THE WARREN REPORT: WARREN JOHNSON GM GOODWRENCH SERVICE PLUS NHRA PONTIAC EXCITEMENT NATIONALS RESULTS Warren Takes the Fifth, Notches 77th Victory COLUMBUS, OHIO - Warren Johnson is not noted for his excitable nature, but even the usually ...
THE WARREN REPORT: WARREN JOHNSON GM GOODWRENCH SERVICE PLUS NHRA PONTIAC EXCITEMENT NATIONALS RESULTS
Warren Takes the Fifth, Notches 77th Victory
COLUMBUS, OHIO - Warren Johnson is not noted for his excitable nature, but even the usually reserved "Professor of Pro Stock" had reason to be excited at the Pontiac Excitement Nationals. W.J. scored his second straight victory, his fifth win of the season, and the 77th of his career today when he defeated Jeg Coughlin, Jr. in the final round at National Trail Raceway.
Johnson and his GM Goodwrench Service Plus Firebird dominated the event, qualifying No. 1 and setting the track elapsed time and speed records. Warren made the first 6-second Pro Stock run ever recorded at the venerable Ohio track in qualifying, and then reset the marks at 6.995 seconds and 198.15 mph in his semi-final round victory over Mike Trumble.
"We didn't leave too many scraps on the table," said Johnson with his characteristic understatement. "We got the low qualifier check and won the race. We're happy with the way it turned out."
W.J.'s 77th career victory gave him the lead over Funny Car driver John Force in the race to break Bob Glidden's record of 85 career wins. Force lost in the semi-final round in Columbus. Warren also extended his lead in the Pro Stock standings to 185 points (more than nine rounds) over his son Kurt, who continued to struggle with handling problems and fell in the first round.
Warren set the performance pace in every round of eliminations. He defeated George Marnell in the opening round, Robert Patrick in the quarter-final, and Mike Trumble in the semi-final round. For the second straight week, he faced a member of the Coughlin clan in the final. This time beat he Jeg Coughlin, Jr., 7.008 to 7.061, to tally his third career victory in Columbus.
"That Jeg's group is awfully tough," Warren noted. "When you can beat that camp at their home track you've done a good day's work.
"This car is turning out to be a better hot weather car than we expected," he added. "We'll be ready for St. Louis."
That won't be welcome news for W.J.'s rivals when the tour returns to Gateway International Raceway on June 24-27.
WARREN JOHNSON RACE RESULTS: Qualifying: Warren Johnson qualified No. 1 at 6.996/197.68 Eliminations: Round 1: Warren Johnson (7.005/197.83) defeated George Marnell (7.070/196.33) Round 2: Warren Johnson (7.033/197.65) defeated Robert Patrick (7.069/196.53) Semi-Final: Warren Johnson (6.995/198.15) defeated Mike Trumble (12.459/69.70) Final Round: Warren Johnson (7.008/197.57) defeated Jeg Coughlin, Jr. (7.061/197.97)
Low ET: Warren Johnson, 6.995 seconds (track record) Top Speed: Warren Johnson, 198.15 mph (track record)
POINTS RACE: (After 10 of 22 events) Driver Wins Points 1. Warren Johnson 5 878 2. Kurt Johnson 2 693 3. Richie Stevens 1 569 4. Jim Yates 0 532 5. Jeg Coughlin 1 528
NEXT RACE: Sears Craftsman Nationals, June 24-27, Madison, Ill. TV: ABC, July 4, 3:00-4:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific - check local listings.