THE WARREN REPORT: WARREN JOHNSON GM GOODWRENCH SERVICE PLUS RACE RESULTS FROM THE MAC TOOLS GATORNATIONALS W.J.'s Great Gators: Qualifies No. 1, Sets National Records, and Wins Johnson Family Final! Gainesville, Fla.; March 21, 1999...
THE WARREN REPORT: WARREN JOHNSON GM GOODWRENCH SERVICE PLUS RACE RESULTS FROM THE MAC TOOLS GATORNATIONALS
W.J.'s Great Gators: Qualifies No. 1, Sets National Records, and Wins Johnson Family Final!
Gainesville, Fla.; March 21, 1999 - Warren Johnson dominated the 30th annual Mac Tools Gatornationals today, scoring his first victory of the season, his eighth win at Gainesville Raceway, and his 73rd national event title. Johnson defeated his son Kurt in the final round, 6.971/199.37 to 7.250/167.07, when Kurt's car made an abrupt left turn after leaving the starting line.
"It's a win-win situation for Warren Johnson Enterprises when both cars are in the final round," said Johnson. "The prize money all goes into the same account and supports both teams.
"I do enjoy racing Kurt," Warren reported. "Before the final round I told him, 'It's just like it always is - a straight-up race. Go for it!' He went for it and so did I. I actually left on the kid - by a whole thousandth of a second!"
The "Professor" qualified on the Pro Stock pole for the 105th time in his career. His GM Goodwrench Service Plus Pontiac made eight straight 6-second runs on the fast Gainesville Raceway quarter-mile, exceeded 200 mph five times, and reset the national elapsed time and top speed records at 6.866 seconds and 201.37 mph. - the quickest and fastest Pro Stock run in NHRA history.
Johnson defeated John Nobile, Richie Stevens, and Jim Yates to advance to his 115th final round. W.J. ran the table in Gainesville, earning 138 points, the maximum possible at a single event. He moved to third place in the championship standings, two points behind second-ranked Troy Coughlin and 57 points behind his points-leading son.
After second-round losses in the first two events of the season, Johnson showed the dominant form that propelled him to last season's championship. "Maybe we should run all of the races at Gainesville Raceway - I might have a slight advantage," he joked. "I won't say I'm in the groove, but at least I know where the groove is!"
Warren will continue his championship quest at the O'Reilly Nationals in Houston on April 8-11.
WARREN JOHNSON RACE RESULTS:
Qualifying: Warren Johnson qualified No. 1 at 6.906/200.08 mph
Eliminations: Round 1: Warren Johnson (6.876/200.95) defeated John Nobile (6.982/197.94) Round 2: Warren Johnson (6.866/201.37) defeated Richie Stevens (9.524/99.00) Semi-Final: Warren Johnson (6.896/199.91) defeated Jim Yates (6.939/199.23) Final Round: Warren Johnson (6.971/199.37) defeated Kurt Johnson (7.250/167.07)
Low ET: Warren Johnson, 6.866 seconds (national record) Top Speed: Warren Johnson, 201.37 mph (national record)
POINTS RACE: (After 3 of 22 events) Driver Wins Points 1. Kurt Johnson 1 311 2. Troy Coughlin 0 256 3. Warren Johnson 1 254 4. Jeg Coughlin, Jr. 1 242 5. Jim Yates 0 180
NEXT RACE: O'Reilly Nationals, April 8-11, Houston, Texas TV: TNN, April 18, 12:00-1:30 p.m. Eastern - check local listings.