Gainesville Warren Johnson story (PRO STOCK)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 NEW CHASSIS SHOWS INSTANT PROMISE FOR WARREN JOHNSON IN PRO STOCK GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Warren Johnson always has been one of the supreme thinkers in NHRA Pro...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761

NEW CHASSIS SHOWS INSTANT PROMISE FOR WARREN JOHNSON IN PRO STOCK

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Warren Johnson always has been one of the supreme thinkers in NHRA Pro Stock racing.

Every bolt turned on an engine and every insertion of a drill into bare metal is calculated in his brain long before the fact. So when Johnson decided to unveil a radical new chassis built by Rick Jones in late February at the ATSCO Nationals in Phoenix, a few eyebrows were raised.

After all, Johnson won the season-opening Chief Auto Parts Winternationals with a conventional chassis. He also set an elapsed-time national record of 6.927 seconds at that race.

What's the deal, WJ?

"No guts, no glory," Johnson said. "It's not one of these things where we're taking a wild guess at it."

Apparently not. Johnson, from Buford, Ga., qualified No. 1 and was runner-up at the ATSCO Nationals in the debut of the car. He may use the new GM Performance Parts Pontiac Firebird at the 28th annual, $1,831,950 Mac Tools Gatornationals, March 6-9 at Gainesville Raceway. The race is the third event of the 22-event, $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1997.

The new Jones chassis uses a double framerail to absorb more shock from bumpy tracks, keeping the tires glued to the ground for enhanced traction. Gainesville is one of the smoothest tracks on the NHRA circuit, so Johnson may not need the new car at this event. But testing in mid-February showed the Jones car was quicker and faster than conventional chassis at Gainesville, too.

"This car went down the track at Gainesville without a blip in the driveshaft," Johnson said. "The other car's readings were all over the place."

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson