THE WARREN REPORT: Warren Johnson GM Goodwrench Service Plus Race Report from the Pontiac Excitement Nationals QUICK RESULTS Qualified: Fourth Finished: Winner Points: First Johnson Takes Points Lead with 84th Career Victory COLUMBUS, Ohio,...
THE WARREN REPORT: Warren Johnson GM Goodwrench Service Plus Race Report from the Pontiac Excitement Nationals
Johnson Takes Points Lead with 84th Career Victory
COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 17, 2001 -- Warren Johnson rolled out a new Pro Stock Pontiac and promptly produced plenty of excitement at the Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing. The Professor notched his third win of the season and the 84th of his career, moving him to within one victory of tying Bob Glidden's record 85 national event Pro Stock titles.
Johnson's move to a new Jerry Haas-built GM Goodwrench Service Plus Grand Am was a calculated gamble. "We knew coming into this race that these were the kind of hot conditions that we were going to face for the next half-dozen races," W.J. explained. "The other car is fast on cool tracks, but this car seems to have a wider operating window in hot weather. We rolled the dice it and it worked in our favor."
W.J.'s fourth win in 26 starts at National Trail Raceway propelled him to first place in the Winston championship standings as he leapfrogged Jim Yates and Mark Pawuk to take a 52-point lead. Johnson became the first Pro Stock driver to win three races in this intensely competitive season.
Johnson began final eliminations on Father's Day by defeating his son Kurt in the opening round, 6.907 to 7.055. W.J.'s elapsed time was the quickest of the event.
"We were surprised by that 6.90, given the track conditions," Warren reported. "We made small changes each round and the car responded."
W.J. defeated Brad Jeter in the second round and Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the semi-final to advance to the final round for the 132nd time in his career. He was first off the line against Dodge driver Mark Osborne and extended the advantage to take the victory, 6.948 to 6.985.
"Beating a Dodge in the final was like icing on the cake," Johnson laughed. "This was a Pontiac-sponsored race, so I had to win!"
Johnson will race for his fourth win of the season next weekend at the Sears Craftsman Nationals in Madison, Ill. <pre> WARREN JOHNSON RACE RESULTS Qualifying: Warren Johnson qualified No. 4 at 6.959/197.68
Eliminations: First Round: Warren Johnson (6.907/198.38) defeated Kurt Johnson (7.055/197.97) Second Round: Johnson (6.922/198.20) defeated Brad Jeter (7.004/198.47) Semi-Final: Johnson (6.944/197.62) defeated Jeg Coughlin Jr. (7.242/163.22) Final Round: Johnson (6.948/198.00) defeated Mark Osborne (6.985/198.58)
Low ET: Warren Johnson, 6.907 seconds Top Speed: Warren Johnson, 199.52 mph (track record)
POINTS RACE (After 11 of 24 events) Driver Wins Points 1. Warren Johnson 3 766 2. Jim Yates 1 714 3. Mark Pawuk 0 697 4. Jeg Coughlin Jr. 2 656 5. Mark Osborne 0 587
NEXT RACE Sears Craftsman Nationals, June 22-24, Madison, Ill. TV: ESPN2, June 24, 8 - 10 p.m. (ET)