WJ Steps Up on his Last Run, Slides into 15th in Memphis GM Performance Parts GTO racer Warren Johnson faced a difficult assignment heading into Saturday's final qualifying session of the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, TN. Sitting in...
WJ Steps Up on his Last Run, Slides into 15th in Memphis
GM Performance Parts GTO racer Warren Johnson faced a difficult assignment heading into Saturday's final qualifying session of the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, TN. Sitting in the 18th position after tire shake had slowed them in the morning run, he would have to earn his position in Sunday's final eliminations field running in the less-preferred right hand lane with atmospheric conditions that were slightly worse than they had been earlier.
Realizing it would take a nearly perfect run to accomplish his goal, Johnson and his Terry Adams-led crew made major changes to their race car, looking to find the right combination for the tricky Memphis track. Fortunately, their mount responded with its best run of qualifying, covering the quarter-mile in 6.654-seconds with a top speed of 207.30 mph to claim the 15th position, becoming the only car to insert themselves in the sixteen-car field in that final session. Although naturally relieved to have made the show, Johnson acknowledged that the team still had work to do prior to Sunday's first round.
"The way I see it, we screwed up our first three attempts, and got it half right on that last run. We just weren't getting a hold of the track as smoothly as we wanted. It would appear to be over-clutched for an instant, with the tires not able to keep up, and then all of a sudden, it would break loose. We just had to get it all adapted together, and it came around on that last run. In retrospect, it's something we should have started in Indy, but, as we all know, hindsight is at least 20/20, and actually closer to 20/10.
"We definitely have some work to do, fine-tuning the set-up for tomorrow, but we'll get that done in time for the first round. We accomplished our first objective, getting a place to start from. Now we have to see if we can strike from here."