Former CART/IRL team manager takes the helm; Stjernstrom assumes Director of Pro Racing position
IRVINE, Calif. — Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., announced today the hiring of Mark Johnson to the position of Team Manager for its championship-winning professional motocross racing program¿Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki. The addition of Johnson will allow Bruce Stjernstrom, who has held the manager position since 1997, to focus on his full-time duties as Kawasaki’s Director of Pro Racing.
Johnson will oversee the day-to-day activities of the 18-man team lead by star riders Ezra Lusk and James Stewart. He returns to Kawasaki, where he was employed from 1978 to 1996, after spending the past six years directing CART and IRL teams for Precision Preparation Inc., and Team Rahal.
“Mark is a perfect fit for Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki,” said Stjernstrom. “His automotive management experience coupled with his previous success at Kawasaki and knowledge of motorcycle racing will make for a very smooth transition. He brings a lot to Kawasaki.”
Johnson resides in Laguna Niguel, Calif., with his wife Becky and daughters Jessica and Shea.
Stjernstrom, Costa Mesa, Calif., was named Director of Pro Racing in 2001 and pulled double duty as the Professional Motocross Team Manager until Johnson’s hiring. In his new position, Stjernstrom oversees the managers of each of Kawasaki professional racing teams, including Team Kawasaki Road Racing, Team Kawasaki Jet Ski and Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki, and will focus on the overall direction of Kawasaki racing properties.
Stjernstrom was instrumental in the formation of the partnership between Kawasaki and Chevy Trucks, which has been the title sponsor of its professional and amateur race teams and the official truck sponsor of Team Pro Circuit/Kawasaki since 2000. During Stjernstrom’s tenure as Professional Motocross Team Manager, the program has racked up an amazing 13 AMA Championships and produced four AMA Rookie of the Year recipients.