THE WARREN REPORT: Lone Star Nationals Edition NEWS AND NOTES for the NHRA Castrol Lone Star Nationals Texas Motorplex, Ennis, Texas, April 30-May 3 * WARREN'S WORDS "I don't like losing at anything. When you go...
THE WARREN REPORT: Lone Star Nationals Edition
NEWS AND NOTES for the NHRA Castrol Lone Star Nationals Texas Motorplex, Ennis, Texas, April 30-May 3
* WARREN'S WORDS "I don't like losing at anything. When you go to a race, they pay you with a check. I figure it's just as easy for them to write my name on the winner's check, so the rest of these guys are going to have to fight me for it."
* RICHMOND REPORT Warren Johnson virtually owns Virginia Motorsports Park, the scene of last weekend's Pennzoil Nationals. Warren has now won the event four straight years, with a perfect 16-0 record in eliminations. No other driver has claimed a Pro Stock title at the scenic track near Richmond, Va.
After qualifying in the No. 1 spot in Virginia for three straight years, W.J. had to settle for second on the qualifying list this time. An ignition system gremlin relegated W.J. to the precarious 16th spot after the first two qualifying sessions -- but a stout 6.927 on Saturday morning secured the No. 2 spot. According to Warren's calculations, that run could have bettered the current 6.872-second national e.t. record had it taken place under the more hospitable conditions that prevailed on Friday evening.
* NUMBER 2 WITH A BULLET Johnson tallied his 67th career victory at the Pennzoil Nationals, moving him into a tie with Funny Car driver John Force for second on the list of all-time NHRA winners. Pro Stock legend Bob Glidden tops the list with 85 career wins.
Glidden's record, once regarded as unassailable, could be within Warren's reach. Since 1991, Johnson has averaged six wins per season. If W.J. can maintain this pace, he will break Glidden's record in 2001.
* ANOTHER MILESTONE Warren Johnson scored his milestone 600th round win with a victory over Mark Osborne in the first round in Richmond. It was a close call, however -- the two drivers finished in a mathematical dead heat. The electronic timers determined that Johnson was the winner by a margin of less than 1/1000th of a second.
W.J.'s won-lost record now stands at 603-225 (.728) -- the most round wins among active NHRA drivers.
* COUNTDOWN TO 200 Warren Johnson is on the threshold of another milestone in his career. He has qualified at 198 consecutive national events, the longest active qualifying streak in NHRA drag racing. If W.J.'s streak continues, he will qualify for his 200th consecutive race at the Mopar Parts Nationals in Englishtown, N.J., on May 14-17.
W.J. Trivia Question No. 1: When was the last time that Warren Johnson failed to qualify at an NHRA national event? Extra Credit Question: At what event did Warren Johnson qualify but not compete in final eliminations?
Answers in the next Warren Report!
* TURNING TO TEXAS The NHRA tour will wrap up its three-races-in-three-weeks swing at the Texas Motorplex this weekend. At 5'6", Warren Johnson has been standing tall in Texas. He won the inaugural Lone Star Nationals last year, continuing his success at new events on the NHRA tour -- he also won the inaugural race in Madison, Ill., last year.
Johnson has won three times at the Texas Motorplex, including the 1988 edition which was run under the IHRA banner. He has been in the final round eight times in 13 races -- a phenomenal 62 percent final-round average! He's qualified first or second 11 times, including a string of five straight No. 1 qualifying efforts in 1991-1995.
Warren's son Kurt has also enjoyed success in Texas, scoring two wins and one runner-up finish since 1993. In fact, at least one member of the Johnson family has been in every final round in Dallas since 1993!
* A RACE TO REMEMBER The final round of the 1993 Chief Auto Parts Nationals at the Texas Motorplex was a family affair between Warren and Kurt Johnson. Kurt defeated his father on a holeshot, 7.203 to 7.196, to score his third win of his rookie season and clinch the No. 2 spot in the championship standings.
"Kurt took the ball and ran with it," Warren remembers. "A lot of people have had good equipment and never done anything with it. He took the equipment we had and finished second in the championship with it. Was I proud of him? Sure -- who wouldn't be! He did a good job."
* POINTS RACE UPDATE When defending Pro Stock champion Jim Yates failed to qualify at the Pennzoil Nationals, Warren Johnson had a chance to break the points race wide open. He seized the opportunity, racking up 117 points and increasing his lead over Yates to 210 points (597 to 387). With 20 points awarded per round, W.J. now enjoys a 10-round lead over his rival.
* TEXAS MOTORPLEX RECORD
Warren Johnson's year-by-year results at the Texas Motorplex:
Year Qualified Result 1986 2 Runner-up (to Glidden) 1987 2 Second Round 1988 (not NHRA event) Winner (over Morgan) 1989 1 Winner (over Morgan) 1990 2 First Round 1991 1 Runner-up (to Morgan) 1992 1 Semi-final 1993 1 Runner-up (to K. Johnson) 1994 1 Runner-up (to Geoffrion) 1995 1 Semi-final 1996 2 First Round 1997 Spring 1 Winner (over Geoffrion) 1997 Fall 8 Runner-up (to Yates)
Total Races 13 Wins 3 Runners-up 5 Semi-Finals 2 Second Round 1 First Round 2
Kurt Johnson's year-by-year results at the Texas Motorplex:
Year Qualified Result 1993 6 Winner (over W. Johnson) 1994 5 Semi-final 1995 6 Winner (over Patrick) 1996 15 Runner-up (to Yates) 1997 Spring 11 Second Round 1997 Fall 1 Second Round