Joliet: Chip Ellis preview

G Squared races without Ken Johnson The first time in over 20 years that he is not by Bryce's side JOLIET, Ill. (June 10, 2005) -- It has been a trying week for G Squared Motorsports and will be equally as trying as team owners George Bryce...

G Squared races without Ken Johnson
The first time in over 20 years that he is not by Bryce's side

JOLIET, Ill. (June 10, 2005) -- It has been a trying week for G Squared Motorsports and will be equally as trying as team owners George Bryce and George Smith and rider Chip Ellis prepare and race at the NHRA CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., without Ken Johnson.

Johnson, who has built and help prepare every motorcycle that Star Racing and G Squared Motorsports has raced over some 20 plus years, was seriously injured in a freak accident this past Saturday, June 4, and has since undergone two surgeries, the first to save his life and stabilize the injury to the left leg and knee area and the second to cleanse the wound to prevent infection.

In an update issued June 9, Jackie Bryce reported that the second surgery on Wednesday went well, but the procedure would have to be repeated at least one more time and a future skin graft will be needed to close the injury. It is estimated Ken will be in the hospital for about another week to continue the antibiotic treatment and to prevent infection. The circulation from the artery repair during the initial surgery is still functioning well, but at the present time they don't know the extent of the nerve damage.

The orthopedic surgeon indicated that it would be at least two months before any steps can be taken to repair the ligament and tendon damage and other injuries to the knee. As with any knee injury, it will require a lot of rehabilitation and therapy.

Ellis, who will be aboard the G Squared/S&S-powered Buell this weekend, made the following statement earlier this week: "We'll miss Ken this weekend and at future races but we'll do everything we can to win. The team is pumped up. We plan to make Ken proud of us while he's out."

Bryce, while thinking about Ken, will have his full attention on the job this weekend.

"Much has been made about losing the attention to detail and expertise that Ken Johnson has brought to this G Squared team and rightly so, because Ken is integral part of this operation," said Bryce.

"To insure that we have covered the vast duties that Ken has with this team, we went to practice at South Georgia Motorsports Park in Valdosta to do a dress rehearsal so that we would work smoothly as a team. I feel the practice will payoff for myself, Rick Maney and Chip (Ellis) starting today.

"Also, I must mention that our fans and potential sponsors may not recognize us this weekend. We have stripped all the decals and all the lettering off the truck and trailer and motorcycle. We will be decked out in plain white shirts. This is to show that we're still available for the proper marketing partner to take advantage of the increased exposure we are receiving with our new S&S-powered Buell.

"I should also mention that all the folks from S&S Cycle will be here throughout the weekend, as well as 22 members of George Smith's family.

"In closing let me send a personal note to Ken... Hang tough buddy. We need you!"

Restating an earlier statement she made, Jackie Bryce seems to have established the battle cry for this weekend. "Star Racing and G Squared are strong and everybody will pull together during these trying times and we will emerge a winner, just as we have in the past," said Jackie.

-gsm-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers George Bryce , George Smith , Chip Ellis