 in the 51cc (4-6) Limited class and he had more success than a lot of riders do during their first go at the Ranch. The current factory Yamaha supported rider improved every time he hit the track during his first week of competition, putting together 11-9-5 moto finishes in order to secure 6th place overall. Johnson gained some experience in the 51cc (7-8) Limited division in 2015 and returned the following season ready to challenge at the top of his class, finishing two out of three motos inside the top ten in order to clinch yet another 6th place overall result. The Texan really found another gear when he transitioned to the 65cc classes and he catapulted himself to the top step of the podium in the 65cc (7-9) Limited class in 2017, winning two out of three motos throughout the week. Unfortunately, the Team Dunlop elite rider has had a bad string of luck with injuries the past couple of years at the Ranch but he looked to be in solid form at the Baja Acres Mid-East Youth Regional at the beginning of June. Johnson finished in 3rd place overall in both of the 85cc (10-12) classes that he contested at Baja and secured his spot on the gate at Loretta Lynn’s, determined to get back to title contention in Hurricane Mills this year.
How’d the Regionals go for you?
They went good! I ended up getting two 3rd places overall at Baja Acres. I ended up doing my whole last moto of the weekend with no seat!
What’s a typical day of training been like for you getting ready for Loretta’s?
I have been having a lot of fun. I wake up every morning and get some good nutrition into my body. We do three to four sessions of riding out here at Quick’s Moto Ranch. Then I hit the gym with some of my good buddies. I always remember to eat healthy and get good sleep.
Do you have a pre-race routine?
I just like to have fun with my buddies in staging before we head to the line. We pretty much do the exact same thing every time. On the line, my dad motivates me while I get loosened up.
How do you recover after a twenty-minute moto in the brutal heat and humidity?
I get lots of hydration and try to sit in the air conditioning or by a fan.
Is there one specific year at Loretta’s that has been the most memorable for you?
2017 for sure. That was the year I won the 65cc (7-9) class. My whole family was there and it was so much fun!
What do you think is the key to success at the Ranch?
Training hard, getting good sleep, and hydration.