Gainesville: Warren Johnson Saturday summary

WJ Picks Up the Pace, Starts Ninth at the Gatornationals By the time Warren Johnson rolled to the line for his third qualifying attempt at the Mac Tools Gatornationals, he knew he would need to post the quickest elapsed time of his career in...

WJ Picks Up the Pace, Starts Ninth at the Gatornationals

By the time Warren Johnson rolled to the line for his third qualifying attempt at the Mac Tools Gatornationals, he knew he would need to post the quickest elapsed time of his career in order to earn a spot in Sunday's final eliminations. Just as he has throughout his illustrious career, Johnson responded to the challenge, powering his GM Performance Parts Grand Am through the quarter-mile in 6.683-seconds at 206.42 mph, bettering his personal marks in both elapsed time and top speed.

Having guaranteed his position for race day, Johnson came back in the final session with a consistent 6.693-second, 206.32 mph pass, with his earlier run slotting him in the ninth starting position.

"We haven't run this particular GM Performance Parts Grand Am under enough varying conditions to assemble a solid database, so we came here with a set-up that was not really suited for the conditions we've encountered so far this weekend. After all, we have only made a total of eighteen runs with it. We obviously will have to do some testing, but so far we've been concentrating on stockpiling engine pieces for the long haul, which has precluded any test runs.

"Although our runs today were effective in terms of getting us in the field, they certainly could have been quicker. We were hesitant to feed it as much clutch as it required. In fact, we thought we did, but obviously we were making a lot more power with this DRCE III under these conditions.

"The conditions tomorrow should be fairly similar to what we had in Phoenix, although we'll be at a considerably lower altitude, so we'll have more power. However, the track will also be warmer, so as long as we compensate for the horsepower difference, we should be able to get a little closer to where we want to run."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson