Daytona 24: Steve Johnson preview

Former Patriot Striving for Perfection in Rolex 24 At Daytona Just like his former team, Porsche racer and former New England Patriot Steve Johnson is looking for 24 perfect hours this weekend at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla (22 January 08)-- As...

Former Patriot Striving for Perfection in Rolex 24 At Daytona

Just like his former team, Porsche racer and former New England Patriot Steve Johnson is looking for 24 perfect hours this weekend at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla (22 January 08)-- As he enjoys watching the team he once played two seasons of National Football League for work their way towards a perfect season, Synergy Racing pilot Steve Johnson knows that he will have to count on that same kind of perfect teamwork if he wants to make it to the winner circle in this weekend's Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Johnson, of Bristol, VA, is making his fourth career start in the legendary 24-hour Rolex season-opener, which will be carried live on Fox Network starting at 1:00 PM ET this Saturday.

"We have to be perfect for 24 straight hours, just like the Pats have had to be to get to this point in the season," said Johnson. "Everything has to go exactly right every lap for 24 hours, and there's no break to study tape on the other guys!"

While Johnson knows that star players catch headlines and make waves, no organization can put a perfect effort together without teamwork. Like Tom Brady and his impressive roster of teammates, stars in their own right, Johnson will also see his competitive chances boosted by the depth of the roster on the No. 81 EMC Mechanical entry.

He will be sharing driving duties with two world-renown Porsche 911 stars in German Lance Arnold, who is a member of the Porsche UPS Junior Team, and Irishman Damien Faulkner, who scored a championship runner-up result in his rookie season of Porsche Supercup competition. The international line up is rounded out by former Formula One and Champ Car ace Robert Doornbos, who will look to start his 2008 with a strong run in the endurance classic.

"We have four drivers, six guys on the pit crew, twice that number at the shop and at the track to support it, and everyone is an important part of the effort it takes to get a good result in this event," said Johnson. "This race is a lot like the NFL season--nothing really matters until the end. You can be fast in practice, you can qualify well-- you can even lead the first 12 hours of the race...but if you have a problem-with the car, with traffic, with anything going wrong, it just doesn't matter because you won't be there at the end. What you have to focus on is being there when the sun comes up, and being ready to race from there."

The race, which slots neatly between last weekend's NFL conference playoffs and the Super Bowl weekend on February 3rd, marks the opening event on the 14-race 2008 Rolex Sports Car Series calendar.

-credit: sr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Damien Faulkner , Steve Johnson , Lance Arnold