Joliet: Warren Johnson Saturday summary

Saving his best for last, WJ powers to the No. 1 position in Chicago After slotting in the third position during Friday's qualifying sessions for the Carquest Auto Parts Nationals, Warren Johnson and the GM Performance Parts Pontiac Racing team...

Saving his best for last, WJ powers to the No. 1 position in Chicago

After slotting in the third position during Friday's qualifying sessions for the Carquest Auto Parts Nationals, Warren Johnson and the GM Performance Parts Pontiac Racing team began working on a way to improve their position during Saturday's final two attempts. Given the high temperatures and humidity facing the racers at Route 66 Raceway, there was some doubt as to whether he could realistically accomplish his goal.

However, Johnson showed his intentions during his first run on Saturday, recording the second quickest pass of the round at 6.773 seconds with a top speed of 203.71 mph, which further secured his third-place standing. Returning for his fourth and final attempt, Johnson faced conditions that had worsened slightly since his prior run. Responding to the challenge, he powered through the quarter-mile in 6.762-seconds at 204.08 mph, edging his son Kurt for the top spot by seven thousandths of a second, a performance that even somewhat surprised "The Professor".

"We had expected to run at least as well as we had in the morning session, given that we were using a new engine in our GM Performance Parts Pontiac with only one prior pass on it, which came earlier today. We had made some adjustments to the tune-up because it was off a little bit on that first lap, but we honestly didn't feel it would run as well as it did, given the increased heat and humidity. I guess we don't know as much about this as we think we do!

"As I've said in the past, we've spent a year developing this new DRCE III engine, and its really starting to pay off. It's a result of a lot of hard work by the entire team, both here at the track and back at our shop in Sugar Hill. We knew it had potential, it was just a matter of extracting it. Fortunately, today everything worked in our favor.

"If the forecast holds and the weather remains the same, we should have a good baseline for tomorrow. However, we will still have to make the right calls and adjustments for whatever the track and the weather throws at us. After all, our work here has just begun."

-j2r-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson