Pontiac GTO Makes Record-Setting Pro Stock Debut at Denver Anderson Sets Track Elapsed-Time Record, Johnson Betters Speed Mark MORRISON, Colo., July 16, 2005 - The new 2005 Pontiac GTO Pro Stock car made its debut this weekend at the 26h annual...
Pontiac GTO Makes Record-Setting Pro Stock Debut at Denver Anderson Sets Track Elapsed-Time Record, Johnson Betters Speed Mark
MORRISON, Colo., July 16, 2005 - The new 2005 Pontiac GTO Pro Stock car made its debut this weekend at the 26h annual Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, and so far it has done so in record-setting fashion. Two-time defending POWERade Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson drove his brand-new Summit Racing Pontiac GTO to his third No. 1 qualifier of the season (Gainesville, Topeka) with a track-record elapsed time of 7.106 seconds at 194.07 mph. Warren Johnson also got into the record-setting act, qualifying his GM Performance Parts Pontiac in the No. 2 spot with an elapsed time of 7.112 seconds and a track-record speed of 194.24 mph.
"This GTO is going to be a great car," said an excited Anderson. "I know I'm going to love it, and I'm already liking everything I see about it. It's just got potential to the max. I can't remember the last time I got a new car that I was this excited about what it's going to be in the future, and I just can't wait to really hit her sweet spot and show what she can do. I've got a new 2005 GTO at home and I just love it, and I know I'm going to love this GTO too."
The GTO is the second car that GM Racing has introduced into NHRA Pro Stock competition this year. The processes involved in the development of the new Pontiac were almost identical, even down to the same number of wind-tunnel tests, as to that of the Chevy Cobalt which made its debut at Bristol Dragway on April 29.
"The thing that I see right away is that they both look like they're going to be a smash hit for GM, there's no question about that," said Anderson. "The Cobalt is showing what it can do with Kurt (Johnson), and obviously it looks like the GTOs are going to be fantastic, too. It's a feather in GM's cap. They've done a heck of a job designing these cars, and everybody that's driving a GM car is feeling pretty pumped and pretty upbeat right now."
With temperatures in the mid-90s for today's qualifying sessions, nearly every team qualified on the strength of last night's qualifying effort. Pontiac drivers joining Anderson and Johnson in the field include Anderson's teammate Jason Line in third, Jim Yates in 14th and Mike Edwards in 16th.
Kurt Johnson was the highest-qualifying Chevrolet as his Cobalt is qualified fourth with a 7.134 e.t. at 194.04 mph. Other Chevrolet qualifiers include Ron Krisher (7th), Dave Connolly (9th), Greg Stanfield (10th), Ben Watson (13th), and Erica Enders rounds out the red bowtie efforts placing her Chevy Cobalt 15th on the Pro Stock grid.
In Funny Car, Del Worsham qualified fifth in his Chevy Monte Carlo with an elapsed time of 4.866 seconds at 320.43 mph to take top qualifying honors for Chevrolet. Other Chevy qualifiers include Tim Wilkerson (7th), Tony Bartone (8th), Tommy Johnson Jr. (9th), and then Tony Pedregon, Cruz Pedregon, and Gary Densham in 12th-14th, respectively. Robert Hight in a Ford is the No. 1 qualifier with a track-record 4.726 e.t. at a track-record speed of 328.86 mph.
"A lot of people didn't believe me when I told them we'd never run in the 4s here," Worsham said. "We ran 5.02 here once before, but other than that we've never really done much in terms of the numbers. We've won the race, but we never knocked anybody over with our numbers. So, to go out there on our first pass yesterday and run 4.950 was great. We weren't really trying to do it, so it surprised us a little. We were wanting a nice, solid 5.0 that would give us something to work with and tweak from, and it went out there and ran 4.95, so I was pretty jazzed about that."