WARREN JOHNSON JUMPS TO SECOND IN POINTS RACE WITH SEMI-FINAL FINISH BAYTOWN, Texas (April 11, 1999) - Warren Johnson continued his climb to the top of the Pro Stock class with a semi-final round finish today in the O'Reilly Nationals at ...
WARREN JOHNSON JUMPS TO SECOND IN POINTS RACE WITH SEMI-FINAL FINISH
BAYTOWN, Texas (April 11, 1999) - Warren Johnson continued his climb to the top of the Pro Stock class with a semi-final round finish today in the O'Reilly Nationals at Houston Raceway Park. Johnson moved to second in the championship standings, 75 points behind his No. 1-ranked son, Kurt.
Johnson qualified his GM Goodwrench Service Plus Pontiac in the top spot for the fifth straight race. He exceeded 200 mph three times in qualifying, finally setting the Low ET of the event at 6.898 seconds and the Top Speed at 200.41 mph.
High heat and thick humidity presented a challenge to Pro Stock teams at the O'Reilly Nationals. "The humidity just kills these naturally aspirated engines," Warren reported after winning his 106th career pole. "It's like driving in a swamp!"
Warren dispatched Dodge driver Allen Johnson in the first round with a 6.910-second elapsed time, the quickest run of eliminations. Johnson faced his former crew chief, Greg Anderson, in the second stanza; the "Professor" prevailed by four feet at the finish line, 6.948 to 6.969.
Johnson raced a resurgent Mike Edwards in the semi-final round. Edwards was first off the starting line, and held on to win by a .002-second margin of victory.
"We thought the starting line would be slick, and we set the car up soft," Warren reported. "I couldn't get a reaction time, and then halfway through low gear it just slowed up. It was one of those deals."
Kurt Johnson avenged his father's loss by defeating Edwards in the final round. "Our goal as a team is to win the championship," W.J. asserted. "It's just as satisfying whether Kurt wins or I win. We work side by side in the shop, and we work on each other's cars. That's really the goal of a two-car team - to use all of your brainpower and manpower with maximum effectiveness."
Johnson's quest for his fifth championship will resume in two weeks at the Castrol Nationals in Dallas on April 22-25.
WARREN JOHNSON RACE RESULTS: Qualifying: Warren Johnson qualified No. 1 at 6.898/200.26 mph
Eliminations: Round 1: Warren Johnson (6.910/198.85) defeated Allen Johnson (7.016/196.22) Round 2: Warren Johnson (6.948/199.67) defeated Greg Anderson (6.969/198.61) Semi-Final: Mike Edwards (7.006/198.35) defeated Warren Johnson (6.955/199.85) Final Round: Kurt Johnson (6.969/199.14) defeated Mike Edwards (7.009/197.77)
Low ET: Warren Johnson, 6.898 seconds Top Speed: Warren Johnson, 200.41 mph
POINTS RACE (after 4 of 22 events): Driver Wins Points 1. Kurt Johnson 2 407 2. Warren Johnson 1 332 3. Jeg Coughlin, Jr. 1 274 4. Troy Coughlin 0 266 5. Jim Yates 0 233
NEXT RACE: Castrol Nationals, April 22-25, Dallas, Texas TV: Fox Sports, April 25, 5:00-7:00 p.m. - check local listings.