Pomona II: Warren Johnson preview

Warren Johnson Ready to Commit 2004 "Mulligan" Season to Memory GM Performance Parts team aims to close 2004 season with win in Pomona SUGAR HILL, GA., November 8, 2004 - Pro Stock legend Warren Johnson has little in common with standout golfer...

Warren Johnson Ready to Commit 2004 "Mulligan" Season to Memory
GM Performance Parts team aims to close 2004 season with win in Pomona

SUGAR HILL, GA., November 8, 2004 - Pro Stock legend Warren Johnson has little in common with standout golfer Tiger Woods other than each is considered one of the best to ever participate in their respective sport. However, Johnson would probably like to borrow a term from Woods' vocabulary to describe his 2004 season. In light of the many accomplishments the GM Performance Parts Grand Am driver has accumulated during his stellar career, this most recent campaign could be best viewed as WJ's mulligan.

"I guess you could say the 2004 season will not receive a prominent spot in the Johnson family scrapbook," said Johnson. "Quite frankly, I can hardly wait to put a period on it. The best way to explain it is that things did not exactly go the way we anticipated. We broke things this year that we didn't even know we owned.

"However, I prefer to look at things with an optimistic point of view. Certainly, it has been a challenging and even frustrating year, but it has also been a very educational one, giving our program something to build on for the future.

"For example, since the early part of the season, we committed ourselves to the development of the DRCE 3 engine. It was something that had to be done, and this GM Performance Parts team was up to the challenge.

"It has taken a tremendous amount of work and a lot of trial and error, but I believe we now have a workable piece that is already as good as our previous design engines, which should put us in a good position for 2005."

However, before Johnson and his crew can fully focus on next year, they must concentrate their attention on the final race on the POWERade Drag Racing schedule, this weekend's Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona, CA. It is an event that Johnson sees as an opportunity to be maximized, and arrives at Pomona Raceway determined to end the year on a high note, a distinct possibility considering his nine career wins at this particular facility.

"Although we are already working on things for the 2005 season, we are not about to discount the importance of this last race," stated Johnson. "Our race car has thrown us quite a few curves of late, but I believe we should have a fairly good feel for it this weekend. In addition, we will continue to the run the "3" motor, which has shown tremendous potential.

"Basically, our goal will be to marry the two together and make consistent, representative runs. If we are able to do that, we should be fine. We have a tremendous amount of tuning notes on Pomona Raceway, and have had success there in the past, so our GM Performance Parts Grand Am knows its way to the winner's circle. It is a drive that we are going to do our best to repeat this weekend, which would be the best way to put this 2004 season in our rear view mirrors."

Facts on Warren Johnson and the GM Performance Parts Racing Team entering The Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals:

* WJ and the GM PP team Ontario, CA Appearance: Warren Johnson and the GM Performance Parts Racing Team will be making an appearance from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 10 at Mark Christopher Chevrolet, 2131 E. Convention Center Way, Ontario, CA. For more information, please call (909) 390-2900.

* Pomona has been very, very good to WJ: This will be Warren's 47th NHRA Pro Stock national event appearance at Pomona Raceway, where he has nine wins in 16 final round appearances, and a 93-35 elimination round record for a .727 win percentage.

* Warren's Winning Record in the Finals: In his 20 previous races in the Auto Club of Southern California Finals, WJ has four wins (in '88, '92, '93 & '95) in six final round appearances, as well as seven No. 1 qualifying performances.

* One year ago: Warren qualified eighth and advanced to the quarterfinals.

* Last Chance to Extend a Record Run: Warren Johnson is looking to extend a streak where has won at least one race a year for 22 consecutive years, which is the longest in NHRA history.

* No. 1 in National event wins: WJ's 92 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 one year ago at the 2003 Lucas Oil Nationals in Reading, PA.

* Career best elapsed time: 6.715 seconds, Englishtown 2003

* Career best top speed: 205.69 mph, Englishtown 2003

-j2r-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson