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Jeff Taylor, executive director of the East Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross, announced today that National Hot Rod Association Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Steve Johnson of Irondale, Alabama will represent the organization during the running of the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce this coming weekend.  Johnson, drag racing motorcycle racing’s most experienced competitor, will be making his 301st start in Atlanta. A two-time winner of the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals, Johnson is currently in 10th place in the Full Throttle Series standings.

Johnson’s Suzuki is equipped with a set of Performance Machine Pro Stock Wheels, Drag Race Discs and Race Calipers. Also, the Suzuki will be decked out in official American Red Cross colors and logos for the weekend, and his team will be wearing coordinated Red Cross-themed uniforms.  “We’re pulling out all the stops for this effort,” said Johnson.  “This is not only important to every member of our team, it’s important for the people of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and the rest of the Deep South.  Our neighbors really need our help right now, and we know our friends and fans in NHRA Drag Racing are incredibly generous.  We’re doing everything in red and white this weekend so everyone will remember what our neighbors have gone through, and will dig deep to help them.”

“We’re excited about Steve representing us,” said Mr. Taylor.  “He’s the kind of high profile competitor that will help get our message out there that we’re still collecting funds to help the people who have lost their homes in the recent tornados that swept through Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and much of the rest of the South.  We’re supported 100 percent by donations, and this effort on behalf of the American Red Cross by Steve Johnson is much appreciated.  It will go a long way towards keeping this important issue in front of the public.”

“This is all about our friends and neighbors,” added Johnson.  “We were personally very lucky in that the storms missed us, but the devastation is all around us, and we know people are hurting.  We’re hoping that drag racing’s generous fans will help us reach our goal of $10,000 for the weekend.”

Johnson will have a special collection point in his pit area. Additionally, the East George Chapter of the American Red Cross will have a booth set up in the Manufacturer’s Midway.  Working with Steve Johnson on this effort is NHRA Pro Stock car driver Allen Johnson (no relation) of Greenville, Tennessee, who has also seen the devastation wrought by the tornado’s first hand.  “We had some serious damage here in Tennessee,” said Allen, “along with a number of people who were seriously injured. The death toll was surprising, but we were luckier than the folks in Alabama and Mississippi. It was really bad down there.”

On Saturday afternoon there will be a formal autograph session at the American Red Cross booth after the second qualifying session at approximately 3:30 PM.  On Sunday morning there will be a Track Walk with legendary 6-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Warren Johnson (no relation – again!) where the American Red Cross will again have a major presence.  Steve Johnson will also participate in the Track Walk.

“We’re pleased to help the American Red Cross and Steve with these efforts,” said NHRA president Tom Compton.  “We know a lot of our competitors are a lot more than racers, and Steve is an excellent example of someone giving back to his community.”

If you are unable to attend the NHRA Southern Nationals in person, donations can be made the American Red Cross by calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or online at http://eastgeorgia.redcross.org/. A $10 donation may also be made by texting the phrase “REDCROSS” to 90999.


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