WJ Adapts and Overcomes to Start Fourth in Pomona Six-time champion Warren Johnson capped a strong qualifying effort in fine fashion on Saturday, with his GM Performance Parts Pontiac's 6.652-second, 208.59 mph run in the final session ...
WJ Adapts and Overcomes to Start Fourth in Pomona
Six-time champion Warren Johnson capped a strong qualifying effort in fine fashion on Saturday, with his GM Performance Parts Pontiac's 6.652-second, 208.59 mph run in the final session capturing the fourth starting position for Sunday's final eliminations of the Carquest Auto Parts Winternationals in Pomona, CA. This marks the 26th time in 28 Winternationals starts that The Professor will start in the top half of the field, dating back to his first appearance at the NHRA season-opener in 1976.
In each of their four attempts, the Johnson-led crew's runs were among the best among the 22 Pro Stock teams attempting to qualify, putting them among the top contenders for race day. However, their strong performance was not without some drama, as they discovered a mechanical failure prior to the final qualifying session that required some last-minute repairs.
"Unbeknownst to us until just before we went out to qualify for the last session, we broke a lifter during this morning's run. We discovered it when we tried to warm up the car this afternoon and it squealed like you were stepping on a bat. Looking at the lobe, it was pretty black, so it obviously happened during the run, affecting our performance. That explains why we were able to run better speed in worse conditions this afternoon.
"Still, we're enthused by our GM Performance Parts Pontiac's performance so far this weekend. We were able to traverse both lanes without a problem, it's been consistent and it's actually working a little better than it was at the Finals last November. We'd made some changes to it other than the rear suspension, which seems to be working in our favor, so tomorrow it's just a matter of expanding on it."