COMMERCE, Ga., May 4, 2003 - Today's capacity crowd at Atlanta Dragway was treated to an all-Pontiac Pro Stock final round between up-and-coming stalwart Greg Anderson and six-time NHRA champion Warren Johnson. In a close, side-by-side...
COMMERCE, Ga., May 4, 2003 - Today's capacity crowd at Atlanta Dragway was treated to an all-Pontiac Pro Stock final round between up-and-coming stalwart Greg Anderson and six-time NHRA champion Warren Johnson. In a close, side-by-side championship heat decided by just .0044 of a second, Warren Johnson's SC/T Grand Am narrowly beat Anderson's Pontiac to the stripe to give the 59-year-old Professor of Pro Stock his 90th career win.
"It's good to win anytime," said Johnson. "The crowd out here today, the weather and the racing in all of the categories was excellent. I think the fans got their money's worth this weekend."
There's no place like home, and that was especially true this weekend for Johnson, whose race headquarters is based just 30 minutes southwest of here in Buford, Ga. WJ entered today's Summit Racing Equipment Nationals presented by Pontiac with his GM Performance Parts SC/T Grand Am qualified in the No. 6 position. He defeated Terry Adams in round one, points leader Kurt Johnson on a holeshot in round two and Jeg Coughlin Jr. in round three.
"Both Kurt's team and our team constantly share information back-and-forth," said Johnson. "In fact, I used Kurt's carburetors in the final because he ran top speed of the meet with them in round two. We've been suffering a little bit in the speed department, and since we were .04 behind, we decided to roll the dice to see if it would work in our favor. Low and behold it did. Obviously I have to go and build a new set of carburetors identical to his - or maybe I'll just repossess them."
Johnson duplicated his second-round holeshot in the finals against Anderson, launching his Pontiac first with an .018 reaction time. Johnson's SC/T Grand Am crossed the finish line in 6.853 seconds at a speed of 201.46 mph. Anderson's Grand Am followed with a quicker, but losing 6.839 elapsed time at 202.94 mph.
"That was decided by about a foot," said Johnson. "I could see his car over in the other lane. It's been running particularly good speed and he made a move on me toward the end. I was hoping the track was short enough to where I could stay ahead. I felt that I had won, but I wasn't going to bet the farm on it. When I saw the win light come on, I was about as excited as I could get."
It was Johnson's fifth victory in eight final rounds at this facility, his first at Atlanta Dragway since 1999 and his second on the year. Johnson remains third in the NHRA POWERade points standings, but is only two points behind second-place Greg Anderson, and 55 points behind first-place Kurt Johnson
"As the day progressed, we knew it was going to start getting hot and we were lucky enough to be able to adjust our Grand Am accordingly," said Johnson. "You take days like these when you can get them because as close as it is out here, many times it doesn't go your way. Our experience over the years dealing with fluctuating temperatures and changing track conditions probably helped us.
The wins are a testament to teamwork. I think every one of the winners today in every category out here would say the same thing - we can't do it without our sponsors, the guys in the shop and the crew members who get the job done at the racetrack."
The next stop is the 34th annual Matco Tools SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., on May 15 - 18.