It’s been more than five weeks since the Pro Stock Motorcycle class last raced, and Steve Johnson still hasn’t stopped celebrating his win at the NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. The class is back at this weekend's Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, and Johnson will look to keep rolling after picking up the victory at the most recent race for the class.
It was the first victory in more than seven years for the veteran, and he did it in style on his Slick 50 Suzuki, setting the track record and making the quickest pass on a Suzuki in Pro Stock Motorcycle history. The new four-valve Suzuki has already shown impressive potential, and now Johnson will try to keep pushing forward in Norwalk.
“I wanted to celebrate for another five weeks,” Johnson said. “We’re trying to learn all this stuff on this Suzuki, and it’s been fascinating. We’ve worked our butts off, but when you have success, you have to recognize it and celebrate it. I’m really, really happy, and that win was the most important and satisfying win of my career. My team and I definitely want to get back out there and do as good as we can. This is really exciting, and it’s been a lot of fun.”
“I wanted to celebrate for another five weeks. We’re trying to learn all this stuff on this Suzuki, and it’s been fascinating." -- Steve Johnson
The race is the fifth for the riders in the two-wheeled category, and after starting slow on Friday, Johnson made a big jump to open the second round of qualifying on Saturday. He made a huge jump to the second spot with one qualifying session remaining, going 6.853-seconds at 196.44 mph.
Johnson has experienced a career renaissance on the new Suzuki, advancing to a pair of final rounds and winning in Charlotte. It has him third in points, and he senses plenty of excitement brewing for this weekend’s race in Norwalk. The huge fanbase is hungry for NHRA racing for the first time since 2019, and Johnson hopes to stay on the winning track against a talent-filled Pro Stock Motorcycle class that includes points leader and defending champ Matt Smith, five-time event winner Andrew Hines, Scotty Pollacheck, Angelle Sampey, Scotty Pollacheck, Eddie Krawiec, Angie Smith, and Ryan Oehler.
“We’re excited about this race. It’s fun to run in the summer when it’s so challenging, plus we get to eat ice cream there,” Johnson said. “The Bader family is great, and this race is so important for us. We’ve seen incredible fan participation and crowds at these last couple of races, and I truly believe Ohio and Norwalk is going to be even bigger. We’re focused on getting out there and doing well in Norwalk.”
Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 27. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, and then live eliminations action on FOX at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, visit www.summitmotorsportspark.com. Kids 12 and under are free in general-admission areas with a paid adult. A select number of camping spots are also available for purchase. The track has more than 900 camping spots for the weekend and only a very limited number remain for the race.