Johnson, Andras Take 2 Wheels to 4-Wide Wins

The Charlotte four-wide event continues to treat Steve Johnson very well, as the Pro Stock Motorcycle veteran rode his Monster 4-valve Suzuki to a second straight win and a second consecutive victory at the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway. Johnson had the quickest bike of every session during eliminations, including an impressive run of 6.712 at 201.40 in the second round that set the track record.
Johnson went 6.740 at 200.65 on his USA Electric Suzuki in the finals, easily distancing himself from Karen Stoffer, Eddie Krawiec and Joey Gladstone. It gives Johnson his 11th career victory, the points lead, and plenty of momentum after also winning last weekend in Houston.
Here’s the final and the top-end interview:

“These bikes, they’re so hard to ride perfectly,” Johnson said. “We made some good runs today, but it’s never going to be an easy day in this class. For us to win, it’s special and this track is always a special place. Anytime you can win and win a race at a Bruton Smith track, you’re killing it and doing a great job.”
Here’s Steve’s post-race press conference:

Stoffer, who won the opener in Gainesville on her White Alligator Racing Suzuki, finished as the runner-up with her run of 6.824 at 198.88 in the championship round quad. She now trails Johnson by six points.

The top two finishers both experienced drama in Q2. Johnson had oil on his header and was pushed off the line. Then Stoffer’s fairing popped out on the top end, resulting in a very scary ride.

Here’s video:

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE results 
ROUND ONE — Eddie Krawiec, Suzuki Haybusa, 6.796, 199.40 and Jerry Savoie, 6.804, 198.93 def. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.932, 197.86 and Michael Ray, Victory, 6.962, 192.47; Karen Stoffer, 6.793, 198.12 and Jim Underdahl, 6.833, 199.88 def. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.931, 198.35 and Chris Bostick, Suzuki Hayabusa, broke; Steve Johnson, 6.769, 201.04 and Angie Smith, EBR, 6.819, 199.46 def. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.867, 198.03 and Ron Tornow, Victory, 6.972, 189.39; Angelle Sampey, Hayabusa, 6.760, 199.20 and Joey Gladstone, Hayabusa, 6.848, 200.26 def. Matt Smith, 6.869, 198.61 and Kelly Clontz, Suzuki TL, 13.436, 45.62;
SEMIFINALS — Johnson, 6.712, 201.40 and Stoffer, 6.810, 198.64 def. Underdahl, 6.861, 200.44 and A. Smith, 6.807, 201.79; Gladstone, 6.818, 198.90 and Krawiec, 6.847, 199.67 def. Sampey, 6.801, 201.40 and Savoie, 6.789, 199.79;
FINAL — Johnson, 6.740, 200.65 def. Stoffer, 6.824, 198.88, Krawiec, 6.859, 198.23 and Gladstone, 6.909, 199.32.
Pro Stock Motorcycle points
1. Steve Johnson, 295; 2. Karen Stoffer, 289; 3. Eddie Krawiec, 206; 4. Joey Gladstone, 197; 5. Angie Smith, 181; 6. Jerry Savoie, 158; 7. Matt Smith, 156; 8. Angelle Sampey, 150; 9. Jim Underdahl, 139; 10. (tie) Chris Bostick, 113.
Marc Ingwersen, 113.
Saturday’s number 1 qualifier press conference with Angelle Sampey:

Friday’s provisional number 1 qualifier press conference with Johnson:

Andras and Tharpe in the 2021 Gatornationals final

Randal Andras won the last two NHRA Top Fuel Harley championships, even winning in ’21 despite seeming to phone in his last couple of performances while Ryan Peery was surging to wins at Indy and Maple Grove.

Those fortunes reversed at zMAX. Peery lost to Chris Smith in E1 (the Harleys did not run 4-wide) while Andras kept it lit all the way to the final round win over teammate and friendly rival Tii Tharpeon his Samson Exhaust bike.

Top Fuel Harley final — Randal Andras, Weekend, 6.244, 224.81 def. Tii Tharpe, Weekend, 6.281, 224.40.

Top Fuel — Mike Salinas, 3.708 seconds, 330.47 mph def. Cameron Ferre, 3.986 seconds, 272.56 mph and Josh Hart, 9.949 seconds, 84.21 mph and Spencer Massey, 13.713 seconds, 74.83 mph;
Funny Car — John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.914, 328.86 def. Robert Hight, Camaro, 4.038, 267.85 and Ron Capps, Toyota Supra, 4.253, 225.11 and Mike McIntire, Toyota Camry, 9.391, 82.53;
Top Alcohol Dragster — Corey Michalek, 5.353, 265.64 def. Jasmine Salinas, 5.320, 275.39 and Megan Smith, 5.492, 259.16 and Taylor Vetter, 6.092, 197.08;
Top Alcohol Funny Car — Sean Bellemeur, Chevy Camaro, 5.475, 268.92 def. DJ Cox Jr., Camaro, 5.528, 266.11 and Matt Gill, Camaro, 5.507, 268.87 and Brian Hough, Camaro, 5.568, 263.62;
Factory Stock Showdown — Bill Skillman, Ford Mustang, 7.818, 178.97 def. David Barton, Chevy Camaro, 8.072, 175.98 and Stephen Bell, Camaro, 8.093, 174.44 and Scott Libersher, Camaro, 14.480, 72.55;
Pro Modified — Kris Thorne, Chevy Camaro, 5.795, 252.14 def. Lyle Barnett, Camaro, 5.998, 247.52 and Rickie Smith, Ford Mustang, broke and Stan Shelton, Mustang, broke;
Competition Eliminator — Tom Ratliff, Dragster, 8.311, 158.06 def. Bill Skillman, Ford Mustang, 7.940, 176.30.
Super Stock — Joe Lisa, Chevy Camaro, 9.971, 132.95 def. Jeff Longhany, Pontiac Firebird, 9.867, 136.07.
Stock Eliminator — Daren Poole-Adams, Chevy Camaro, 9.749, 134.63 def. Jack Zimmerman, Dodge Challenger, 10.706, 117.78.
Super Comp — Michael Handras, Dragster, 8.909, 184.27 def. John Labbous Jr., Dragster, 8.892, 177.91.
Super Gas — Craig Porter, Ford Mustang, 9.894, 163.69 def. Rusty Cook, Chevy Corvette, 9.893, 164.45.
Super Street — Jason Bator, Chevy Chevelle, 10.887, 141.85 def. Keith Mayers, Porsche, 10.879, 153.60.
Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers — Scott Neal, Dragster, 7.164, 186.30 def. Zach Sackman, Dragster, 6.309, 217.04.
Junior Dragster Shootout — Matthew Peterson, Dragster, 8.869, 74.35 def. Lincoln McMaster, Dragster, Foul – Red Light.

Featured photo of Johnson by Jerry Foss for NHRA; Andras/Tharpe photo by Tim Hailey

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