Baytown: Warren Johnson Friday summary

The Professor rewrites the record books at Baytown. Warren Johnson rewrites the record books on Friday en route to the No. 1 position in Houston. Throughout his illustrious career, Warren Johnson has been a virtual barometer of Pro Stock ...

The Professor rewrites the record books at Baytown.

Warren Johnson rewrites the record books on Friday en route to the No. 1 position in Houston. Throughout his illustrious career, Warren Johnson has been a virtual barometer of Pro Stock performance, reaching notable milestones ahead of his competitors, including being the first of the "factory hot rods" to break the 180, 190 and 200 mph barriers.

Warren Johnson.
Photo by Greg Gage.
During the first day of qualifying for the O'Reilly Spring Nationals, "The Professor of Pro Stock" added another chapter to his racing resume. On his opening attempt, Johnson recorded an elapsed time of 6.758 seconds with a top speed of 205.16 mph, marking the first time a Pro Stock race car had ever ventured into the 205 mph range.

As if this was not enough, in the evening session, Johnson's GM Performance Parts Grand Am rocketed down the Houston quarter-mile in 6.720 seconds to reset the NHRA National Elapsed Time record. WJ's performance bettered the previous mark, which had stood since October of 2001, by more than three hundredths of a second.

"The performance you saw from the whole Pro Stock category today is a case of the atmospheric conditions being there, and the race track being able to hold the power you're able to make. It's one of those situations that once or twice in a lifetime you're fortunate enough to race under these conditions, and tomorrow could be even faster yet.

"That run really didn't feel that good, but racing at night you lose a little bit of perspective as to where you are on the race track. We certainly learned from our experience last year that this track gets a little damp at night, and isn't as good as you think it will be. Consequently, we backed our GM Performance Parts Grand Am up just a little bit to be on the safe side.

"We were a little light on clutch, which is where the speed went, but it ran a great e.t., running quicker than anyone ever had, so there wasn't much left in it. There might have been a couple thousandths left in it, but you can go over the edge so easily to the point of aborting the run. So, we are certainly pleased with that run.

"This performance is the result of a total team effort. We have four guys at the shop who keep working while we're out racing, putting in overtime and working weekends. We've also been working to develop new parts, and have been doing a lot of testing.

-jgk-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson