DNQ Ruins Johnson's Weekend "This Track Doesn't Like Me!" COMMERCE, GA 5/7/06 The last time Snap-on Tools Suzuki rider Steve Johnson failed to qualify for eliminations at an NHRA POWERade Series race was two years ago at this very same Summit...
DNQ Ruins Johnson's Weekend
"This Track Doesn't Like Me!"
COMMERCE, GA 5/7/06 The last time Snap-on Tools Suzuki rider Steve Johnson failed to qualify for eliminations at an NHRA POWERade Series race was two years ago at this very same Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals. That prompted Johnson, the popular rider from Birmingham, AL, to state, "I'm beginning to think this track just doesn't like me!
"The bottom line is that we've been struggling since the season started for the Pro Stock Motorcycles in March. We've got a brand new bike, and for some reason our new engines aren't 'getting along' with the chassis.
"On Friday evening, when the conditions were really good, an ignition wire that runs across some sheet metal underneath the motorcycle's skin was cut on a sharp edge, completely eliminating two cylinders,
"It's pretty tough out here when things are perfect, but when you've got two cylinders working, and everyone else has four, well, you can guess what kind of results you're going to get and believe me, they aren't good!
"On Saturday morning I wasn't lined up on the starting line correctly, and that's as much my fault as anyone's, but just as bullets don't go around corners, neither do Pro Stock Motorcycles, and when I left the bike was immediately going in the wrong direction, so I didn't have a choice. I had to shut it down."
Johnson's best effort came in the fourth and final session, but an elapsed time of 7.226 seconds was, in the world of drag racing, light years from making the cut of 7.179 seconds.
"This weekend was a major disappointment for our team," he said as the crew prepped the motorcycle for Monday morning testing. "We think we found some of our problems despite how poorly we performed, so we're going to stick around and make some runs tomorrow. By the end of the day we should have a pretty good idea where we stand so that we can go into the Pontiac Performance Nationals in Columbus, OH in two weeks ready to rock.
"We've got some big things happening at the Columbus race, so it's important for us to perform up to our usual standards. We won two national events last year, including the U.S. Nationals over Labor Day, and we finished in the Top 10 in the standings. Right now we're on the outside looking in, so the place for us to begin our comeback is Columbus."
Next: Testing at Atlanta Dragway, Monday May 8th
After That: NHRA Pontiac Performance Nationals, National Trail Raceway, Columbus, OH May 19-21