Farragut second-grader Nikita Johnson won his first race on the ROK Cup Florida Championship series with a first place finish this past weekend at the Palm Beach Karting track in Jupiter, Florida. Nikita, who was one of a record-breaking 117 entries in the Micro class division, sat down with us during a break at gym class to talk about his racing experience as well as his time at Farragut:
How excited were you about winning? It was really good. I’m happy because it is the first time doing the ROK Cup Florida Championship Tour.
How did you win? Even though (second place finisher Jeremy Fletcher) had a faster engine, I was still able to pass him to get to first.
When did you start racing? When I was 5 years old
Why did you start racing? I wanted to be like my dad (Obie) who used to race motorcycles. I also want to be in Formula 1 when I’m older.
Are there any drivers you admire besides your father? When I get older I will do Formula One racing and I hope to be like my role model Vettel. [Sebastian Vettel, winner of the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Formula One World Drivers’ Championships]
What did you start riding? Jeep Wrangler electric car, then an electric scooter.
How many races have you entered? Probably 50.
Do you remember your first race? Micromax. I got sixth place in qualifying. Then I got eighth in the finals.
Were you nervous? When it’s your first time in a go kart, it feels tingly.
How have you improved? I know how to take the turns better. This is the first time in Florida Winter Tour.
What is your favorite part about racing? The go karts go fast.
What is the most difficult thing about racing? Passing people. It’s hard to get around them when they’re going fast, too.
What have you learned from racing? Racing makes me have faster reactions. When someone spins out I know how to get around them and I also know when to pass.
Have you traveled to other states to race? I’ve raced only in Florida but will start traveling around to different states soon.
What is your favorite race car? Favorite car is an F1 (used in Formula One).
What car would you like to own when you grow up? I want to have a Porsche 911 like my dad.
Do you like to play racing video games? I like racing games on iPad. And Playstation. The racing game is called Formula One Racing Stars.
Do you like to watch racing on television? I like to watch Formula One. They drive really fast.
How long have you gone to school at Farragut? Since kindergarten.
What is your favorite subject in school? Soccer usually, and math, kind of.
What else do you like to do besides race? Play soccer and run track. (Coincidentally, as this interview was ending, gym class had finished and the kids were walking from the gym back over to the elementary school on the other side of campus. Nikita was toward the back of the group of kids and as soon as the interview finished, Nikita proceeded to walk quickly past everyone, zig-zagging his way to the front of the line. A racer, indeed!!)