WJ is Just Too Fast in Joliet Semifinals After qualifying eighth for Sunday's final eliminations of the Ameriquest Mortgage NHRA Nationals, Warren Johnson and the GM Performance Parts GTO Racing team knew they would need to pick up their game in...
WJ is Just Too Fast in Joliet Semifinals
After qualifying eighth for Sunday's final eliminations of the Ameriquest Mortgage NHRA Nationals, Warren Johnson and the GM Performance Parts GTO Racing team knew they would need to pick up their game in order to challenge for the win. As expected, the crew responded, posting one of the quickest times in the first round at 6.766 seconds to defeat long-time rival Jim Yates.
This set the stage for a second-round encounter with current Pro Stock points leader Greg Anderson, who was the No. 1 qualifier. Even without the benefit of lane choice, Johnson took the measure of his former team member, using a stellar .028 reaction time to gain the advantage by over two hundredths of a second at the starting line and then powering away, with The Professor's 6.749-second, 204.48 mph pass outdistancing Anderson's 6.763 second, 203.28 mph effort.
The final obstacle between Johnson and his 149th final round was newcomer Erica Enders. Despite WJ making his best run of the day, rocketing through the quarter-mile in 6.748-seconds with a top speed of 205.07 mph, it went for naught, as he left the starting line six thousandths of a second early, handing the automatic win to his young opponent.
Despite the initial disappointment, Johnson was able to find several positives from his weekend at Route 66 Raceway.
"We've been working on improving our reaction times, and tried something during the first two rounds in qualifying. We had .40 lights there, so we knew we were moving in the right direction. We then changed it a little bit more for today, and it seemed like it helped even further. Unfortunately, we must have gone just a bit too far in the semis.
"Our weekend may have ended too early, but we're encouraged by today's performance. We had been working on finding what this GM Performance Parts GTO needed to run, and feel we we are heading in the right direction, as evidenced by our being one of the quicker cars in eliminations. Clearly we've put a gap between ourselves and some other cars - now it's a matter of trying to squeak another hundredth or two out of it.
"I believe we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We'll stay here tomorrow and test, and hopefully get headed in the right direction, which should put us in good shape for the rest of the season."