RPW Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – Johnny Illanovsky has been heavily involved in motorsports the last few years, but most of it hasn’t been behind the wheel of a race car. That will be changing in 2020 at Orange County.
“Our team will be racing both in the Modifieds and 358 Modifieds in 2020,” Johnny said. “We are excited and looking forward to racing both divisions in the upcoming season.”
Illanovsky started racing at the age of 7 in go karts at Oakland Valley. When he reached his mid 20’s, he started racing Sportsman. He has spent some time involved with the Monticello Motor Club as an instructor. Johnny is also very experienced with marketing and public relations aspect of the sport.
“I worked with Stewart Friesen in 2018 helping with public relations and it was a great experience,” he said. “It was a lot of work and travel, but it was awesome to be part of the group of a racer that had reached that level. I met so many great people. I was so glad to have been able to be at Eldora to see his first win. But all the while, I was wanting to get back behind the wheel myself.”
It was late in the 2019 season when Illanovsky made his return as a driver.
“Between starting my own marketing business and working with Stewart, I had no time to do any racing myself,” Johnny said. But later in 2019, I teamed up with Mike Weslowski and we entered the Small Block 100 race of Eastern States Weekend. We didn’t qualify, but I got some valuable seat time on the new surface”
And the team is adding the Modifieds to the team’s schedule.
“I am teaming up again with Mike for 2020. We found a big block motor at a reasonable price,” he said. “Race nights will be hectic running both divisions, but I think we can do it. We just want to put together a decent team, hopefully have some good results with it and have fun doing it.”
Johnny will be concentrating mostly on the team’s Orange County effort, but he did not rule out racing at some other tracks this season.
“We first want to build up our confidence at OCFS,” he said. “We would like to try Brett Hearn’s Big Show and we are looking at possibly doing races on the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series.”
Illanovsky has nothing but praise for the resurfaced track at OCFS.
“The racing on the new surface was awesome, not only from racing on it, but also watching it,” he said. “It’s much more a driver’s track now and I am super excited to be racing there in 2020.”
Sponsors for the team are DNGR Nation and Catskill Marketing. The crew members are Mike Weslowski, Ethan and Danielle Nalezny and Chris and Kacey Weslowski.
Despite not much seat time the past few years, Johnny Illanovsky is very enthusiastic about the 2020 season. Hopefully, he and his team will enjoy it and have some success.