Pro Stock Motorcycle Rider Steve Johnson Eager for the World Title
Competing for a world championship at the final race of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season is a new experience for Steve Johnson, but the Pro Stock Motorcycle veteran is embracing the opportunity heading into this weekend’s Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. It is the final race of the Countdown in the Championship and the 2021 campaign, and Johnson has the chance to win his first world championship on his Suzuki.
Johnson enters the final race 20 points behind defending world champ Matt Smith and is ready to be part of what’s shaping up to be a wild and must-see weekend in the two-wheeled category. Three-time world champ Angelle Sampey is just 30 points back and with each round win worth 30 points in Pomona due to the points-and-a-half scenario at the finale, the world title could be decided on the final run of the season. It could potentially be a nerve-wracking situation, but Johnson is savoring the moment as he tries for his first career win at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona and his first NHRA world championship.
“I’ve been chasing this championship for a long time and to be in this position, I’m over the moon,” said Johnson, who has picked three wins and three No. 1 qualifiers in 2021. “I’ve dreamed of it and we’ve applied some action and now the dream is getting pretty close. We’ve got a lot of heart and it’s really, really going to be fun.”
But it’s been a spectacular season for Johnson, who has found new life on his four-valve Suzuki. It’s been his best season by far in a career that’s stretched 30-plus seasons, and his victory at the most recent race in Las Vegas set up a viable championship scenario in Pomona. Johnson has performed at a high level all year, advancing to five final rounds, and he’s also been quick to praise a team that has him in title contention going against star riders like Smith and Sampey.
“You can have a fast motorcycle, but if you can’t ride it, it’s not going to be fast,” Johnson said. “We’ve got great parts, great education on how to put the parts together and we learned a little more about riding the motorcycle. We’re doing a good job that making sure there are no leaks in our boat.”
The event also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, where future stars of the sport hone their skills. Following nitro qualifying on both Friday and Saturday, there will be a special and thrilling hot rod cacklefest celebration on the return road that fans won’t want to miss. After nitro qualifying on both days, fans can also exciting wheelstander exhibitions from the “Little Red Fire Truck” and “Walking Tall” P.T. Cruiser.
Fans will also be treated to a Street Car Shootout featuring Rod Tschiggfrie’s Sorceress Olds Cutlass vs. Jay Boddie’s Camaro, as well as thrilling runs from a pair of jet cars, including the MavTV Plus Missile powered by Lucas Oil and the Lucas Oil Terminal Velocity dragster.
As always, fans are granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. This unique opportunity gives fans a chance to see teams in action and service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers. Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 3:00 p.m. PT on Friday, Nov. 12 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 11:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 10:00 a.m. PT on Sunday, Nov. 14.
ABOUT CAMPING WORLD
Camping World, headquartered in Lincolnshire, Illinois, is America’s leading retailer of RVs and related products and services, offering an extensive assortment of recreational vehicles for sale, RV and camping gear, RV maintenance and repair, other outdoor and active sports products, and the industry’s broadest and deepest range of services, protection plans, products and resources. Since the Company’s founding in 1966, Camping World has grown to become one of the most well-known destinations for everything RV, with more than 170 locations in 38 states and a comprehensive e-commerce platform. For more information, visit www.CampingWorld.com. Camping World’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CWH”.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 22 national events featuring the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, SAM Tech.edu Factory Stock Showdown and Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley Series. Twice a year, NHRA hosts a ‘race-within-a-race,’ during the JEGS Allstars and Mickey Thompson Tires Pro Bike Battle specialty competitions. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style. NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. With over 120 Member Tracks, NHRA allows racers to compete at a variety of locations nationally and internationally. NHRA’s Youth and Education Services (YES) Program reaches over 30,000 students annually to ignite their interest in automotive and racing-related careers. NHRA’s streaming service, NHRA.tv, allows fans to view all NHRA national events as well as exclusive features of the sport. In addition, NHRA owns and operates four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.