WJ's Strong Showing Shakes Out in Memphis Semifinals GM Performance Parts Pontiac GXP Warren Johnson matched his best performance of the season on Sunday, powering to the semifinals of the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, TN.
WJ's Strong Showing Shakes Out in Memphis Semifinals
GM Performance Parts Pontiac GXP Warren Johnson matched his best performance of the season on Sunday, powering to the semifinals of the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, TN. After qualifying third, Johnson was the beneficiary of a V. Gaines red-light in the opening round, and used a 6.661-second, 208.59 mph pass to earn lane choice heading into the second round against veteran racer and good friend Larry Morgan.
Once again, Johnson was up to the challenge, using his best run of the day at 6.641-seconds, 208.01 mph to outdistance his rival's 6.676-second, 206.16 mph effort. The final obstacle between WJ and the 151st final round of his career was Oklahoma runner Mike Edwards. Just as he had in the previous round, Johnson chose the right-hand side of the track, and rolled to the line determined to advance. However, almost immediately after launching, Johnson's mount suffered tire shake so severe that it forced the six-time champion to shut off early, allowing his opponent to drive on for the win. Even so, WJ was pleased by his team's continued progress over the last two races.
"We got a little off to the left in the first round, but thankfully V. (Gaines) red-lighted and allowed us to move on. In the second round, our GM Performance Parts GXP made a nice, solid run at 6.641, so we felt we were looking pretty good for the semis.
"We really didn't change much for the third round, but apparently the track went away, because it blew the tires off instantly. It never had a chance to make a run. We didn't do anything unusual, or make any major changes, but it still picked up over a thousand rpm's in driveshaft speed at half a second, which spelled doom. Simply put, we just never got a hold of the racetrack.
"Still, it was good to get back in the swing of things and a go a few rounds. The car was fine all weekend, we certainly have more than enough power, so it's all a matter of getting it hooked up to the track, which is pretty tricky to do when dealing with something made out of string and rubber. Even so, today was a step in the right direction -- all we have to do now is go two steps further."