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Johnson’s rocky road to first national title

THE final hurdle proved challenging but aspiring Supercars driver Jett Johnson now has his maiden national title under lock and key.

Johnson took to Winton Motor Raceway for the TA2 Muscle Car Series decider and was immediately on the back foot with an engine failure during Friday practice.

Repairs well past midnight that night crucially got the #117 NAPA Auto Parts Ford Mustang back on track for Saturday’s action.

From there, the teenager was less dominant than usual, but a quartet of top five results was enough to stave off the challenge of nearest rival Graham Cheney.

“It was a bit of a rocky start after the engine dramas on Friday, but we performed strong all weekend, no other dramas and I was able to keep it clean and ultimately got the victory,” he said.

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“I was really conservative, especially in the first two races when it was wet to make sure I got the championship.

“Once I knew I had the lead and I couldn’t be overtaken, I gave it a good push in the last race and ran with the leaders.

“I hope I did my granddad proud in that last race. He wanted me to push and I feel I did.

“But I reckon he’d definitely be proud of the burnouts that I did at the end of that last race!”

Jett, Steven and Dick Johnson. Pic: Supplied

His grandfather, Dick Johnson, added: “What we are most proud about is that he is a good kid.

“He’s not a smarty and very humble, and that’s one thing we want most – we want him to be a good person over anything else.

“The weekend didn’t start off too well with an engine lunched all over the road, but these things happen and fortunately that was on Friday, not Saturday or Sunday. It was a blessing.

“He drove conservative all weekend, which is unusual for him, but he came home with the goods.”

The Johnson family is seriously considering a campaign in the Dunlop Super2 or Super3 Series for Jett next year, in addition to further Trans Am/TA2 racing.

The opening two TA2 races at Winton were won by Kyle Gurton, with the final two going the way of Brad Gartner and Jackson Rice respectively.

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