Johanna Long was sprawled on the couch in the front of her Nationwide Series hauler at Iowa Speedway this May, disarmed and chatty as her parents sat nearby.
She fidgeted with her phone, perhaps waiting for NASCAR veteran David Green to respond to a question. Her customary spotter wouldn’t be at the track that day.
She had just discussed earning respect, being awful at ballet as a little girl and her gratitude for those who had extended themselves to extend her career from Late Model racing back home in Pensacola, Fla., to the second-highest rung on NASCAR. And then there was a lull.
When asked by a reporter if she had ever gone so long — 20 minutes, 43 seconds to be exact — without the inevitable Danica Patrick question, her cheeks bunched around that brightening smile, then bent into a wry gri