Madison: Warren Johnson Friday summary

WJ leads the field halfway through qualifying in Madison Mother Nature smiled on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series during the first day of qualifying for the Sears Craftsman Nationals in Madison IL, as for the first time in many races, the ...

WJ leads the field halfway through qualifying in Madison

Mother Nature smiled on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series during the first day of qualifying for the Sears Craftsman Nationals in Madison IL, as for the first time in many races, the entire day's activities were held without interruption under clear skies.

Warren Johnson and the GM Performance Parts Grand Am Racing team took full advantage of the good weather at Gateway International Raceway. After opening with a third-best 6.844-second attempt in the late afternoon session, WJ came back in the evening time trial with a track record 6.808-second, 202.12 mph run to claim the No. 1 position entering Saturday's final two attempts.

"That was a very good run, but certainly not perfect. Hitting the set-up is always a guesstimate at best, due to the variances in the track conditions from afternoon to night. For example, the track was about 25 to 30 degrees cooler tonight than it was in the afternoon."

"We could have gotten greedy and tried to run a 6.77 or 6.78, but then it could have gone over the line, shook the tires and gone 9.77."

"You have to have a controlled amount of wheel speed, and getting that balance is tough. We'd rather give up two hundredths and make a respectable run, as we did tonight, than getting to the breaking point. It's better to be conservative and get down the track than going for the throat. Of course, if it was a one shot deal for $100,000, we'd have loaded our GM Performance Parts Grand Am for bear, but under these circumstances, our primary goal is getting in the show. With that in mind, we're pleased with today's results."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson