THE WARREN REPORT: Warren Johnson GM Performance Parts News & Notes for the Mac Tools NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla., March 15-17, 2002 Nobody Does It Better Than W.J. At Gatornationals With nine victories and eight No. 1 qualifying ...
THE WARREN REPORT: Warren Johnson GM Performance Parts News & Notes for the Mac Tools NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla., March 15-17, 2002
Nobody Does It Better Than W.J. At Gatornationals
With nine victories and eight No. 1 qualifying positions in the last 18 editions of the Mac Tools NHRA Gatornationals, Warren Johnson relishes the prospect of this weekend's NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway.
Why does W.J. love the Gators? Let us count the reasons:
1. "Good air," says the Professor. "The track is relatively close to sea level and the weather conditions at this time of year are favorable for Pro Stock engines."
2. "Good track," Warren explains. "When the air lets you make big horsepower, then you need a surface that can handle it. Gainesville Raceway is one of the better facilities on the circuit so we should be able to apply the power we've got.
3. "Close to home," Johnson concludes. "We don't have to drive 24 hours from Atlanta. I've spent many, many days testing at Gainesville Raceway, so I know how to set up a car for that particular track."
Warren spent the three weeks since his runner-up finish at the CSK Nationals in Phoenix doing what he does best: working. A marathon three-day test at Atlanta Dragway with his GM Performance Parts Pontiac yielded positive results, and even brought a smile to the Professor's stern face.
"The car ran 6.81 at 202 mph," he reported, "so it appears that we are making steady progress in figuring how to make this race car do what it's supposed to do.
"The Gainesville track will be different from the surface we tested on in Atlanta because NHRA uses a different traction spray at national events," observed the analytical racer. "Last year we learned what we have to do to compensate for the different characteristics of the two compounds."
Johnson also worked on a nose job for his screaming yellow Grand Am. A new Ram Air front end has been submitted to NHRA officials for approval. Johnson is optimistic that he'll have the new bodywork in place for the next event in Las Vegas on April 5-7.
"The object of the exercise is to improve the car's aerodynamic balance," Johnson revealed. "We want to reduce the downforce on the front end, which will in turn increase the downforce on the rear. We can then use a shallower rear spoiler angle to decrease drag, producing an overall improvement in performance. That's the theory, anyway!"
Obviously the Professor is figuring all of the angles as he continues his defense of his Pro Stock championship.