THE WARREN REPORT: Warren Johnson GM Goodwrench Service Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals, Denver, July 20-22, 2001 Practice Makes Perfect For The Professor In Three-Day Test On The Mountain It is a common misconception that practice makes...
THE WARREN REPORT: Warren Johnson GM Goodwrench Service
Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals, Denver, July 20-22, 2001
Practice Makes Perfect For The Professor In Three-Day Test On The Mountain
It is a common misconception that practice makes perfect. In fact, only perfect practice makes perfect. Pole-vaulters, piano players and Pro Stock drag racers know that endlessly repeating an error won't fix it.
With this principle in mind, Warren Johnson ventured into the thin air at Bandimere Speedway for a marathon three-day test session to prepare for the Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals on July 20-22. The positive results pleased even the stern Professor of Pro Stock.
"We tested last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday," Warren reported. "The relative altitude ranged between 8,700 and 9,100 feet above sea level. That's actually good air for Denver; I can remember racing there when the corrected altitude was close to 12,000 feet!
"Eleven Pro Stocks tested at Bandimere so we had a good yardstick to measure our performance," Johnson noted. "On the last day, I ran 7.31 and 7.30 at over 188 mph. That's quicker than we qualified last year, so we were satisfied with how the car ran on the hill.
"We ran in both lanes, and they were smooth and flat," W.J. continued. "The management at Bandimere does an excellent job of manicuring the track. They addressed the transition between the concrete starting pad and the asphalt so the racing should be first rate."
W.J. will return to Bandimere Speedway this weekend for the opening round of the three-race "Western Swing." He will drive the Jerry Haas-built GM Goodwrench Service Plus Grand Am that won in Columbus, Ohio, and Madison, Ill. With those back-to-back wins, Johnson tied Bob Glidden's record of 85 career Pro Stock victories. A win by W.J. in Denver would be one for the record book.
"I think we'll be competitive with this chassis through the next two months," Johnson predicted. "The Denver track is so high that you don't need an extremely stiff chassis because the altitude just isn't conducive to making horsepower. This car appears to have a relatively wide operating window that should be suitable for the conditions we anticipate in Seattle and Sonoma.
"We're also proceeding on our 'intermediate track' car that's intended for the cool weather in autumn," he revealed. "It's something in between the car we are running now and the very stiff platform that's required for the cold temperatures we typically encounter at the beginning and the end of the season."
When Johnson came to the Mile-High Nationals leading the points standings in 1998 and 1999, he went on to win the Winston Pro Stock championship. This year he leads the championship race by 53 points going into the 14th of 24 races. If the past proves to be an accurate guide to the future, W.J. is on his way to his sixth career Pro Stock title. <pre> WARREN JOHNSON'S MILE-HIGH NATIONALS RECORD Year Qual. Result 1983 3 Second Round 1984 1 Winner (over Shepherd) 1985 2 Semi-finals 1986 2 Runner-up (to Glidden) 1987 6 Second Round 1988 Race not held 1989 9 First Round 1990 1 Runner-up (to Morgan) 1991 1 Winner (over Geoffrion) 1992 2 Runner-up (to Beverley) 1993 2 Runner-up (to Glidden) 1994 9 First Round 1995 3 Semi-Final 1996 5 Semi-Final 1997 5 Semi-Final 1998 1 Runner-up (to J. Coughlin) 1999 1 Semi-Final 2000 2 Second Round