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Tue, 6 Sep 2005, 09:23 PM

Steve Johnson Declared MAC Tools U.S. Nationals Winner
Courtesy of NHRA Communications
Photo by Auto Imagery Inc.





INDIANAPOLIS --

Steve Johnson (near lane) vs Matt Smith
(September 6, 2005) - NHRA officials announced today that the result of Monday's Pro Stock Motorcycle final has been overturned, and the victory at the 51st annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals has been awarded to Steve Johnson.

Following yesterday's final round, the win light indicated Matt Smith was the winner of the race. However, video replays of the run showed that Johnson's motorcycle was just in front of Smith's entry at the finish.

"Although it is always our desire to provide finality to the event for both the competitors and the fans at the event's conclusion, upon further review, it's obvious that the finish line beam did not detect the front tire of Johnson's motorcycle and instead was triggered by another component of the motorcycle," said Graham Light, senior vice president of racing operations, NHRA.

"I am now convinced that the finish line camera angle did not distort the image and that Johnson's motorcycle was the first to cross the finish line. Therefore, we are reversing the original decision and declaring Steve Johnson the winner of the event."

NHRA officials reviewed the timing system data and video replays from multiple angles from ESPN2's coverage of the event, including a camera focused on the finish line.

In addition to reviewing the video, NHRA officials examined the data from all of Johnson's previous runs at the event as well as those of other competitors, inspected the finish line timing system, and consulted with industry experts. Based on the timing system's historical accuracy and its flawless performance throughout the weekend, including more than 5,000 runs, this was clearly an isolated incident. NHRA officials believe the timing results were accurate, but the finish line beams were not tripped by Johnson's tire, but rather another component of his motorcycle.

"It is extremely important to NHRA that the outcome of any race, including our most prestigious event, reward the true winner," concluded Light. "On behalf of everyone at NHRA, we want to congratulate Steve Johnson on his Mac Tools U.S. Nationals win."





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