Warren Johnson brought a completely new and untested race car to Heartland Park Topeka and emerged from Sunday's eliminations of the NHRA O'Reilly Summer Nationals with a solid semi-final finish. After qualifying 12th, Johnson upset No. 5 ...
Warren Johnson brought a completely new and untested race car to Heartland Park Topeka and emerged from Sunday's eliminations of the NHRA O'Reilly Summer Nationals with a solid semi-final finish.
After qualifying 12th, Johnson upset No. 5 qualifier Terry Adams in the first round, and then bettered his qualifying performance by nearly two hundredths of a second, posting a 6.845-second elapsed time in defeating Taylor Lastor in the second round. This propelled W.J. into his fifth semi-final of the 2003 season, where he faced No.1 qualifier Greg Anderson.
Although Johnson once again recorded an elapsed time in the 6.84-second range in the semis, it was not enough to prevent Anderson, who posted the second quickest time of the day, from ending Johnson's weekend prematurely. Even so, "The Professor" was satisfied with his new car's performance.
"Overall, looking at the stats, we're pretty pleased with this new GM Performance Parts Grand Am. After correcting the numbers for the conditions, we were running faster with each run, with our back half performance back to where it was in the past. That will allow us to work on other areas, and open up new performance opportunities.
"At this point, it appears to have a bigger window to operate in, but we don't know that for sure since we haven't gone outside that box yet. As soon as we get it to spin or shake the tires, or do something unusual, we'll start to determine the parameters.
"Unfortunately, we won't have time to test between here and next weekend's race, so we'll take what we learned here and try to improve on it in Chicago. After that, we have some major changes planned, which should make it look pretty good. The bottom line is that we just need a little more time with this car to know precisely what it needs. We're definitely headed in the right direction."