POMONA, Calif., Nov. 12, 2000 - Warren Johnson ended his reign as Pro Stock champion today with a semi-final finish in the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, the season finale of the 23-race NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series....
POMONA, Calif., Nov. 12, 2000 - Warren Johnson ended his reign as Pro Stock champion today with a semi-final finish in the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, the season finale of the 23-race NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Johnson lost to Jeg Coughlin Jr. by 1/100th of a second and finished third in the championship behind Coughlin and his son Kurt. "We made a pretty darn good run in the right lane considering how many guys didn't get down that side," said Johnson after losing to a close decision to Coughlin, 6.875 to 6.896. "The lane was obviously a little suspect. We made some changes to compensate and my car went right down it - and it ran 200 mph, too. I feel pretty good about what my crew did to get the car down that lane." Warren qualified his GM Goodwrench Service Plus Pontiac in the 13th spot after rain showers on Saturday abbreviated the schedule to three qualifying sessions. The spread between the first and 16th Pro Stock qualifiers was a scant .038 seconds. "Considering where we started on the elimination ladder, we didn't want to get too aggressive today," W.J. explained. "Kurt and I have made a lot of changes in our cars in preparation for next year. We didn't want to go back to our old setups for Pomona Raceway because we're trying to garner more knowledge for next year." Johnson finished third in the final standings after winning back-to-back championships. "The season wasn't what we wanted it to be, but that's why they call it racing," he observed. "There is only going to be one winner at every race and there is only going to be one champion in a season. "I'm not happy about losing the championship, but I'm happy about the progress we made in the second half of this year," Warren concluded. "We're looking forward to next year with our new cars." The 2001 season will kick off in 12 weeks with the AutoZone Winternationals at Pomona Raceway on February 1-4.
<pre> WARREN JOHNSON RACE RESULTS: Qualifying: Warren Johnson qualified No. 13 at 6.914/200.38. Eliminations: First Round: Warren Johnson (6.894/199.79) defeated Jim Yates (7.242/154.26) Second Round: Warren Johnson (6.881/199.61) defeated Brad Jeter (6.924/199.20) Semi-Final: Jeg Coughlin Jr. (6.875/198.96) defeated Warren Johnson (6.896/200.05)
Final Round: Kurt Johnson (6.854/200.59) defeated Jeg Coughlin Jr. (6.887/199.55) Low ET: Kurt Johnson, 6.854 seconds (track record) Top Speed: Mark Pawuk, 200.62 mph
POINTS RACE: (After 23 of 23 events) Driver Wins Points 1. Jeg Coughlin Jr. 10 2,054 2. Kurt Johnson 6 1,604 3. Warren Johnson 2 1,481 4. Ron Krisher 2 1,392 5. Mark Pawuk 1 1,214
NEXT RACE: AutoZone Winternationals, Feb. 1-4, 2001, Pomona, Calif.