Johnny Sutton had his first introduction to racing at a local Go-Kart park in Langford where he had the misfortune to be hit by another kart as he was being pushed onto the track which resulted in a short hospital stay. Just over a year later, Johnny went to Western Speedway (where the “Capital City Go-Kart Club” had their weekly races) in a kart he had built with the help and guidance of his Dad, John Sr. (complete with a “Briggs and Stratton” 4 cycle engine) which unfortunately failed it’s first technical inspection. Undeterred, Johnny and his Dad made the necessary changes and entered the club’s “Turkey Race” that October where he finished in 3rd place and won his very first trophy – two Cornish game hens.
In 1982, They stepped up to the “two cycle” division where Johnny finished 2nd in the “Junior” class, also travelling to race at “Yakima Speedway”and finishing 7th in their first “Gold Cup” race.
In 1984, in the “Junior 2” class, Johnny finished in 4th place, a highlight of which was his racing against then-unknown (but future “CART”, “Championship Car World Series” and “Indy 500”) driver Paul Tracy in Calgary and beating him. He also competed with Tony Stewart, Greg Moore and Scott Pruett.
From 1985 to 1992, Johnny won multiple Canadian, West Coast, Pacific Northwest, and Regional Karting Championships. His ultimate highlight was achieving “professional” status in 1989 and being listed as an “International Kart Federation Expert” – the highest award given in Karting.
In the 1990’s, Johnny set his sights on bigger open wheel cars, entering the “Bel-Ray Driver Search” in Shannonville, Ontario where he finished 2nd. He then attempted to secure a spot on the “Players Development Program” and also arranged a tryout in the “Indy Light Program” but despite scoring high and endorsements from both Paul Tracy and Greg Moore, he was not offered any contracts and returned to Karting.
He raced part time in his remaining years and continued to do very well, finally retiring after 22 years with many trophies, memories and special thanks to his very supportive Dad (John Sr.) Mom (Faye) and close friend, Marty Venoit.
In 2010, Johnny was inducted into the “International Kart Federation Hall of Fame”.