HomeNews / Race ResultsSteve Johnson Seeking More Performance & New Memories In Virginia

Steve Johnson Seeking More Performance & New Memories In Virginia

Steve Johnson Racing

Steve Johnson Seeking More Performance & New Memories In Virginia

Report by Bill Walters

Steve Johnson will be looking to gain more performance and create new memories this weekend at the PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals at beautiful Virginia Motorsports Park. It’s the 5th race on the 15-race NHRA Mission Foods Pro Stock Motorcycle schedule and the Suzuki racer has fond memories of the smooth racing surface at the picturesque facility.

Virginia Motorsport Park was the site of Johnson’s first career final round in 1995, racing against Pro Stock Motorcycle legend Dave Schultz. “When I look back on that day, Richmond was a new race for us, and it was special. I had a .401 reaction time in the final round (.400 was a perfect light at the time) but Schultz was able to run me down,” remembered Johnson. “My lesson from that day was that any advantage you have you better take it because there’s always going to be someone coming for you.”

Steve Johnson Racing

Johnson piloted his Suzuki Hayabusa to the final round in Richmond again in 2022, the last time Pro Stock Motorcycles raced in Virginia. After qualifying in the No. 3 position Johnson reached the finals before losing to Matt Smith. This year Johnson enters the Virginia Nationals clinging to 10th in the points standings. After a first-round defeat in Bristol two weeks ago, Johnson was right back to work in his Alabama-based shop.

“It’s same routine after every event,” explained Johnson. “We come back and look at what’s hitting and what’s not. We’re looking at longevity. Engine parts continue to get lighter and lighter. There’s more to it than just taking an engine apart, looking at it for failures and putting it back together. That’s what I’m learning. We verify if we’ve made good or bad changes and move on from there.”

History will be made this weekend when the PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals becomes the first national event in NHRA history to feature three professional qualifying sessions in one day. “It’s going to be a really long day for sure and the key will be to remain focused,” offered Johnson.

The PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals will be Johnson’s 497th career national event. The Suzuki Hayabusa rider will become the first racer in NHRA history to compete in 500 national events on board a Pro Stock Motorcycle later this season in Sonoma. In conjunction with that historic accomplishment Johnson and his sponsor Big St. Charles Motorsports, a Suzuki dealership in St. Louis, have entered a one-year campaign celebrating the 25th anniversary of the famed Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle.

“It’s fun to wave the banner for Suzuki and the entire motorcycle industry, which has so much depth. The Hayabusa is probably the most sought-after street bike ever. In many hard-core enthusiast minds there’s not a more powerful, aerodynamic and better-looking motorcycle ever made. And the fact that we get to race one at this level with NHRA Drag   Racing is fantastic. We were speaking earlier of memories with Dave Schultz. We’re making memories right now with the 25th anniversary of the Hayabusa.”

Steve Johnson Racing

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