WJ is Ready to Rediscover Competitive Consistency in Dallas GM Performance Parts GTO crew Preps to Tackle Challenge of Concrete Quarter-Mile Sugar Hill, Ga., September 20, 2007 -- A key element in any successful racing program is the ability...
WJ is Ready to Rediscover Competitive Consistency in Dallas
GM Performance Parts GTO crew Preps to Tackle Challenge of Concrete Quarter-Mile
Sugar Hill, Ga., September 20, 2007 -- A key element in any successful racing program is the ability to perform on a consistently high level. In the ultra competitive world of NHRA POWERade Pro Stock racing, this translates into making every pass, whether in qualifying or eliminations, a near-perfect transference of 1,400-horsepower to the racetrack, covering the quarter-mile as quickly and efficiently as possible. Naturally, this is an almost impossible assignment, with success measured instead on how one does in relation to their competition, with the difference between winning and losing often measured in thousandths of a second.
At this weekend's O'Reilly Fall Nationals in Dallas, TX, Warren Johnson and the GM Performance Parts Pontiac GTO Racing team will be looking to regain this elusive consistency. After hitting their stride in mid-summer, where the combination of top half starts and elimination round wins allowed them to qualify for the first round of the NHRA's playoffs, the Countdown to Four, they have, by their own admission, struggled in the last two races. However, the Terry Adams-led crew hopes lessons learned in Memphis one week ago have them headed in the right direction.
"We made some radical changes for the final qualifying session in Memphis, and our GM Performance Parts GTO responded extremely well," said Johnson. "We made additional adjustments for the first round, with equally successful results. Although the approach at first seemed rather unorthodox, I believe we now have a direction in which to head with the tune-up this weekend in Dallas, hopefully getting us back on the winning track."
Fortunately, this weekend, the team's recuperative efforts will have the added benefit of The Professor's twenty-one years of tuning notes on the unique Texas Motorplex. Now in its twenty-second year on the NHRA circuit, the concrete track offers tremendous, consistent traction throughout the entire 1,320 feet, which is fully capable of record performances under the right conditions. However, with temperatures this weekend forecasted to approach 90 degrees, the challenge this weekend will lie more in how well teams adapt to the distinctive, light-colored quarter-mile.
"The track at the Texas Motorplex has always been rather unique due to its being the first all-concrete racing surface," said Johnson. "Because of that, if properly prepared, it is good all the way down, albeit with a very narrow racing groove. As we saw with the Bruce Allen-Kenny Koretsky incident of a few years ago, you just don't have a lot of room for error. However, that is really the only downside to that track.
"We've raced there in the heat and the cold, but in that case it's more an issue with how you adapt to the track than any problems with the surface. You just have to treat it differently than you do the track in Brainerd, Englishtown of even Memphis, where we were last week. Fortunately, the surface in Dallas has never really been a problem for us, and we've been able to do well there over the years, something we hope to do once again this weekend."