Indy ORP: Steve Johnson final report

Shazam! Steve Johnson Wins Indy, Moves Solidly Into The Championship Hunt! CLAREMONT, IN 9/1/08 There are good racing weekends, and then there are dream weekends, and that's exactly what Steve Johnson of Irondale, Ala. experienced over Labor...

Shazam! Steve Johnson Wins Indy, Moves Solidly Into The Championship Hunt!

CLAREMONT, IN 9/1/08 There are good racing weekends, and then there are dream weekends, and that's exactly what Steve Johnson of Irondale, Ala. experienced over Labor Day Weekend in Indianapolis. The 22-year veteran of Pro Stock Motorcycle racing won his second U.S. Nationals title, moving convincingly into the NHRA Countdown to 1 championship program in the process. He also set Top Speed of the Meet at 192.03 mph with his Snap-on Tools/WyoTech Technical Schools Suzuki and arguably rode the most dominant Suzuki in the 16-bike field.

Those who know Steve can rest assured that he took the victory in stride, maintaining a calm outward demeanor--. Wait! Those who know Johnson know better! Let's just quote from the NHRA press release about his victory: "Johnson is known for (having) one of the most boisterous personalities (in) the NHRA POWERade Series."

He was ecstatic in victory, and needed only a slight suggestion from his Top Fuel driving buddy, Larry Dixon, to climb the fence at the finish line as have numerous winners of the Indy 500. In truth, his finish line celebration was the most animated of the day, and was a fitting conclusion to an impressive weekend.

Johnson was assured of a starting spot in the Countdown to 1 championship program after qualifying ended and he was in the fifth position, but he was after more, and got it. He vaulted past Craig Treble to take over the eighth position on the Top 10 list, and that could prove to be critically important, because the points are now going to be artificially tightened up as the Countdown to 1 begins. That means that no rider's points lead is safe, and Johnson knows it.

"Moving up the list isn't going to be easy," Johnson said after the race, "but right now I'm going to enjoy winning the biggest race of the year. I can't begin to express my thanks to everyone on our team, from crew chief Mark Peiser on down. Just as importantly, the support I've received from Snap-on Tools for the last 17 years has been nothing less than awesome, and I feel the same way about the folks from WyoTech Technical Schools.

"This was an incredible weekend for our team, and if we can keep this momentum going through the remaining five races, who knows what might happen.

"You know, my Snap-on Tools Top Fuel teammate, Doug Herbert, also qualified for the Countdown, and is also in eighth place in the standings, and I know we'd like nothing better than to march up the points list together. I'm just hoping we can make that dream a reality.

"Right now, right at this instant, I think we have the most competitive Suzuki in drag racing, but we're still facing an uphill battle against the V-Twin-powered machines. We're going to give it our all, starting at the brand new zMax Raceway in Charlotte in two weeks. But first we're going to celebrate winning this one, the race they call the Big Go.

I thought winning the U.S. Nationals once was a dream come true, but twice? I'm overwhelmed!"

-credit: sjr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Steve Johnson