Warren Johnson Powers to the U.S. Nationals Quarterfinals After qualifying 12th for Monday's final eliminations of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, GM Performance Parts Grand Am pilot Warren Johnson knew he would have to be on his game if he were...
Warren Johnson Powers to the U.S. Nationals Quarterfinals
After qualifying 12th for Monday's final eliminations of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, GM Performance Parts Grand Am pilot Warren Johnson knew he would have to be on his game if he were to have any chance of scoring his seventh win at the biggest race in the POWERade Drag Racing Series. Facing No. 5 qualifier Jason Line in the opening round, Johnson would not only be facing a car that had secured a position higher in the qualifying order, he would also have to do so without the benefit of lane choice.
However, Johnson quickly showed he was up to the challenge, using a stellar .021 reaction time to weld his opponent to the starting line by over four hundredths of a second, and then posting a solid 6.905-second elapsed time with a top speed of 200.53 mph to defeat Line's quicker 6.887-second effort.
Johnson's assignment did not get any easier in the second round, as he was matched against Jeg Coughlin, Jr. Once again racing without lane choice, Johnson was relegated to the less-preferred right hand side. Just as he had done in the first round, WJ left the line well ahead of his opponent and powered towards the finish line. Unfortunately, although he improved on his first round performance, his 6.886-second, 200.68 mph run was not enough to hold off his rival's 6.852-second charge.
Despite the premature end to his weekend, Johnson was nevertheless pleased with the team's progress.
"To put today in proper perspective, it was wonderful when compared to some of our more recent outings. We've found a few things, and I believe we have a better handle on the race car, correcting what had been ailing us the last few races. Having seemingly put that behind us, now we can concentrate on the engine part of it.
"Our GM Performance Parts Grand Am is leaving the line well. In fact, we were the quickest car in the right hand lane to sixty feet, which is a monumental change for us, especially considering how undesirable that lane was today. We're definitely closing the gap, so it's up to us to keep moving forward.
"I'm going to drive home tonight, because I want to be at work in the morning to work on a few things for Reading that will hopefully put us over the hump."