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Jett’s journey to being a NAPA Auto Parts winner

Third generation driver Jett Johnson recently secured his maiden national title sporting the NAPA blue and yellow at Winton contesting the TA2 Muscle Car Series. It capped off an impressive season for the NAPA Auto Parts racer, who is the latest generation to emerge from the Johnson family racing dynasty. Running a dual program in both the Turtle Wax Trans Am and TA2 Muscle Car Series in 2022, it proved to be a success as he finished on the podium in each as he was supported by his father Steven in addition to grandfather Dick.

In the TA2 Muscle Car Series, the younger Johnson secured nine victories and three pole positions in a dominant display this season. The growing Turtle Wax Trans Am Series proved a step up for Johnson as he scored three podium finishes as he raced the likes of Owen Kelly and Brodie Kostecki closely at Queensland Raceway. However, it wasn’t smooth sailing for Johnson at the TA2 Muscle Car Series season finale at Winton as an engine malady on Friday threatened to derail his campaign, but his team bounced back to replace the unit before qualifying and the opening races on Saturday. Although he didn’t win at the regional Victorian circuit, Johnson was more than competitive enough to seal the crown by finishing second, fourth, fifth and fourth across the quartet of events.

Reflecting on the resilient tale of his weekend, the younger Johnson was proud to get the job done. “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,” said Johnson. “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 grandad 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 burn outs that I did at the end of that last race!” Johnson’s father Steve was riding every bump of a stressful weekend after starting on the back foot.

“He drove really well in the last race, but we had our struggles on Friday when we blew an engine and we were here until 2am on Saturday morning fixing it,” said Steven. “Some say that we were unlucky with that, but I consider it luck to have happened on Friday, rather than in qualifying or the races.
“To guys like NAPA Auto Parts who have shown faith in him at an early age, and all of his other supporters who have come here this weekend, we hope we’ve done all of them proud. And we seriously have the best team in the business. Our guys are so dedicated and they deserve most of the credit for this.”
But of course, Johnson’s five-time Australian Touring Car Championship winning grandfather Dick was left to provide the final word.

“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,” said Dick. “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.”

Johnson will continue to race in the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series next year in addition to a hopeful program in Super2 or Super3, as he targets a future career in the Repco Supercars Championship. NAPA Auto Parts is proud to sponsor Johnson as part of their NAPA Know How Motorsport Academy, which has over 400 members Australia wide. If yourself, or anyone you know is over 13 years of age and races on four wheels within Australian competition, they’re eligible to join the NAPA Know How Motorsport Academy!

To register your interest in the NAPA Know How Motorsport Academy visit napaparts.com.au/academy.

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