Reading: Warren Johnson final summary

WJ Gets Locked Out in Reading Quarter-finals In order to win an NHRA Pro Stock race, every aspect of the race team must work to perfection. After qualifying sixth for Sunday's final eliminations of Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, PA,...

WJ Gets Locked Out in Reading Quarter-finals

In order to win an NHRA Pro Stock race, every aspect of the race team must work to perfection. After qualifying sixth for Sunday's final eliminations of Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, PA, Warren Johnson and the GM Performance Parts GTO Racing team looked to put four such runs together and score their fourth win of the 2005 season.

Things seemed to go according to plan in the first round, as Johnson took advantage of the improved atmospheric conditions to better his qualifying effort by over five hundredths of a second, with his 6.693-second, 205.41 mph pass more than enough to trailer rival Jeg Coughlin.

This set the stage for an all-Johnson second round, as "The Professor" would square off against his son Kurt. However, as WJ attempted to stage following his pre-race burnout, it was apparent that he was dealing with a mechanical issue that prevented him from properly staging for the start. Although he was able to muster a solid 6.736-second, 204.20 mph pass, it was not enough to overcome his starting-line difficulties or his son's 6.714-second, 204.20 mph run, putting an early end to his day at Maple Grove Raceway.

"We had a problem with the line-lock. Everything seemed normal when I did my burnout, but when I hit the (line-lock) button after I pre-staged, the brake pressure kept fluctuating, first going up and then slamming back down. I must have hit it a dozen times trying to get it to engage, and by then, Kurt had already staged, so I kept pounding on it, trying different sequences.

"Just as I felt I was going to be counted out, it held, but unfortunately, by that time all I could do was bang it in there. I had also heated up the clutch with the unorthodox starting line procedure, but it still made a decent run.

"When we got to the top end, Kurt asked what happened, and I told him to jump in the car and find out for himself. He did just that and told me right away that I had no line lock. Ironically, by the time we got back to the pits, it was working again.

"Even with the abbreviated day, we're encouraged by the progress we're making with our GM Performance Parts GTO. We feel it's just a matter of time before we make some very positive strides, especially if we get a little time to work with it. Today just wasn't our day."

-j2r-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Warren Johnson