WJ Overcomes New Car Blues, Will Roll Off 14th in Indy Warren Johnson and the GM Performance Parts GTO Racing team put forth a tremendous effort in qualifying for the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, overcoming various challenges to earn the fourteenth...
WJ Overcomes New Car Blues, Will Roll Off 14th in Indy
Warren Johnson and the GM Performance Parts GTO Racing team put forth a tremendous effort in qualifying for the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, overcoming various challenges to earn the fourteenth starting position for Monday's final eliminations.
After bringing a new and relatively untested race car to O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, Johnson and his crew found themselves battling various gremlins throughout the first two days of qualifying. For example, in each of their first two attempts, their data acquisition system, a key element in fine-tuning the car's set-up, failed to produce any information, further complicating their assignment.
Even so, the team never faltered, installing a new computer and replacing much of the wiring. Working their way from behind, through their final three attempts, they climbed their way through the 31-car field, with their 6.710-second, 205.79 mph pass on Saturday morning catapulting them into the starting line-up for drag racing's biggest race.
"We've certainly had our hands full so far this weekend. We started by having to deal with a few electrical anomalies which resulted in our computer not producing any data on the first two runs. Unfortunately, these cars have gotten so much more sophisticated than they were a few years ago that a data acquisition system is a mandatory piece of equipment. You just can't tune it based on the seat of your pants anymore.
"Once we got that handled, we were finally able to start dialing this GM Performance Parts GTO into the race track. After looking at the limited data we got from last night's run, we came out this morning with a somewhat conservative set-up, keeping it soft enough that we wouldn't shake the tires and miss the last good session.
"Fortunately, we were able to not only get ourselves in the show, but we now know the edges of this track's envelope under conditions that should be quite similar to what we'll see tomorrow. We should be in good shape."