Pomona II: Warren Johnson preview

WJ is a Man of Two Minds Heading to Pomona GM Performance Parts GTO team targets winning conclusion to 2006 season while planning for 2007 Sugar Hill, Ga., November 7, 2006 - After eight long months and 23 races at 20 tracks across the...

WJ is a Man of Two Minds Heading to Pomona
GM Performance Parts GTO team targets winning conclusion to 2006 season while planning for 2007

Sugar Hill, Ga., November 7, 2006 - After eight long months and 23 races at 20 tracks across the country (not including two events postponed by rain), the 2006 POWERade Drag Racing season will come to a close this weekend with the running of the Auto Club NHRA Finals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. It has been a roller-coaster year for Warren Johnson and the GM Performance Parts GTO Racing team, highlighted by a win in Phoenix and establishing new personal performance marks in both elapsed time and top speed.

However, with other results not living up to his unusually high standards, "The Professor" enters this final contest with a dual purpose. As he does with every race, he will arrive in California determined to end the year on a winning note. At the same time, he is already planning ahead, developing a schedule and working on items aimed at producing even better results in 2007.

"Quite honestly, with a total of only four wins so far between (son) Kurt and myself, our 2006 performance was not what we were looking for," stated Johnson. "However, on a positive note, we have both been doing extensive development work and believe we are to the point that we're starting to turn things around. In that regard, we're looking at this race as a springboard for next year.

"Although our primary goal for this weekend is the same as it has always been, namely to park our GM Performance Parts GTO in the winner's circle on Sunday night, we are all quite ready to put this season to bed and focus on getting ready for next year."

In characteristic fashion, Johnson has been hard at work at the team's headquarters in Sugar Hill, GA since returning from Las Vegas less than a week ago. With his race car and hauler safely parked at Mark Christopher Chevrolet in Ontario, CA, his efforts were concentrated more on his research and development efforts than on this weekend's race. Even so, having planned for the extended road trip before the team's transporters left the shop over ten days ago, there are few concerns about their ability to field a strong entry at the NHRA's season finale.

"With the way the schedule is, there really wasn't enough time to bring everything back to the shop, so we'll be racing with essentially the same equipment we used in Las Vegas," detailed Johnson. "However, between our two trailers we carry enough spare parts and pieces that we can make whatever changes we deem necessary to improve our performance. In addition, we have a strong notebook on the Pomona track, so we should have a pretty good handle on what combination we'll need for the first qualifying session on Thursday.

"After that, it will just be a matter of adapting to whatever is thrown at us, doing our best to come out of Pomona with the win. After that we'll get everything back to the shop and get to work. Our organization is structured around Kurt and myself doing the bulk of the R & D work, so we have to take full advantage of what little time we have in the winter. But before we do that, the GM Performance Parts GTO crew has one last trophy and winner's check to collect in Pomona this weekend."

Quick Notes on Warren Johnson & the GM Performance Parts GTO team entering The Auto Club NHRA Finals:

WJ & GM Performance Parts Crew Personal Appearance: The Professor & the entire GM Performance Parts GTO Racing team will be making an appearance from 5:00 -- 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 8 at Mark Christopher Chevrolet which is located at 2131 Convention Center Way in Ontario, CA. For further information, please call (909) 390-2900.

WJ is at the Head of the Class in Pomona: This will be Warren's 51st career race at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. In his previous 48 starts, he has nine wins in 17 final round appearances, 12 No. 1 qualifying positions and a 97-38 elimination round record for a solid .719 round winning percentage.

The Professor Has Aced the Finals: This will be WJ's 25th appearance in the NHRA season finale in Pomona, where he has four wins in six final round appearances, seven No. 1 qualifying performances and a 39-18 elimination round record for a .684 winning percentage.

-credit: j2r

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson