St. Louis: Steve Johnson preview

Johnson Primed And Ready For This Coming Weekend's Midwest Nationals In St. Louis IRONDALE, AL 5/2/07 Following last weekend's NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals in Atlanta, Steve Johnson's Snap-on Tools Suzuki team made a mad...

Johnson Primed And Ready For This Coming Weekend's Midwest Nationals In St. Louis

IRONDALE, AL 5/2/07 Following last weekend's NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals in Atlanta, Steve Johnson's Snap-on Tools Suzuki team made a mad dash back to Alabama to make a thorough inspection of their hardware, and it may pay off big time this coming weekend.

"We were a little disappointed in our performances in Atlanta," Johnson said just before heading for the airport and another series of personal appearances. "Both Mark Peiser, our crew chief, and I felt that something's been 'missing' since we ran that six second elapsed time at the Gatornationals in Florida, and we knew the best place to really tear things apart was here in our shop. There's no need to go into a lot of detail, but you can take my word for it that we've made a number of changes to our combination, and we'll know on Friday afternoon whether or not those changes were the right ones.

"We're continuing to look at the fuel injection situation, but have not yet decided to go in that direction. Those systems are pretty pricy right now, but if we get to this weekend's O'Reilly Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway and see that we need to go that way, we'll make the transition without hesitation."

With Johnson off to the St. Louis suburb of Madison, IL ahead of them, the team will follow in their 18-wheeler rig later this evening. "You know, the funny thing about all the traveling is that the guys sometimes think I have it easy because I'm flying," Johnson said. "Then I'll sit down with them and go over my schedule in detail and offer to trade. They can do the flying, and I'll drive the truck. So far, no takers!

"For me, making personal appearances, particularly in front of middle-, high-school or technical school students, is anything but a chore. I look forward to those because of their importance. If I can influence a handful of students about the need to complete their educations and get a good technical background in whatever field they want to enter, no matter how many hours I have to sit around airports waiting for a flight to do so, it's well worth it.

"I see it every day in every aspect of what we're doing in racing. The world is getting more technical every day, and in order to get a good job with good career opportunities, a solid educational background is absolutely mandatory."

Johnson will make two appearances tomorrow before competition begins at Gateway International Raceway the following day. Along with WyoTech Technical Schools rep Mike Davis, Johnson will be speaking to students at North County Technical High School in Florissant, MO, and later in the day will appear at its sister academy, South County Technical High School, which is located on a sprawling campus in South St. Louis County. The combined rosters of both institutions includes approximately 2,000 students who have access to 37 different studies programs, and come from 23 different public school districts in St. Louis County.

"On Friday we'll be hosting some WyoTech students at the track, and I'm also looking forward to that. But to be completely honest, I'm also kind of anxious to see if the changes we've made to our Snap-on Suzuki were the right ones. We're still up there in points, but we need to stay there!"

-credit: sj

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Steve Johnson , Mike Davis