Brainerd: Warren Johnson Saturday summary

WJ Powers His New Car to the No. 1 spot in Brainerd Warren Johnson's first race with his new GM Performance Parts Pontiac GTO got off to the best possible start in qualifying, as he powered his way to the No. 1 position at the Lucas Oil...

WJ Powers His New Car to the No. 1 spot in Brainerd

Warren Johnson's first race with his new GM Performance Parts Pontiac GTO got off to the best possible start in qualifying, as he powered his way to the No. 1 position at the Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd, MN. During his third attempt on Saturday morning, Johnson blistered the Minnesota quarter-mile, resetting both ends of the track record with his 6.698-second, 206.57 mph run. This was Johnson's sixth "pole" of 2005, 136th of his career (the most by any professional driver in NHRA history) and fifth at Brainerd International Raceway.

"We're certainly not going to complain about our GM Performance Parts GTO's performance to this point. Obviously we knew there was going to be a steep learning curve to get to where we could make better choices to improve its performance, but overall it's a good start."

"We had made the decision before coming to Brainerd to run one particular engine for the first two runs, and then to switch for our last two attempts. It's part of our plan to learn exactly what we have with these different DRCE III powerplants, and in this case, it worked out nicely."

"Realizing how much better this new GTO would be aero-wise over what we had run in the early part of the season, we knew it would be in our best interest to work on getting it on the track as soon as possible. Unfortunately, our test session in St. Louis on Wednesday was cut short by rain, so we arrived here with only three passes on the new car."

"Once we got here, we kept pecking away at the tune-up, working to make it better. For the limited experience we have with it, this morning's run was very good, leaving very little on the table. Fortunately, it was enough to put us on top. However, even though we're certainly happy with where we are right now, we know we still have a lot of work to do, starting with the first round tomorrow."

-j2r-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson