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Jones recounts ‘uncomfortable’ AUSCAR experience

BRAD Jones has reflected on the hurt of being booed during his all-conquering AUSCAR days.

Jones won five successive AUSCAR titles from the 1989/90 season to 1993/94.

That dominance didn’t necessarily sit well with all fans, as Jones recalled in the latest episode of the BJR Run Down Podcast with reference to his final start at Calder Park in early 1994.

“I remember the last time I raced there, there was 35,000 people or more, and I think every single person booed me when I won,” he said.

“You need to be really resilient to be able to handle that, because it’s a lot of people not liking you.

“I can remember sitting on a bench in the garage and my dad (Phil) came in – parents are so one-eyed – and he said, ‘great job, son’.

“I went, ‘you know what? I don’t like getting booed. I didn’t do anything wrong, I just won the race and it’s not like I started at the front and stayed at the front – I passed cars’. I didn’t like it at all.

“He goes, ‘I didn’t hear anyone booing you’. I went, ‘where were you?’”

Although Jones did learn the fickle nature of such fan passion later that year when he raced NASCAR in Australia (he would go on to win that 1994/95 title).

“When they did the driver introductions, I used to go and sit at the front wheel of my car so when people were booing, they just couldn’t really see me,” he said.

Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

“We had to back the cars up to the fence and we were very close to the crowd; it was only a car length away. I went and sat down on the right-front, just sat on the track.

“They said my name and I got the loudest cheer. I looked at my brother and I went, ‘what happened?’ He said, ‘I think it’s because they think you’re the only one that’s going to beat the Americans’.

“So it can be fickle as well, but it is hard. Getting back to being booed, it’s a very uncomfortable experience and you have to have a very strong constitution.”

Jones was the only driver to win titles in AUSCAR and Australian NASCAR. He also claimed multiple Australian Super Touring Championships, was a six-time Bathurst 1000 podium finisher, and is now a race-winning team owner.

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