Columbus: Warren Johnson Saturday summary

WJ Powers to the No. 1 Position in Columbus Warren Johnson combined performance with research and development to capture the No. 1 starting position for Sunday's final eliminations of the Pontiac Performance Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. ...

WJ Powers to the No. 1 Position in Columbus

Warren Johnson combined performance with research and development to capture the No. 1 starting position for Sunday's final eliminations of the Pontiac Performance Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. This is the 134th No. 1 position of Johnson's stellar career, fourth of the 2005 season and ninth at National Trail Raceway.

After posting the quickest elapsed time during Friday's opening sessions, the GM Performance Parts Pontiac driver came back on his first attempt on Saturday to take advantage of the improved conditions, resetting both ends of the Columbus track record with his 6.723-second, 205.10 mph pass. This allowed "The Professor" to edge his son Kurt, who had stepped up with a 6.724-second run of his own, for the top spot by one thousandth of a second.

With the afternoon's warmer temperatures virtually guaranteeing him the top starting spot, W.J. took advantage of his final run to test a new combination under national event conditions. As a result, he bettered his own top speed mark with his 205.13 mph blast.

"We were rooting and digging out there this weekend," said Johnson. "We came to Columbus with the idea of running this fourth DRCE III, which we had just completed earlier in the week. Since we felt the conditions on Friday would not be the best, we opted to use the new motor. To be honest, we were somewhat surprised to run low e.t. in the evening session.

"We then came back this morning, put our normal race motor in and proceeded to reclaim the No. 1 spot. On our last attempt, we went back to the original motor with new carburetors, and ran top speed of the meet so far. It seems to have a lot of potential, but still needs to be ironed out, so we'll plug our proven combination back in for tomorrow and see what this GM Performance Parts Pontiac can do."

This also marked the 33rd time in their careers that Johnson and his son Kurt qualified in the top two positions, having last accomplished this feat at the 2003 Houston race.

"From a team aspect, it's very gratifying to be qualified in the top two spots," stated Johnson. "Basically, it shows that Kurt and I are getting the most out of our particular cars, which is a testament to the hard work by both our teams here at the track, as well as the guys back at our shop in Sugar Hill. Today's result is due to their diligence and dedication."

-j2r-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson