"Will The Eyes Of Texas Be Upon Me?" -- Steve Johnson Prior To The Fall Nationals In Dallas IRONDALE, AL 9/19/07 "We had a great time with Elvis in Memphis," said Steve Johnson from his race shop office in Irondale, Ala. on Monday, "but that...
"Will The Eyes Of Texas Be Upon Me?" -- Steve Johnson Prior To The Fall Nationals In Dallas
IRONDALE, AL 9/19/07 "We had a great time with Elvis in Memphis," said Steve Johnson from his race shop office in Irondale, Ala. on Monday, "but that was last week. Now we've got to leave the spirit of Elvis behind, and head off to Texas where maybe we can prove there's a new sheriff in town."
Johnson's Snap-on Tools Suzuki roared to an impressive runner-up finish in last weekend's NHRA O'Reilly's Mid-South Nationals, but as everyone knows and understands, that was last week's news. Now the focus is on what the team hopes to accomplish in the Lone Star State.
Johnson tied his personal best in rider Reaction Times in Memphis, with a 0.001 -- which matched his previous best, sent against the late Davd Schultz in the finale at Virginia Motorsports Park in 1995. He also matched his career-best elapsed time with a run of 6.982 seconds in the second round of eliminations, but can he and the team improve on those efforts?
"We're going to have our hands full," Johnson admits. "We suffered a major engine failure in the final round, so we're going to have to bounce back from that. We have plenty of engines, so that's not the problem. The 'problem' is that none has thus far matched the power of the one that failed In a field that's split by maybe a tenth of a second, we need every bit of horsepower we can muster."
Johnson moved into 9th place in the NHRA POWERade Top 10 standings in Memphis, and hopes to solidify that position in Texas. "Being in the Top 10 is extremely important to us," Johnson said, "but our goal continues to be winning races. We have three more opportunites to do that, including this coming weekend.
"Racing is a tough, unforgiving world. You can be on top of the world one minute, and at the bottom of the barrel the next. A month from now we're the only ones who might remember how well we ran in Memphis, so the idea is to give everyone a reason to remember us a little longer. We can do that by running hard and winning rounds at the Motorplex."
Professional qualifying for the NHRA O'Reilly's Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex begins Friday afternoon, September 21st and continues through Saturday, with eliminations scheduled for Sunday, September 23rd. ESPN2 HD will broadcast coverage of both qualifying and eliminations.