Warren Johnson makes the most of Indianapolis rain delay GM Performance Parts Grand Am team tests for Indianapolis success SUGAR HILL, GA., September 4, 2003 - The NHRA's POWERade Drag Racing Series returns to action this weekend with the ...
Warren Johnson makes the most of Indianapolis rain delay
GM Performance Parts Grand Am team tests for Indianapolis success
SUGAR HILL, GA., September 4, 2003 - The NHRA's POWERade Drag Racing Series returns to action this weekend with the resumption of the rain-delayed Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, IN. Presented with the unique opportunity of fine-tuning his GM Performance Parts Grand Am for almost five days between qualifying sessions, Warren Johnson wasted little time in returning to the team's headquarters in Sugar Hill, GA.
"We wanted to find a happier spot in our GM Performance Parts Grand Am's tune-up for the racing surface at Indianapolis Raceway Park," explained Johnson. "If we had been able to make a clean, straight run last weekend, almost certainly either Kurt or myself would have been the No. 1 qualifier. Even so, we still placed second and third.
"Fortunately, the characteristics of the track at Atlanta Dragway are similar to those at IRP, so we spent a day making 330-foot runs to make sure everything was in order and to see how we could improve our performance. The way things turned out, we came away pretty happy."
Based on his 6.825-second, 202.18 mph run from last Saturday, Johnson enters the final two days of qualifying in the third position. Although under normal circumstances, this would virtually guarantee his participation in Sunday's final eliminations, this has already been an unusual event, and with the weekend forecast calling for cool, dry conditions, a total reshuffling of the field remains a distinct possibility.
Therefore, Johnson and the GM Performance Parts Grand Am team are determined to return to the Circle City and improve upon their opening performance, maintaining their position at the top the Pro Stock field, and placing themselves in a position to garner the seventh U.S. Nationals title of "The Professor of Pro Stock's" distinguished career.
"Given the fact that we will have three additional qualifying sessions, things could get quite interesting," said Johnson. "Although we most likely would have addressed any chassis problems during subsequent qualifying runs had the rain not halted the event, the delay did give us some time to work on other areas that we had run short of time on."
"Hopefully, we can return with a little more power than we had last time. The GM Performance Parts Grand Am team enters every race to win, but, even if it's a week late, this is the U.S. Nationals, the biggest race of the year, and the one everyone wants to win. It's our job to make sure we do."
Revised Event schedule: Qualifying: Friday, September 5: One session at 4:45 p.m. Saturday, September 6: Two sessions at 11:00 a.m. & 3:00 p.m. Eliminations: Sunday, September 7: Pre-race ceremonies - 10:00 a.m. First round of eliminations - 11:00 a.m. Revised TV Schedule: Qualifying Highlights: Saturday, September 6: 11:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. (ESPN2) Early Eliminations Coverage: Sunday, September 6: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. (ESPN2) Final Eliminations Coverage: Sunday, September 7: 11:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. (ESPN2) NHRA2Day: Sunday, September 7: 11:00 - 11:30 a.m. (ESPN2)
(Note: All TV times are Eastern and subject to change. Please check your local listings for updated air times.)