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.
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.
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.
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