Gainesville: Warren Johnson Saturday summary

WJ Works His Way to the Ninth Starting Position in Gainesville Entering the final day of qualifying at the Mac Tools Gatornationals, Warren Johnson found himself in the uncharacteristic position of being outside of the top sixteen required to ...

WJ Works His Way to the Ninth Starting Position in Gainesville

Entering the final day of qualifying at the Mac Tools Gatornationals, Warren Johnson found himself in the uncharacteristic position of being outside of the top sixteen required to qualify. In addition, in order to produce the necessary performance, he would have to solve a mechanical mystery that had slowed him on Friday.

As could be expected, the Johnson crew worked tirelessly, replacing the engine, as well any many other components on their race car. Fortunately, their efforts were rewarded on their third attempt, as the GM Performance Parts Grand Am recorded the third quickest pass of the session at 6.802 seconds with a top speed of 202.42 mph, earning the ninth position in Sunday's starting field.

The Professor continued his search for performance on his fourth and final time trial, once again changing engines before the run. Although he did not better his position, Johnson obtained data that could prove valuable on race day.

"The GM Performance Parts team certainly put in a full day's work. We've been working on a new combination, which we used on our first two runs on Friday. We then changed to one of our normal rotation engines to qualify this morning, and then went back to the new set-up for this afternoon. We have no real data to go on, so every run is invaluable. It (the new engine) is really pretty close. We feel pretty confident that once we have a few races with it, we should be fully dialed in.

"The track is a little questionable right now, simply because it's so green. A year from now, it will be an excellent surface. We're not in too bad a shape, especially compared to the fuel classes, who seem to have been having a tough time getting down the track.

"As for tomorrow, I've always been of the opinion that you have to take it one round at a time, and knock them all off, no matter who is in the other lane. Although a few may lie about it, I haven't seen anyone out here walk on water yet, so we like our chances. We'll decipher all the information from today's runs, see what it looks like, and go from there."

-jr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson