NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Racer Steve Johnson Ready for a Comeback

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NHRA Pro Stock rider Steve Johnson is looking for a big comeback at the O’Reilly Spring Nationals in Houston, Texas. It has to be better than the Gatornationals, where Johnson qualified then blew up in the first round. Johnson said the hit was self inflicted. Steve Johnson Racing did not have time to inject new money into equipment and last year’s stuff failed.

Steve Johnson's Suzuki TL-1000 at the Gatornationals
Steve Johnson's Suzuki TL-1000 at the Gatornationals
 “In an instant I was extremely upset,” said Johnson. “Life is like a road that you’re on and it’s filled with stops of knowledge and this was a stop of knowledge.”

Johnson runs an extremely modified, 350 horsepower Suzuki GS engine with TL-1000 bodywork. “Our engines cost about $35,000, make 350 horsepower out of 101 cubic inches with carburetors and gasoline,” he said. “The shift point is 14,000 RPMs.”

Steve Johnson Racing has used K&N Engineering Performance Gold Oil filters for years. “This sounds corny, but oil is like blood in the body and for a guy that’s a motor head, the filter is the most important thing,” said Johnson. “We have a $35,000 engine and I only want the best and that’s K&N. I would never put an inferior filter on my expensive engine.”

The K&N Performance Gold Oil Filters have thicker canister walls for extra strength and durability. This reduces the risk of damage from loose rocks and debris. The heavy-duty construction is designed to satisfy the demands of racers and will withstand higher oil pressures found only in racing environments without bursting. Also, the extra engineering offers peace of mind for consumers who want only the best.

“My business is racing motorcycles and we all want to win,” said Johnson. “I need an engine that runs the entire quarter of a mile and we have to do that all weekend long. I always use K&N.”

Steve Johnson at the Gatornationals
Steve Johnson at the Gatornationals
Johnson is in his 20th year of racing motorcycles. He won the U.S. Nationals in Indy and won the Gatornationals in his Suzuki 1000. However, Johnson missed out of the winner’s circle when he claimed the Pro Stock Motorcycle crown at the U.S. Nationals, the most prestigious drag race in the country.  Here is what happened at what some consider the most controversial race in NHRA history: In 2005, Matt Smith was declared the winner by the timing system and NHRA officials. However, an ESPN camera on the finish line showed Johnson getting to the stripe first in slow motion. NHRA officials initially said Smith’s win would stand, but after reviewing the tapes the call was made for a reversal.

“Twenty-six hours later I got the win,” said Johnson. “I won Indy, but I missed out on the winners circle celebration.”

Follow Steve Johnson's progress throughout the racing season at the K&N news site.  Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world''s leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail, or visit