Norwalk: Steve Johnson race report

Johnson's Strong Performances In Ohio Mark The Turning Point Of His Season NORWALK, OH 6/28/08 Steve Johnson didn't win the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals aboard his Snap-on Tools Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle, but a strong semifinal round ...

Johnson's Strong Performances In Ohio Mark The Turning Point Of His Season

NORWALK, OH 6/28/08 Steve Johnson didn't win the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals aboard his Snap-on Tools Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle, but a strong semifinal round finish in the seventh of 17 races on the NHRA POWERade Series tour showed that there's still a world of racing still to come, and he's going to play an important role in the outcome of the championship.

Johnson qualified in the top half of the field with a strong 7.058 second effort that earned him the third starting position in a field of 16 motorcycles. It was his team's strongest qualifying effort of the still-young season, and a credit to the work of crew chief Mark Peiser.

"This was a tricky racing surface," Peiser said. "Summit Motorsports Park is an exceptionally well prepared facility, but when it rains, and then the sun comes out and heats the track, it's tough to make the right tuning calls. Steve did a great job riding our Snap-on Tools/WyoTech Technical Schools Suzuki, and I think we're right on the verge of winning one of these races."

Johnson stopped former American Harley-Davidson Racing Association Pro Stock superstar Junior Pippin in the first round with a superior Reaction Time and better elapsed time and then used an even better R.T. to take a holeshot victory over Chip Ellis in the second round. But, in the semifinals Johnson had the tables turned on him when Craig Treble defeated him with a holeshot of his own.

"Even though we didn't win today, we were overwhelmed when our teammate, Doug Herbert, drove his SnaponToolsFranchise.com Top Fuel dragster to a big victory over Brandon Bernstein," Johnson said following an emotion-filled finale. "I couldn't be happier for Doug because this has been a very trying year for he and his family. His two sons were killed in a highway accident back in January, and Doug has devoted himself to bringing his message of safe driving to young people ever since then. This was a big day for him, as well as a big day for our team and the entire Snap-on Tools family.

"Now our goal is to double up at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver in two weeks, with Doug winning again in Top Fuel, and us joining him in the winners circle with our first Pro Stock Motorcycle victory of the season."

-credit: dhr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Craig Treble , Brandon Bernstein , Steve Johnson , Chip Ellis