WJ Hopes to Reap the Benefits of his DRCE R&D in Atlanta GM Performance Parts GTO crew targets sixth NHRA national event win at home track Sugar Hill, Ga., May 4, 2006 -- Throughout his career, GM Performance Parts GTO driver Warren Johnson...
WJ Hopes to Reap the Benefits of his DRCE R&D in Atlanta
GM Performance Parts GTO crew targets sixth NHRA national event win at home track
Sugar Hill, Ga., May 4, 2006 -- Throughout his career, GM Performance Parts GTO driver Warren Johnson has established an unparalleled record for success, scoring at least one national event win in 24 of the last 25 years, with his career total of 96 easily setting the standard in the NHRA's highly competitive Pro Stock category. His many achievements are a testament to his tireless work ethic, as well as his long-standing commitment to continuously searching for ways to improve his race car's performance. From funny-car style roll cages and improved braking systems to the General Motors Drag Racing Competition Engine (DRCE), virtually every car in the Pro Stock pit area reflects Johnson's influence in the sport.
Over the last few years, Johnson's primary focus has been on developing the third generation of the legendary DRCE, which he first introduced to the "factory hot rods" over twenty years ago. After running the latest version in Bristol one week ago, the Johnson-led crew will look to put that knowledge to good use at this weekend's Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals in Atlanta, GA.
"This engine, which is the most recent iteration of the DRCE 3 was fresh off the dyno when we ran it in Bristol," described Johnson. "It showed some potential there, so we will use it once again this weekend to confirm what we found, so we can then start working on a second unit for (son) Kurt's car.
"Our R&D program is really starting to gel right now because we are getting enough of a variation of parts that we can make some real progress. Now it's a matter of taking the power that we are generating and do an effective job of getting it to the racetrack, matching the set-up in our GM Performance Parts GTO with the tune-up in this engine. We took some steps in that direction in Bristol, and we're looking to keep moving forward this weekend in Atlanta."
Johnson will be looking to return to the winner's circle in familiar territory this weekend, as the POWERade Drag Racing Series makes its annual visit to Atlanta Dragway. Located in Commerce, GA approximately one half-hour north of the team's headquarters in Sugar Hill, it has been a favorite testing facility for "The Professor" and crew over the years. In addition, Johnson has competed in every NHRA national event held there, dating back to 1981, compiling a record unmatched in the Pro Stock category with five wins in eight final round appearances. Even so, he is quick to downplay any notion of a home track advantage.
"Although we have certainly had our share of successes at Atlanta Dragway, it comes more from doing a good job of adapting to the racetrack than any inside knowledge we may have," explained Johnson. "It all comes down to track preparation. What the management does to the track prior to a test session is completely different from what the NHRA does to it before a national event. As a result, the performance characteristics change dramatically, as does the set-up necessary to get down it.
"That is particularly true this year, as the NHRA works to get a handle on the new tire for the fuel cars. We never really know what kind of track we will be racing on until we get there. About the only thing we might be more familiar with is the location of any bumps in the two lanes. The key to our success this weekend will be how good of a job we do adapting our GM Performance Parts GTO to what the track will give us. Based on that, I believe we should be in good shape."