Tuner /Crew Chief

Signature Profiles
© 2000 Dwight Drum


Ken Johnson and Dwight Drum (editor)

Ken Johnson… Team Winston Pro Stock Suzuki

You can watch Ken Johnson work, but you'd better set some time aside, because this is the busy guy who once said to George Bryce..."I'll rest when I die." Ken doesn't say much while he methodically disassembles engines, and he has brief answers when asked about anything. As is with most quiet types, when they do say something, what they say usually has impact. Step closer to this master technician, and listen closely to a few good words.

D-O-B: 7-27-63 Birth Town: Oxmond, California
Home Town: Cobb, Georgia

Do you have a nickname?

"Big Johnson"

Ken drives the truck..when George is done playing...

How did you get to be a professional tuner?

"I worked at a Honda dealership, but I got tired of that. I've been At Star Racing for fifteen years, and worked my way up from the bottom."

What mental preparation do you have to do to get your bike ready for your rider?

"I've been doing this so long, it just comes natural. I've built all of Star Racing's bikes from the bottom up."

Do you go more by your computer or by your gut feelings?

"Seventy-five percent computer, twenty-five per cent gut feeling."

Do you use your weather data or do you taste the air?

"Use the data."

How do you get up when your performance gets down?

"Peddle harder."

Who would you like to be most like?

"A hard question…Probably Ray Evernham…smartest man in racing I know."

Are you happy?

"Oh, yeah."

What could make you happier?

"For every thing to go perfect as far as trying to reach a championship."

When frustrated. What do you do first?
1.Erupt 2.Withdraw 3. Try to be cool

"Try to be cool."

Where do you find the most peace in your life?

"At home at the lake…relaxing."

Is racing your full-time occupation?


What do you worry about the most?


What's your biggest success so far… Your finest moment?

"When John Myers was my team-mate."

In a few words, how would you sum up yourself?

"Always trying to do better."

Additional comments:

"I don't have much to say. I don't talk a lot. If you keep your mouth shut, you look smart even if you ain't."

Ken Johnson doesn't waste words, so keeping with his personality I'm going to be word frugal too. Gary agreed. Ken "Big Johnson"(Star Racing's star technician) gives real meaning to the word…


Star Racing

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