Atlanta: GM Racing final qualifying summary

Greg Anderson's Chevy Cavalier goes to the pole with record run. COMMERCE, Ga., May 4, 2002 - Qualifying for the 22nd annual Summit Racing Equipment Nationals presented by Pontiac was completed today at Atlanta Dragway. Rain continued throughout...

Greg Anderson's Chevy Cavalier goes to the pole with record run.

COMMERCE, Ga., May 4, 2002 - Qualifying for the 22nd annual Summit Racing Equipment Nationals presented by Pontiac was completed today at Atlanta Dragway. Rain continued throughout the morning and into the early afternoon delaying the final two rounds of qualifying by three hours. The cold front that moved through lowered air temperatures into the mid-50s, helped to boost the performance level on the naturally-aspirated Pro Stock Car engines and caused a dramatic shift in the qualifying order. When all was said and done, Chevy Cavalier driver Greg Anderson captured his first No. 1 qualifier of the year with a track-record elapsed time of 6.813 seconds at 201.94 mph. Warren Johnson dropped to the No. 2 spot in a Pontiac Grand Am running 6.822 seconds at a track-record top speed of 202.52 mph. Allen Johnson is third, Jim Yates is fourth in a Grand Am with a 6.841 e.t. and Gene Wilson is fifth. Kurt Johnson, who's running a new Jerry Haas Chevy Cavalier this weekend, is qualified in the No. 6 spot after running 6.848 seconds at 200.38 mph. Bruce Allen holds the 16th and final spot with a 6.905 e.t. at 199.11 mph. Pontiac Grand Am driver George Marnell ended up 17th leaving only five drivers that have qualified fore every Pro Stock event.

Greg Anderson (Vegas General Construction Chevy Cavalier) - "The weather was so good and the track was very, very spooky in the middle. Every car here is fighting it through the middle - it was shaking and carrying on. We made a bunch of changes and it went right on through there without any of those problems and right to the pole. It wasn't that we had more power today, everyone had power today to run that quick, they just couldn't get down the track. We somehow did a better job today than everybody else."

"The conditions tomorrow will probably be completely different than what we saw today. We feel great, we made a great run and went to the pole, now we have to strip the car and change everything around. That's scary, but we'll see who's done their homework because you can throw these runs today right out the window. It's not going to matter. Qualifying in Pro Stock is so difficult that's it's not any fun. The fun comes raceday when you've survived qualifying. I love my chances tomorrow. This Chevy Cavalier is a good racecar for this racetrack, we've tested well here, we did real well here last year when we qualified on the pole and got runner-up. Our chances are real good tomorrow."

Warren Johnson (GM Performance Parts Pontiac Grand Am) - "The conditions were really pretty good on every run as far as the atmosphere was concerend. The problem that everybody ran into was that the racetrack was cold. You could go out and roll the dice and qualify No. 1, or you could miss it completely and not make the field. It was that bizarre of a change. You could go up there geared for a real good racetrack and if it was just a bit moist, you were dead meat. There were cars that should've qualified, and didn't because they over killed it. You can go right up to the edge and once you trip over that, you're done. This racetrack was an anomaly, so we were all a little apprehensive in our approach and the guys that made sure they qualified did fairly well."

Kurt Johnson (ACDelco Chevy Cavalier) - "We're pretty happy to come here with a new car and make it down the track three times. We've run really good 60-footers - one-flat, .993, numbers like that, and not cutting good 60-foot times was a problem we had with the other car. Same motor, same everything we put in this car and we picked up four hundredths at 60-foot. We're pretty pumped. We just keep tweaking this Chevy Cavalier a little bit, learning different things about it and making it better for each run. We've tested here long enough to know that the starting line is just killer, and then you'd better be a little cautious after that. It definitely pays off being able to test and then race at your home track. We just need a little more traction compound down track. When these things get loose, there's just not enough bite in them because the rear ends on these cars are so light. The only cars who can't win tomorrow are qualified 17 on down. We can have fun tomorrow, all you have to do is drive. Getting qualified is the hard part."

Jim Yates (Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Grand Am) - "The racetrack and the conditions we raced in today scared me as much as any racetrack I've ever been on. There's a lot of dew, and a lot of mist out there and the weather changed so drastically from yesterday to today that it was hard to get a handle on it. A lot of great cars didn't make it because they couldn't get down the lane. It makes you realize just how fragile it is out here. If you're not on top of your program on every run, there's a chance you're not going to stay qualified. But just when you think qualifying is difficult someone goes up there and cuts a four-oh light. Pro Stock right now is a battle. There're a lot of tough cars and a lot of tough racers out here, and competing on a racetrack like this provides everyone with just another challenge. I'm thankful we qualified fourth. This morning I would've been happy to be 16th. We went up there conservative on both runs today, and maybe a little bit more tonight, but we just wanted to get down the racetrack. Tomorrow it's supposed to be 20 degrees warmer, the humidity will be out of here and it will be a whole new ballgame."

-gm racing-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Greg Anderson , Gene Wilson , George Marnell , Allen Johnson , Jerry Haas