Motorsport News

NHRA’s Steve Johnson aims to become First Pro Stock Motorcycle Rider to Repeat at Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

Steve Johnson aims to become first Pro Stock Motorcycle rider to repeat in Bristol [678]

BRISTOL, TN – June 6, 2024 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Pro Stock Motorcycle veteran Steve Johnson looks to become the first repeat rider at Bristol Dragway at this weekend’s 23rd annual Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals and turn around his 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season in the process.

The Pro Stock Motorcycle class is back in action at this weekend’s race in Thunder Valley and Johnson is the reigning Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals winner. After struggling at the first three races of the season, Johnson is seeking his first NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series win of the season on his Suzuki.

But he has plenty of strong Bristol vibes as one of only three PSM winners at the legendary facility. The only two other winners at Bristol are Angelle Sampey and Jerry Savoie since the class came to Thunder Valley in 2021.

“It’s a very challenging race track for us,” Johnson said. “Where my team has been this last year and where I think we should be, it’s been exciting. The data doesn’t lie. There’s a bunch of calculations between there and you come up with gear ratios, you come up with jetting, you come up with timing, and hopefully you bring a rider, and you go throw down on the track then you come back and modify that.

“Ultimately, it is a challenge because we had very little data from that track, and it’s been really hot and it’s been super cold. It’s going to be really challenging to get down that track and especially to try to out run everybody there.”

Justin Ashley (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Enders (Pro Stock) and Johnson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) took home titles last year in picturesque Thunder Valley and this year’s race will again be broadcast on FS1, including eliminations beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday. It is the eighth of 20 races during the 2024 season and the fan-favorite Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge also takes place on Saturday, featuring semifinalists from last weekend’s NHRA New England Nationals.

Last year, Johnson handed Gaige Herrera his first runner-up finish of the season when Herrera went red in the final round. That made Johnson one of only four Pro Stock Motorcycle winners in 2023: Johnson, Hector Arana Jr., multiple-time champ Matt Smith and Herrera. With a quarterfinal finish to his credit this season, Johnson is excited to get to Bristol.

“I love what I do,” Johnson said. “I hope everyone has that fire because it takes that kind of passion…

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