Joliet II: Warren Johnson preview

Extra Prep Time Has WJ Jazzed Heading Into Joliet GM Performance Parts Crew looks for First GTO Win at Route 66 Raceway Sugar Hill, Ga., September 26, 2005 -- One of Warren Johnson's trademarks throughout his stellar NHRA Pro Stock career...

Extra Prep Time Has WJ Jazzed Heading Into Joliet

GM Performance Parts Crew looks for First GTO Win at Route 66 Raceway

Sugar Hill, Ga., September 26, 2005 -- One of Warren Johnson's trademarks throughout his stellar NHRA Pro Stock career has been his tireless work ethic. When not at the track competing in his powerful GM Performance Parts GTO, "The Professor" is ensconced in the team's headquarters in Sugar Hill, GA, search for ways to go even faster.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that WJ took advantage of the time afforded by the postponement of last week's Dallas event to further prepare for this weekend's Ameriquest Mortgage NHRA Nationals in Joliet, IL.

"The postponement was actually beneficial, as it allowed us to be better prepared for this weekend's race in Chicago, as well as the subsequent Dallas event," stated Johnson. "We took advantage of the time to make extra parts, work with some fresh pieces, and make a few refinements in order to gain some horsepower. We're hoping our GM Performance Parts GTO will show the results of those efforts in the next few weeks."

Time is also an ally of the Johnson crew when it comes to their race car. This will mark only their fifth national event with the sleek GTO, and, as the familiarization process continues, the team's expectations continue to climb.

"Our GM Performance Parts GTO is really starting to come around," detailed Johnson. "We really made it look too easy in Brainerd when we came out with basically no runs on it and qualified No. 1, after which we worked on it and apparently slowed it down as we went through the learning curve.

"Fortunately, we seem to have zeroed in on its sweet spot. It's going straight, and it's obviously right up there with the quickest cars in sixty feet, so we just have to work on the rest of it. That 6.69 in the first round in Reading was pretty promising, and we continue to work on developing horsepower, so I'm looking for a bright future with it."

This week, the POWERade Drag Racing Series makes its second stop of the 2005 season at Route 66 Raceway. Now in its eighth year on the straight-line circuit, the Joliet strip has been a good venue for Johnson, whose two wins in three final round appearances are tied for the most in the Pro Stock category. In addition, WJ has been the No. 1 qualifier twice in Joliet, including earlier this year.

"The cooler temperatures we encounter at the fall race in Chicago are conducive to making horsepower," said Johnson. "At only 600 feet above sea level, you can usually expect good performance, and since they redid the track a year or so ago, it's much smoother, so I believe we should be able to run pretty well this weekend.

"There are four races left in the season, and our approach has not changed. We will take each event one at a time, making sure we perform at our best every time out. Based off of what we saw from our GM Performance Parts GTO in Reading where we tried a few things under similar conditions, we expect to pick up the pace pretty nicely this weekend."

Notes on Warren Johnson and the GM Performance Parts GTO Racing team entering the Ameriquest Mortgage NHRA Nationals:

* WJ Runs Well at Route 66: This will be Warren's 13th NHRA appearance at the Joliet quarter-mile, where he has two wins in three final round appearances. In his 10 previous starts, WJ has complied a 16-8 elimination round record for a .667 win percentage.

* No. 1 in National event wins: WJ's 95 national event victories are the most ever in the history of the Pro Stock division and place him second on the all-time NHRA win list. His most recent win came at the 2005 Mile-High Nationals in Denver, CO.

* Career Best Elapsed Time: 6.679 seconds, Gainesville, FL, 3/20/05

* Career best top speed: 207.50 mph, Englishtown, NJ, 6/19/05

-j2r-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson