June 16, 2005
Americus - Americus-based G-Squared motorsports scored their first win of the season in the NHRA pro stock motorcycle divison last week in Chicago.
A special win for a team that was without its crew chief Ken Johnson who was severely injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident almost two weeks ago.
Americus' Chip Ellis did his best to contain his emotions after his win at the Carquest Autonationals last Sunday in Joliet, Illinois.
Ellis' thoughts were with his crew chief and good friend Ken Johnson who watched his team's win from a hospital bed in Albany.
Team co-owner George Bryce said "We took the trophy as soon as we got home we took right up to Phoebe Putney there to Ken's room so he could enjoy it."
Unfortunately on Wednesday, the day after that trophy presentation, doctors had to amputate Ken Johnson's left leg above the knee.
The decision to have a limb removed is never easy but Ken was able to make his after talking with motorcycle racer and former teammate Reggie Showers who lost both of his legs when he was 14 years old.
Bryce said "Ken said yesterday that if he didn't know how awesome Reggie was and if wasn't personal friends with Tracy Slemker of Prosethic Design Incorporated he would have been really scared as anybody would. But given the circumstances, Ken is in the best hands anybody could be in."
George Bryce spoke with Ken Johnson before leaving for New Jersey on Thursday and said Johnson is already talking about return to the G-Squared motorsports team.
George Bryce is the fifth winningest owner in NHRA history with 68 victories and six NHRA season championships.
And every motorcycle Bryce has taken to victory lane was built by Ken Johnson.
Bryce said " He always tells them don't think that one monkey holds up the show. He said they could do without me if they had to but I assure you Ken we don't to have to do without you. We want you back."
The G-Squared motorports team has climbed to second in the season points standings heading into this weekend's race at Englishtown, New Jersey.
Anyone who is interested in helping Ken Johnson and his wife Kasi with their medical expenses can send donations to Star Racing in care of Ken Johnson at Post Office Box 1241 Americus, Georgia 31709.
George Bryce says he and John Baldwin are planning a benefit concert at the U.S. 19 dragway.