Columbus: Steve Johnson final summary

Five-Thousandths Of A Second Too Slow: Johnson DNQs In Ohio HEBRON, OH 5/21/06 Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Steve Johnson of Birmingham, AL had one of those good and bad weekends at the NHRA Pontiac Performance Nationals at National Trail...

Five-Thousandths Of A Second Too Slow: Johnson DNQs In Ohio

HEBRON, OH 5/21/06 Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Steve Johnson of Birmingham, AL had one of those good and bad weekends at the NHRA Pontiac Performance Nationals at National Trail Raceway outside of Columbus. The good news was that the debut of his new Snap-on Tools/WyoTech Suzuki couldn't have gone much better from the promotional standpoint. However, from the performance perspective things couldn't have been much worse after he missed qualifying for eliminations by a very thin five-thousandths of a second.

"In Pro Stock Motorcycle drag racing," Johnson said, "that five-thousandths might as well have been an hour! When you're not running hard enough to make the show, the margin doesn't matter. All that counts is that we didn't make the cut, and we're all pretty disappointed about it."

To assist with the running of his Suzuki Johnson brought in noted tuner Justin Doucet on a consultancy basis, and after watching the team make four runs his report was short and to the point. "There are a lot of little holes in this 'boat,'" he said, "but the ship's not sinking. There's a number of things we can do to turn things around, and we'll start doing that Monday morning when we come back out to the track for testing."

Johnson's team entertained two regional Administrative Representatives from WyoTech, Eric Manley and Jeff Caron. WyoTech is one of the nation's leading technical training schools. The team also entertained a number of students from area schools.

"What's particularly disappointing to me," Johnson added, "is that we made a number of really major tuning changes to the bike before every run, and nothing seemed to make any difference. We tried different carburetor jetting, different gearing and even different ignition timing, but nothing seemed to make much of a change in our elapsed times when those changes really should have.

"I'm looking forward to tomorrow when there won't be so much time pressure on the team, and we can really think about the changes we want to make between runs. It should be interesting."

On Tuesday Johnson will make an appearance on behalf of Snap-on Tools with Regional Industrial Rep Dale Stahl at Northwestern University, but right now the most important thing on his mind is making good, solid runs on Monday.

"There's no question about it," he said. "We haven't performed up to the level we're accustomed to, and it's really bothering all of us. The testing tomorrow should give us some direction, and with Justin's we're planning on turning our whole season around."

-sj-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Steve Johnson