Dallas: Steve Johnson final report

A Thousandth Of A Second Isn't Much, But It Was Enough: Steve Johnson Redlights In Dallas ENNIS, TEX 9/23/07 Drag racing can be the most humbling of motorsports, as Snap-on Tools Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Steve Johnson of Irondale,...

A Thousandth Of A Second Isn't Much, But It Was Enough:
Steve Johnson Redlights In Dallas

ENNIS, TEX 9/23/07 Drag racing can be the most humbling of motorsports, as Snap-on Tools Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Steve Johnson of Irondale, Ala. found out in the first round of eliminations at the NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex on Sunday afternoon. He redlighted by the ultra-thin margin of a single thousandth of a second. Numerically, that's .001!

"A thousandth or a minute, it doesn't make any difference. I left the starting line too soon, and that resulted in the foul start," he said. "I knew I was up against a tough racer in Peggy Llewellyn. She's racing a V-Twin Buel and had a performance advantage over us in qualifying, so being as close to perfect as possible was a must. I missed it by a thousandth, and that was the last thing I expected to see."

After last weekend's outing in Memphis, where Johnson made it to the final round, losing his best engine in the process, he was still at least somewhat encouraged by this weekend's race in Texas. "Our crew chief, Mark Peiser, and the guys picked out what we believed to be the best of our remaining engines, and it actually started coming around in qualifying. Our elapsed times improved from the second to the third qualifying session, and improved again in the fourth, but it didn't seem to matter because we were 13th after all four sessions," Johnson said. "Even though I redlighted in the first round that elapsed time was another improvement, but it's tough knowing that this wasn't our best engine. I hate racing like that.

"We've got two more races this season, and that means two more opportunities to move from 'potential' to becoming winners. If I didn't think we can do it we wouldn't be racing.

"I'm a very lucky guy in that every member of our Snap-on Tools team is dedicated to improving our performances every time we go to the starting line, so we're always on the same page. The goal continues to be winning races, and that's what we'll strive to do in those next two races."

Johnson once again hosted a group of WyoTech Technical School enrollees and their parents in his pitside hospitality area. "Visiting with those new students is something I always look forward to because they have such a high level of enthusiasm, and it rubs off on everyone on our team," he said. "When we make a good run, they're there to support us and join in a little mini-celebration.

"Our next race is almost a month from now, but I can promise you the team's going to be working every day to make sure we bring the best possible 'package' to the AC Delco Nationals in Las Vegas.

Personally, I've got an incredibly tight schedule of appearances and we're also going to get in some testing before then, too," Johnson added. "Our goal continues to be a Top 10 finish in the NHRA POWERade standings, and we can achieve that goal by continuing to run as consistently as we have for the last few weeks. The rider will just have to do a little better job on the starting line, and if he doesn't, I'll fire the guy.

"Oh, man. That's me. Okay, I promise to do better next time out!"

-credit: sjr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Steve Johnson