There’s no sense in being disingenuous; NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Johanna Long has this observer’s attention because she’s a young woman racing in the male-dominated world of NASCAR. It was the same thing for this fan watching Tyrone Bogues at 5-foot-3 compete in the land of the giants known as the NBA, when one-handed pitcher Jim Abbott made it to the big leagues; it’s interesting to follow the exploits of someone competing on the big stage of national sports who is different than their competitors. I make no apologies.
Having said that, where Johanna Long is concerned, it’s not hard to become a fan, in this fan’s humble opinion. Racing takes confidence, racing takes focus, and being a young racer requires being teachable. The 20-year old has it, and while much attention is focused on a certain former Indy Car driver, Long takes measured steps up NASCAR’s ladder as a woman driver a little further away from the spotlight.