PRO STOCK -Warren Johnson (GM Goodwrench Service Plus Pontiac Firebird) Our cars are out of the same shop. Kurt's (Johnson) sponsored by Chevrolet and ACDelco, we're sponsored by Pontiac and GM Goodwrench Service Plus. There's a little bit of...
PRO STOCK -Warren Johnson (GM Goodwrench Service Plus Pontiac Firebird) Our cars are out of the same shop. Kurt's (Johnson) sponsored by Chevrolet and ACDelco, we're sponsored by Pontiac and GM Goodwrench Service Plus. There's a little bit of a rivalry there, which is good for the fans. But it's a win-win deal as far as all of the people at the shop. Everything that we do is shared between the two cars and it's a testament to our total overall program. I do all of the cylinder heads and intake manifolds, he does all the short blocks and all of the dyno tuning of the engines. We both have equivalent horsepower. In fact, the engine he has out here has a couple of more horsepower than mine does. It has a different power curve so you have to treat it a little differently. It's just a matter of us getting together and getting all of the stuff right. The only difference is the suspension set up. All weekend long and after first round when he got by John Nobile, he listened to what we were saying and then he changed it to where it was running 6.93 or 6.94. He wants to do it his way and I can appreciate that. But at the same time, you have to be realistic. If there's something not working, you have to change it to something that does work.
You still don't want to let Kurt beat you though. Absolutely not. You can't let them kids whip you too often. He's coming around. He got to the final on hole shots, but I just couldn't have that happen.
Talk about the .410 reaction time. The light was starting to be shadowed so I changed to a different type of prescription glasses that shows the light a little bit better. The track cooled off so the car moved a lot quicker. There's two factors involved in there. We had pretty decent lights all day so we were right in the hunt as far as reaction times were concerned. The worst light I had all day was a .473 and there were guys who did a lot worse than that. There are two types of reaction time. You have the vehicle reaction time and the driver reaction time. The vehicle reaction time is a result of everybody doing their job, and all of us getting together and making the right call on the clutch, the suspension, and everything else involved. It was a total team effort. I get the benefit of a .410 light, but that's the result of every body else doing their job.
How much do you like coming to Memphis Motorsports Park in the fall? Is it better than in the past? Absolutely. I think every driver out here is indebted to Chris Pook for tuning the track up. It's as good a race track as any we race on all year. That wasn't the case a few years ago. Now with the cooler weather it's better not only for the racers but certainly for the fans.
I'm very fortunate that at 55 years of age, I'm still able to do this at the pace I'm doing it. There's a lot of guys who have given up on life at 55 and I'm out here having more fun than one person should be allowed to have. This is not a job for me, this is an opportunity, and I just love what I'm doing. I don't look at a time clock. I think there may be two percent of the people in the country who absolutely enjoy their job, and to me, this is just an opportunity to succeed.
Al Hofmann (GM Performance Parts Pontiac Firebird) The win was great. We needed a win really bad for our sponsors, GM Performance Parts and Pontiac Firebird and everybody who stuck by us. After taking Force out, the win didn't matter. That makes my day. Actually, it makes my year. Taking him out in the first round at Sonoma and then the second round here. Especially since I've been giving him a hard time about this Elvis car that he brings out. I think he's going to finally figure out that Elvis has left the building. It's over! What do you think about him leaving the body on for the rest of the year? Well, I guess we'll just have to keep beating it up. He should have known better than to bring a Ford to a Pontiac race anyhow.
Where did the consistency come from today? We were really impressed with what the Safety Safari has done out here this weekend. We went out there and ran 4.95 in the right lane and 4.95 in the left lane. What they've put up with oil out there is incredible. They have more oil out there right now than they have in Texas. They managed to do an excellent job preparing the track, fixing it and keeping it right there for all of the racers. My hat's off to the Safety Safari this weekend. I don't think we would be there if not for them. Our GM Performance Parts Firebird is a big horsepower car. We started out at the beginning of the year proving that and then we got into a slump with the clutch disc deal. It just really attacked our car hard. We got off on other things thinking it was that. One thing led to another until we got a car that was out of balance. It's just been a tough time finding our way back to where we need to be.