Denver: Steve Johnson final report

Steve Johnson's Final Round Appearance Best Effort Thus Far In '08 MORRISON, CO 7/13/08 After leading the early qualifying at the NHRA Mopar Mile-High Nationals and eventually settling for the fifth starting spot, Steve Johnson of Irondale, AL...

Steve Johnson's Final Round Appearance Best Effort Thus Far In '08

MORRISON, CO 7/13/08 After leading the early qualifying at the NHRA Mopar Mile-High Nationals and eventually settling for the fifth starting spot, Steve Johnson of Irondale, AL rode his Snap-on Tools/WyoTech Technical Schools Suzuki to his first appearance in a POWERade Series final round of the season. This followed his semi-final round finish in Ohio two weeks ago, and confirms what event announcer Bob Frey said early on Sunday: "Steve Johnson is certifiably hot right now, and is a legitimate contender for the NHRA POWERade championship."

Disappointed in his runner-up finish to Matt Smith, Johnson was nevertheless pleased with his team's performance over the weekend. "I can't say enough for my guys," he said in a finish line interview. "Everyone is really working well together. This is the second year that Mark Peiser has been our crew chief, and that means a lot. It's taken some time, but there are no missed signals now, no major goofs. Everyone's on the same page, and it's showing in our performances."

After the final round, when Johnson had a moment to reflect on the weekend, he said, "Tradition says this is all about winning, and don't get me wrong, we wanted to win so badly. The guys did such a great job, and everybody says that, but my guys did really great.

"But, you know what? We can convey a marketing message to the Snap-on Tools franchisees and to the WyoTech students, and if we're in the final round, we're still winners even if we didn't get the win light!"

With his final round appearance Johnson moved from tenth to ninth in the NHRA POWERade points standings, and remains within striking distance of the competitors in the sixth through eighth positions. "We're certainly pleased about that," he said, "but there's a long way to go, and we'll have to keep pushing if we intend to make the Countdown to the Championship."

-credit: sjr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Matthew Smith , Steve Johnson