INDIANAPOLIS - Warren Johnson, the "Professor of Pro Stock," defeated his pupil, former crew chief Greg Anderson, in the final round to win his sixth career U.S. Nationals title and score his sixth victory of the season. W.J. continued the ...
INDIANAPOLIS - Warren Johnson, the "Professor of Pro Stock," defeated his pupil, former crew chief Greg Anderson, in the final round to win his sixth career U.S. Nationals title and score his sixth victory of the season. W.J. continued the Johnsons' domination of drag racing's biggest race, extending the family's string of U.S. Nationals final-round appearances to eight straight years. "Whether you win Indy once or six times, every one is special," said Johnson, 56, of Buford, Ga. "If you're going to win a race, it has to be Indy." Warren notched his 78th national event victory today at Indianapolis Raceway Park, tying him with John Force for second place on the all-time NHRA winners list behind Bob Glidden's record 85 career wins. Johnson dominated the 45th annual U.S. Nationals, qualifying No. 1, setting the track records, and running the low elapsed time in every round of eliminations. W.J. qualified his GM Goodwrench Service Plus Pontiac, wearing special Superman Racing graphics for this event, in the No. 1 spot for the 12th time this season. Johnson pounded the opposition with four straight 6-second runs in eliminations. Warren defeated his son Kurt in the first round with a 6.939-second elapsed time, the quickest run of the day. He dispatched rivals Jim Yates and Jeg Coughlin, Jr. in the second and third rounds respectively. He then spoiled Anderson's first final-round appearance with a 6.944 at 198.61 mph to Anderson's troubled 14.501 at 58.06 mph. "We thought there might be a slight performance advantage in the right lane in the final," Warren reported. "Greg has done an excellent job. He had a little racing luck today and got to the final in the biggest race of the year." Warren set the IRP track elapsed time record at 6.920 seconds and the speed standard at 199.82 mph. "They called this the 'Wonder Car' last year, and we're still wondering why it works so well," noted the Professor as he savored his sixth Indy victory.
WARREN JOHNSON RACE RESULTS: Qualifying: Warren Johnson qualified No. 1 at 6.920/196.67 Eliminations: Round 1: Warren Johnson (6.939/198.26) defeated Kurt Johnson (7.048/195.99) Round 2: Warren Johnson (6.943/198.44) defeated Jim Yates (7.044/196.02) Semi-Final: Warren Johnson (6.957/198.67) defeated Jeg Coughlin, Jr. (6.983/196.79) Final Round: Warren Johnson (6.944/198.61) defeated Greg Anderson (14.501/58.06)
Low ET: Warren Johnson, 6.920 seconds (track record) Top Speed: Warren Johnson, 199.82 mph (track record)
POINTS RACE: (After 16 of 22 events) Driver Wins Points 1. Warren Johnson 6 1,339 2. Kurt Johnson 3 1,130 3. Jeg Coughlin, Jr. 3 975 4. Jim Yates 2 971 5. Richie Stevens 1 821
NEXT RACE: True Value NHRA Keystone Nationals, September 16-19, Reading, Penn. TV: FOX, Sept. 19, 5:00-7:00 p.m. local time - check local listings.
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