Madison: Warren Johnson Saturday summary

Warren Johnson Captures the No. 1 Qualifying Position in Madison On the strength of a track record 6.808-second, 202.12 mph run on Friday evening, Warren Johnson and the GM Performance Parts Racing team captured the No. 1 qualifying position at...

Warren Johnson Captures the No. 1 Qualifying Position in Madison

On the strength of a track record 6.808-second, 202.12 mph run on Friday evening, Warren Johnson and the GM Performance Parts Racing team captured the No. 1 qualifying position at the Sears Craftsman Nationals in Madison, IL.

This is Johnson's third No. 1 qualifying position of the 2003 season, third at Gateway International Raceway, and 130th of his storied career, the most of any professional competitor in NHRA history.

Although the weather conditions on Saturday precluded any serious challenges at the No. 1 position, Johnson validated his status atop another tough Pro Stock field by posting the second quickest elapsed time of the third session at 6.846 seconds.

"Our GM Performance Parts Grand Am was pretty consistent throughout qualifying. We were the third quickest in the first session, number one after two, and ran the second-quickest pass this afternoon. After we saw that Greg (Anderson) didn't beat our time on that last run, we turned the wick up, and it burned us. But, overall, we're in pretty good shape.

"We're working on several programs right now with the goal of incrementally improving the performance of both Kurt's (Warren's son, who qualified 13th) and my cars, which ultimately will put us in a very good position.

"The key to winning tomorrow will be consistency. The track should not be a problem, unless there are quite a few oil downs, or if it gets extremely late, it could be a problem, because the surface will be damp. But if it's a normal show, we should be fine. It will come down to whichever team is able to make the best decisions and runs, and we're working to ensure it's us."

Johnson also took time to comment on this race's unique format, where the professional classes compete exclusively in the late afternoon and evening.

"The important aspect of night racing is that the fans enjoy it. If they like it, it's fine with us. As long as you qualify at night, racing at night is fine. The bottom line is that the spectators come first and the sponsors second."

-j2r

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson