Tyler Johns wins the Winter Classic title with his pro-modified swamp buggy, Patriot, on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, at Florida Sports Park in East Naples. Adam Fisher/Naples Daily News
Tyler Johns throws his arms in the air as he crosses the finish line, winning the final race with his buggy, The Patriot, during the Swamp Buggy Races Winter Classic on Sunday at the Florida Sports Park in East Naples. It was a triumph on many levels for Johns, who was narrowly defeated 10 months ago in his comeback race after losing part of his left arm in an airboat accident in 2016. And last fall’s racing was canceled because of damage from Hurricane Irma.(Photo: Katie Klann/Naples Daily News)Buy Photo
When Tyler Johns says how hard he’s worked get back to the No. 1 spot on the winner’s podium at Florida Sports Park, he’s not just talking about the all-nighter he pulled before the Swamp Buggy Races Winter Classic on Sunday.
Johns and his father and crew chief Randy Johns were up until sunrise Sunday morning installing a new engine for fellow buggy driver Lorrie Johns, mother and wife to the others, respectively.
At the Winter Classic, kicking off the 69th racing season in the Collier County original sport, Tyler Johns showed no signs of fatigue. He tore through the field with his pro-modified swamp buggy, Patriot, and won the Big Feature, the crowning event of each of the three racing weekends per year.
Tim Hubbard points to a swamp buggy during the Swamp Buggy Races Winter Classic