The South Carolina based Johnson brothers have always been standouts in the GNCC series, but Brody Johnson is having an exceptional season even by those standards. He’s leading the 250A class and has won every Amateur Overall so far this season. He hopes to have a perfect season, something no other rider has accomplished yet. Either way, he’s certainly a rider to watch and the current favorite for Top Amateur this season.
GNCCRacing.com: Hey Brody, thanks for taking the time to do this interview! So, correct me if I’m wrong, but you’ve actually been the top amateur every race so far this year, correct?
Brody Johnson: Yes, I’ve won the amateur overall at all six so far.
By definition, that means you also have a perfect season going in 250A as well, which is a super stacked class. How does it feel to have such a great start to the season?
It feels awesome! Especially since I didn’t expect myself to do this well coming into to season, but that’s part of what is making this feel so good. It’s nice knowing that the work during the week is paying off and showing in the results on the weekend.
Last time we spoke, you had just earned your first ever Amateur Overall at the General last year. Obviously, you’ve made some big improvements since then in terms of consistency…
Yeah for sure! Last year I was only able to put all the pieces together twice, while this year I’ve been out front every race and should be in contention to keep winning as the year goes on. Aside from the change in bikes/teams, I’ve also made some major improvements with my training program over the winter with my trainer Jacob Fetty, which I feel like played a huge role in my improved consistency this year. Hopefully we can keep the ball rolling into the rest of this season and continue to stay just as consistent.
Tell us more about your new bike and team.
I’ve loved having the opportunity to ride for the Phoenix Racing Honda team this year, and I love the team atmosphere as well. Riding for them takes a lot of stress off of me going into a race because I know they will have my bike there ready to go for me. As far as the bike itself goes, I really like my 250RX. I’m feeling really comfortable on it and couldn’t be happier with how it handles and rides.
That’s always a really important thing, especially at this level. You mentioned your trainer earlier – is this the first one you’ve worked with, and if so how has it helped you?
Yes, this is the first time I’ve had an actual trainer. I used to go to a gym that had somewhat of a trainer, but that didn’t last long (laughs). Working with Jacob has really helped me a lot this year. As long as I do what he says to do during the week, I know I’ve done enough to be ready to go racing. It helps me a lot with my confidence on race day – I don’t have to come in guessing or hoping that I’ve done enough to get the job done helps me a lot. Until this year I’ve never committed to training like I should have. Having him tell me what to do keeps me motivated, because I feel like I’ve let myself down if I don’t do what I know I should have done.
Makes sense. Did that help you stay on track with your training while we were all on the unexpected COVID break?
Yes, for sure. Even when we still had no idea when we were going back racing, I continued to work with him during the week to keep me in shape for whenever racing started back. I definitely wouldn’t be in the shape I’m in now without him.
What does an average day look like for you?
Each day is different. Some days it might be a pedal on the road bike followed by some motos on the dirt bike depending on what we have going on that weekend. Other days it might be sitting around the house resting, cleaning and doing bike work to be ready for the week ahead. If we’re lucky we may be able to sneak in a few Debbie cakes without Jacob knowing (laughs)
When you say “we”, I’m guessing you’re talking about your brother? Do you guys still do most of your training together?
Yes, we pretty much do everything involving racing and training together. He’s helped me out a lot over the years, especially since he’s older, it’s always given me someone to chase.
Are you pursuing any series besides GNCC this year?
Just our local Mid-East series.
What are your goals for the rest of the season?
My main goal is to go undefeated, especially since it’s never been done. But no matter what, as long as I feel like I’m continuing to improve each race, I’ll be happy with it.
And do you have any longer-term goals you’d like to share? Like if you win the Amateur Overall this year, will you move up to XC2?
Yes. Hopefully we will be ready to make the jump to XC2 if everything goes as planned.
What’s your favorite post-race dinner?
My favorite thing to eat after a GNCC is probably a steak and baked potato from Longhorn Steakhouse. Usually with some cheese fries as well.
Why are you passionate about racing? What made you want to pursue it the way you have?
I have a great passion for racing because it’s something I’ve always loved to do. Whether it’s riding around the yard just playing, or racing at the highest levels of competition. Simple love of the sport is a big reason. The other is my willingness and drive to be the best that I can be in whatever it is that I’m doing. That’s why I pursue racing the way I do.
Who would you like to thank?
I cannot thank the whole Phoenix Racing Honda team and all of our sponsors enough for all that they’ve done for e this year. My trainer, Jacob Fetty, for pushing me to be the best that I can be every day. My brother, for helping push me as well. My parents, for everything they’ve done to help me get where I am and make me into the person I am today.