Warren Johnson Scores Dominant Win at O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals Sunday, April 10, 2005, Baytown, TX- Warren Johnson, "The Professor of Pro Stock", made a dramatic return to the NHRA winner's circle on Sunday, scoring a dominant win at...
Warren Johnson Scores Dominant Win at O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals
Sunday, April 10, 2005, Baytown, TX- Warren Johnson, "The Professor of Pro Stock", made a dramatic return to the NHRA winner's circle on Sunday, scoring a dominant win at the 18th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals in Baytown, TX. Starting from the No. 1 position, Johnson's GM Performance Parts Pontiac was clearly the class of the field at Houston Raceway Park, posting low elapsed time of eliminations with his 6.706-second pass in the first round, as well as the top speed in all four rounds. This was the 93rd win of Johnson's stellar career, sixth at the Baytown quarter-mile, and catapulted the six-time Pro Stock champion into the POWERade Championship lead.
"I guess you can't do much better that we did this weekend," stated Johnson. "Especially after last year, which we consider an anomaly, I have to give my GM Performance Parts team credit for not giving up. This team knows it can still win, and never let anything that's happened deter them.
"That's probably the biggest thing about this win. It was a total team effort. I have two great guys that work at the race track, and people back at our shop in Sugar Hill that are really dedicated to what they do. That all results in my having a better race car to drive, giving us a better potential to win. I certainly can't do it all myself."
After eliminating Richie Stevens, Greg Stanfield and David Connolly in the earlier rounds, Johnson squared off against sophomore driver Jason Line in the final, with "The Professor" holding the advantage both in performance and lane choice. However, the contest was over almost immediately, as Line left the starting line early and handed the automatic win to Johnson, who punctuated his win with another stellar 6.714-second, 205.01 mph run.
This was also the first national event win for the DRCE III, the third generation General Motors Drag Racing Competition Engine that Johnson has been developing since early last year. Johnson and his son Kurt are the only two competitors currently using this powerplant in competition.
"Our GM Performance Parts Pontiac was virtually flawless all weekend,' said Johnson. "Since the middle of last season, we've focused on improving our race cars and our power level, and it's all starting to come together.
"Of course, when you have a car that good, the feeling is that if we don't win, I screwed up, so the pressure was really on. Fortunately, things worked in our favor, and we were able to come away with the win.
"We hope this is just the tip of the iceberg, because we only have three of these DRCE III engines in our inventory at the moment, and each one seems to want to run faster. Given the fact that we are relatively competitive right now, and that we're fairly confident of being able to pick up the pace, I look at this year as being potentially as good as any of those in which I won the championship.
"However, we're not going to put the cart before the horse. We still have a lot of work to do, and there are nine or so cars in this division that are capable of winning. So, for now, we're going to enjoy this win, while at the same time start getting ready for next week's race in Las Vegas. We still have a lot of racing left."