by Cody Heacox
Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to this week’s Bowman Gray Q&A! This week’s main event will feature the Sportsman division in the Sportsman 100 sponsored by Midway Mobile Storage. I had the opportunity to interview one of the most hated and loved drivers of the division, John Holleman IV. So far he’s picked up two victories and a pole award in the 2017 season.
Whether you love him or hate him, the kid has talent. Holleman has raced in almost everything there is to race. From racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Sportsman division, Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Pro Late Model Division, and U.S. Legend Cars International / INEX Legends Semi-Pro Division. Not to mention over the years Holleman has picked over 167 victories and 19 championships. I sat down to ask John Holleman IV some questions about his past, present and future.
Q: What got you interested in racing?
A: I’m not quite sure. I’ve always been fascinated with going fast even from a young age.
Q: What is your most memorable race win?
A: The next one
Q: You and Derek (Stolz) have pretty much been dominating the Sportsman Division so far this season, you have mentioned before you weren’t sure about running for the championship but could we see John Holleman go for the championship now that you’re in the hunt for it?
A: I’m not looking to run for the championship. My goal is just to win races and show off how hard me and my team work every Saturday night.
Q: Have you enjoyed the show that you and Derek have been putting on?
A: Of course I’ve enjoyed it. It’s pushed me and my team to work harder than ever to continue to get better week in and week out. We’re continuing to find speed and it’s going to be scary if we can really get our car fine-tuned. We haven’t hit our full potential.
Q: I know you race in K&N, but do you see yourself racing at Bowman Gray in 2-3 years, or do you hope to make the jump to the next level?
A: I hope to make the jump to the next level. Only time and $$$ will tell.
Q: Who is your favorite competitor to race against? K&N or BGS or even both?
A: Favorite competitor is the racetrack. If you race against other cars the bar can only be set so high. If I race the racetrack it’s constantly challenging me to become faster and work harder. It’s a never-ending process but that’s what I love about it. As I get older and mature more as a race-car driver I’m really enjoying the process of it more and ultimately that’s what’s shaping me to be an overall better driver in my opinion.
Q: What can fans expect from the 4 car in the 100 lapper? Have you and your guys put more effort in this car than all your others?
A: The fans can expect a good show and hopefully a win from the 4 team. We work just as hard every week, however we have prepared accordingly since it is a longer race and longevity is a must. I remember when Derek almost lapped the entire field one year because everyone else fell off so bad and he just didn’t. I’ve watched that race about 1,000 times on YouTube and studied his strategy and every move throughout that race. I’m obsessed with being the fastest out there. Doing my homework by studying film, searching for speed in the shop, simply just being obsessive about it and studying 24/7 is how I can achieve what I know myself and my team are capable of.
Q: You’re in the closing laps, running 2nd Do you try the bump-and-run or do you just hope the leader misses their mark?
A: On the last lap…I will respectably do everything in my power to win. The 100 lap race is a big one for me personally and I still have a chip on my shoulder from losing it last year.
Q: Most drivers circle the 100 lapper as the #1 race to prepare for, What is the biggest challenge you will face to win the 100 lapper?
A: The biggest challenge is to set a good pace and save my stuff and have something to race with in the last 20 laps of the race. That’s when everyone really tends to show their hand.
Be sure you check out next week’s action as it will be Double Points Night for all divisions. As Sportsman will host the Sportsman 100, Modified division will battle for two 25 lap events, Street Stock will go for 20 laps plus Stadium Stock races.
Cody Heacox is the weekly beat writer for Bowman Gray Racing for the 2017 season for SportsCarolina Monthly. You can reach him at email@example.com