Johnson's Busy Houston "Weekend" Continues After Second Round Finish BAYTOWN, TX 4/1/07 Steve Johnson of Birmingham, AL rode his Snap-on Tools Suzuki to a second round finish in Pro Stock Motorcycle racing at the NHRA O'Reilly Spring Nationals...
Johnson's Busy Houston "Weekend" Continues After Second Round Finish
BAYTOWN, TX 4/1/07 Steve Johnson of Birmingham, AL rode his Snap-on Tools Suzuki to a second round finish in Pro Stock Motorcycle racing at the NHRA O'Reilly Spring Nationals in Houston, but his "weekend" continues Monday.
After having dined with Alabama Governor Bob Riley and other dignitaries in Birmingham on Thursday evening, Johnson flew to Houston for the second stop on the NHRA POWERade Series tour for motorcycle competitors. Inclement weather impacted qualifying on Saturday, forcing the cancellation of both sessions, so the field was set following Friday's second session results.
"I've been on both side of this situation," Johnson said after his 7.092 second elapsed time left him in the 16th and final position in the field. "You always want to make as many runs as you're allowed, and I'm pretty confident in saying that we would have improved if we'd've been able to run on Saturday."
Because of the nasty weather Johnson was able to spend considerable time giving a number of visiting WyoTech students a tour of his racing operation. "We had some students from as far away as Montana," Johnson said. "When the weather's like it was Saturday it enabled us to spend more time with the students, so in at least that respect the day was a success."
During Sunday's eliminations Johnson was the beneficiary of a Matt Smith redlight in the first round. Smith's elapsed time was considerably quicker than Johnson's 7.112, but as he said, "You can have the best team, the best crew, the best hardware and the best motorcycle, but if you don't catch a green light, you can't win. I felt bad for Matt, but in all honesty, you take advantage of every break that comes your way. You have to."
The tables were turned on the Snap-on Tools Suzuki rider in the second round when Craig Treble cut an impressive 0.006 second Reaction Time and then used a 7.057 second elapsed time to defeat Johnson's 7.109 second run.
"I definitely feel we would have been helped by having those two additional qualifying runs," Johnson said following the race, "but everyone else was in the same position, so we can't complain.
"But now, a few hours after the race, I'm over the disappointment and already looking forward to tomorrow."
On Monday Johnson will visit four Houston-area middle- and high-schools, which will conclude what will have been an incredibly hectic five day period for the professional racer/businessman. "I wish I could be carrying the race trophy to all of those appearances," Johnson said. "It might look like I've had a really busy few days, and maybe I have. But it's been worth it, believe me. Getting the message out to the kids about career planning and the importance of a real education in today's high-tech world is important to everyone's future."