Atlanta: Pontiac Racing Friday qualifying summary

Warren Johnson top qualifier at Atlanta Dragway COMMERCE, Ga., May 3, 2002 - Qualifying for the 22nd annual Summit Racing Equipment Nationals presented by Pontiac got underway today at Atlanta Dragway. After a four-hour rain delay, local ...

Warren Johnson top qualifier at Atlanta Dragway

COMMERCE, Ga., May 3, 2002 - Qualifying for the 22nd annual Summit Racing Equipment Nationals presented by Pontiac got underway today at Atlanta Dragway.

After a four-hour rain delay, local favorite Warren Johnson took the top qualifying spot in Pro Stock driving the GM Performance Parts Pontiac to a track-record elapsed time and speed of 6.863 seconds at 201.46 mph. The current points leader, Johnson was .027 second quicker than his closest competitor, No. 2 qualifier Greg Anderson. Anderson's Chevy Cavalier turned a lap of 6.890 seconds at 200.56 mph. Ron Krisher was third in a Cavalier, Darrell Alderman was fourth in a Dodge and Jeg Coughlin was fifth in a Cavalier.

Warren Johnson (GM Performance Parts Pontiac Grand Am) - "We went up there, Buddy (Ingersol) went up there, and really walked the whole track to see what kind of condition it was in, and felt pretty confident it would hold about anything we threw at it. We were really not overly aggressive. We could've used a little more RPM on the starting line, but our approach was to get down the track and get qualified - we didn't need a home run just an infield hit. It worked out pretty good."

"The racetrack itself didn't throw us anything. With all the testing we've done here we know that the track doesn't have a lot of bumps - it's really about as good a racetrack as we'll run on so we knew that wasn't going to be an issue. It came down to how well they prepared the track as far as traction was concerned down track because we hadn't any fuel cars to put rubber down track. The starting line we didn't worry about. We probably had too much spoiler in the car just to make sure we got hold of the track. I can't say we lost anything by doing that but we didn't gain anything either from a performance standpoint."

"Everybody knew how important this session was and went out there with the mindset of 'let's just get down the track.' We didn't want to try and get every last inch of performance out of the car because that edge is so fine that if you shake the tires, it's all over. You may give up a hundredth or two, but you're not giving up a tenth and that'll knock you right out of the field. This was the session where you didn't want to shoot yourself in the foot."

Note: With his 88th career victory last weekend in Bristol, Tenn., six-time Pro Stock champion Warren Johnson has now won a race every year since 1982 - a streak of 21 consecutive seasons.

Qualifying highlights can be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday, May 4, starting at 9 p.m. Eastern. Final eliminations will be telecast on ESPN2 on Sunday, May 5, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Eastern.

-pontiac-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Darrell Alderman , Warren Johnson , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher