Johnson Loses Top Qualifying Spot, But Is Race-Ready For Sunday Eliminations MORRISON, CO 7/12/08 "Now I know what they mean when they say 'Fame is Fleeting,'" said Steve Johnson after qualifying ended for the NHRA Mile-High Nationals in the...
Johnson Loses Top Qualifying Spot, But Is Race-Ready For Sunday Eliminations
MORRISON, CO 7/12/08 "Now I know what they mean when they say 'Fame is Fleeting,'" said Steve Johnson after qualifying ended for the NHRA Mile-High Nationals in the Denver suburb of Morrison. After Friday's two runs Johnson, of Irondale, Al, had ridden his Snap-on Tools/WyoTech Technical Schools Suzuki to the preliminary pole position, but all that was to change on Saturday.
Under almost perfect weather conditions Johnson and crew chief Mark Peiser began adjusting the motorcycle for race day conditions, resulting in Johnson matching Chip Ellis's then-track elapsed time of 7.332 seconds in the first of two qualifying efforts. However, other riders went even quicker, dropping Johnson to the fourth spot. After the fourth and final session he'd fallen an additional spot back to fifth, but was far from disappointed.
"We probably should have been more aggressive today," he said, "but we still ended up in the top half of the field, and that'll give us lane choice over Junior Pippin on Sunday. That could be very important in determining the outcome of the race."
Pippin is a former AHDRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, and will provide strong opposition for Johnson on Sunday, but as Johnson said, "We're ready for eliminations right now. We've tuned our motorcycle for the existing conditions, so now it's up to me to do my job at the controls.
"If we can continue the momentum we started building in the last few races, we'll have a good outing on Sunday, and maybe move up in the points just a bit. We'd certainly like to do that, but I'll be honest right now and say what we really want is to win the whole deal. It's been a while since we've won an NHRA POWERade Series race, and we'd like nothing better than to have that happen right here in Denver."