HeadLine News

Friday, March 21, 2003 - 11:20:54 AM EDT


Team Report: Steve Johnson

Johnson finishes 10th in 2002 NHRA/PowerAde drag racing series

The NHRA/PowerAde season finished up last Monday night after the AAA Finals in Pomona, California. We talked with NHRA standout Steve Johnson backstage at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood just before he went onstage with the other riders for the awards ceremony.

"First of all I am so happy we have a Top Ten Plate for K&N to enter the 2003 season. Everyone wants to win the PowerAde Championship, but if you don't life still goes on. We had a great year especially when you think about the other 50 guys that competed this season that would kill for we have... a National Top Ten Plate in the PowerAde series.

"The last two races however were really tough. We broke all of our engines. When you think of the stress on each part at almost 14,000 RPM's you wonder how they stay together anyway. I guess we just leaned on the parts too much at the end and they failed. But now we have some time to repair engines, start on a new K&N Suzuki and begin testing for the New Year. It's funny to hear people say 'so when is your off season?' If you are doing this at all in a professional manner there is no off-season. In fact we are busier now than ever, new race bike, new engines, truck and trailer repair, new designs, leathers, testing show bikes, etc, etc."

After the banquet and during the after party, a very proud Steve Johnson gave us pages of details from his year and a look from his eyes of what was inside the Awards Ceremony and the private party that followed. The following is just a glimpse of what Steve saw.

"Our banquet in Hollywood, California was NHRA's best in 15 years in my opinion. And the place, wow, Halle Berry just received her academy award on this stage. On the other hand, can you believe the entire awards presentation was done in just two hours? The rest of the night was just a great party at The Highlands that didn't shut down until after 3 am. It's great to relax a little after a long season and this place was the place to do it in style. The best of all kinds of food, drinks, dancing, talking, live band that was awesome, couches, even a plush pool table room. The NHRA and PowerAde went all out for this one. And to top it off, in 15 years of going to these deals, this was the first time our major sponsors were able to attend the event with us. Not to sound corny, but that also made me feel really proud of our team's accomplishments this year. Again, it was just a great evening for all of NHRA and Drag Racing.

"Hey you have been asking all the questions. Now I want to say something. I have got to thank all of you (reading this) that take an interest in what we do. In my world, relationships are everything. Without sponsors like Vanson, Suzuki, Speedglas, Snap-on Tools, and especially K&N Performance Filters, our 15 years would have never been so great. I guess the real bonus is we all end up on the same side of the fence, as friends. And to all the fans of PowerAde NHRA Drag Racing, that have not been put to sleep yet, thank you again, you helped make 2002 another memorable year."

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