Starting 8th, WJ Has His Work Cut Out for Him in Indy On the strength of a 6.668-second time recorded on his third attempt on Saturday afternoon, Warren Johnson qualified his GM Performance Parts Pontiac GXP in the eighth position for Monday's...
Starting 8th, WJ Has His Work Cut Out for Him in Indy
On the strength of a 6.668-second time recorded on his third attempt on Saturday afternoon, Warren Johnson qualified his GM Performance Parts Pontiac GXP in the eighth position for Monday's final eliminations of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, IN. In each of the five sessions at O'Reilly Raceway Park, Johnson posted the fastest top speed of the 28 Pro Stock Cars attempting to qualify, highlighted by his track-record 208.33 mph run on Sunday morning.
"Overall, I'd say we had a decent qualifying performance here in Indianapolis. Allen (No. 1 qualifier Johnson) seems to have his act together so far this weekend, while the rest of us have missed a step or two throughout the three days. Still, I'm not about to complain.
"We've been working on our GM Performance Parts GXP throughout the weekend, trying to make it better on every run. It has always been fast -- now we're just trying to pick up the elapsed time part of it. When you do that, you're right on the edge of that dreaded tire shake syndrome, and we've been there so many times that we might have been overly cautious. However, we're not going to waste time worrying about what's already done. We'll just take what we have, adjust it based on our data, and do whatever we can to go rounds tomorrow."
Johnson's solid qualifying performance, combined with fellow competitor Greg Stanfield's DNQ, opened the door for the six-time champion to qualify for the NHRA's playoff season, which will start at the next race in Charlotte, NC. Faced with the daunting task of having to reach the final round in order to make the Countdown to One, WJ adopted a methodical approach to tomorrow's elimination rounds.
"Although we should have never put ourselves in this predicament to start with, we're certainly happy that our chances of making the playoffs have gotten a reprieve. We're confident our GM Performance Parts GXP is capable of winning rounds and races -- we just have to do a better job with it on race day than we have to this point of the season. We know what we need to do, so we're going to take tomorrow one round at a time, trying to make the most of the opportunity, and see where we stand at the end of the day. Hopefully, things will go our way."