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JOHNSON HUNTING FOR MORE PRO STOCK SUCCESS AT U.S. NATIONALS CLERMONT, Ind. - If you didn't know any better, you'd think Warren Johnson was wearing blaze orange these days. No doubt, he's on the hunt. With two targets locked into...

JOHNSON HUNTING FOR MORE PRO STOCK SUCCESS AT U.S. NATIONALS CLERMONT, Ind. - If you didn't know any better, you'd think Warren Johnson was wearing blaze orange these days. No doubt, he's on the hunt. With two targets locked into his viewfinder, Johnson is in steady pursuit of his mission. He's after Bob Glidden's all-time NHRA win record of 85, and a fifth NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series championship in Pro Stock. Johnson, from Buford, Ga., hopes to move one step closer to accomplishing both of those goals with a winning performance at the 45th annual U.S. Nationals, Sept. 1-6, at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The $2.6 million race is the 16th of 22 events in the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. With 77 national event victories to his credit over his illustrious 25-year NHRA career, five of those winning celebrations stand out among the rest. In 1984 and four straight times from 1992-1995, Johnson won drag racing's most coveted prize: a U.S. Nationals trophy. "The U.S. Nationals is drag racing's Daytona 500 -- our Indy 500," Johnson said. "It's like I've always said, your racing resume isn't complete without a U.S. Nationals victory. Even if you're fortunate enough to win a Winston championship, or even two, and don't win Indy, you can't feel like your drag racing career is complete. You've got to win Indy to fill that void." While Johnson's spot in the drag racing hall of fame has been secured by his astonishing racing efforts over the years, he isn't ready to hang up the helmet and driving gloves just yet. Like all racers, Johnson wants to win. And when it comes to winning, Indianapolis is the best place to do it. "We've had a lot of success at this event over the years and I feel fortunate to have been able to win at Indy five times," said Johnson, a five-time winner this season and the category's current points leader. "I still remember the first time I won it. I think the overall magnitude of beating (Bob) Glidden back in 1984 is a lot greater to me now than it was at the time. As I get older and my career moves along I'm able to better understand what I accomplished that day." In the last several years Johnson has witnessed his son become a U.S. Nationals winner as well. Kurt claimed the prestigious prize in 1996 and 1997, giving the Johnson family control of the trophy for much of this decade. However, Warren has been shut out from the winner's circle there for nearly five years. He feels it's time to make a return visit. "The goal is still the same, make the car run as fast as possible and win," Johnson said. "This race gets a little more attention just because it's the biggest race. You try to do everything within your power to win this one. We're also focusing on the championship. There is still a lot of racing left in the year and our job now is to do everything we can to win the championship. Nothing's changed. Our goal is still the same as it was at the beginning of the season and that is to win."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Glidden