Racing fans will get see nine-time American champion Tommy Johnson Jr for the last time when he competes in the Australian drag racing championships at Eastern Creek this weekend.
He is returning to the National Hot Rod Association championships in the USA.
He has been a popular addition to recent Australian events including the Nitro Champs in Sydney and the Fuchs Winternationals in Brisbane, driving for Rapisarda Autosport International.
When the call to race in Australia first came, Johnson said he was keen to observe drag racing here to find out how it ranked against his many other international experiences, including in the United Arab Emirates, the UK, Finland, Sweden and Germany.
“I follow all drag racing around the world and knew the names,’’ he said.
‘‘I was looking forward to meeting the people I have read about on the internet.’’
Johnson said the differences between racing across the world are mainly procedural – the language of two cars accelerating down a drag strip is universal.
‘‘The level of competition in Australia was some of the best I have seen outside of the US for sure,” he said.
The veteran racer also said much more pre-planning was needed by teams in Australia to ensure they have the resources ready to go racing.
“One of the things I noticed for the racers that is missing from the US is the availability of parts.”
Johnson will be part of the eight-car field set for the Australian Nationals which includes former national champions Darren Morgans, Phil Lamattina, Steve Read, Martin Stamatis, Damien Harris, Terry Sainty and John Lamattina.
The Australian Nationals runs from Friday to Sunday at the International Dragway, Ferrers Road.
Sunday is final elimination day for both the ANDRA Drag Racing Series and the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship.
Time: 9am-9pm Friday and Saturday, 9am-5pm Sunday.