Pomona II: Warren Johnson preview

WJ is Ready to Have Some Serious Fun in Pomona; GM Performance Parts GXP Racing team looks to close 2008 on winning note Sugar Hill, Ga., November 12, 2008 -- It would certainly be understandable if Warren Johnson simply wanted to put the...

WJ is Ready to Have Some Serious Fun in Pomona; GM Performance Parts GXP Racing team looks to close 2008 on winning note

Sugar Hill, Ga., November 12, 2008 -- It would certainly be understandable if Warren Johnson simply wanted to put the 2008 season behind him. After all, the six-time champion has candidly admitted that this year's POWERade Drag Racing campaign has been one of the most challenging of his Hall of Fame career. Therefore, he could simply be approaching this weekend's Auto Club of Southern California Finals in Pomona, CA as nothing more than the final stop on the schedule before preparations begin in earnest for 2009.

However, one of Johnson's trademark qualities is his unbridled determination to succeed in any and every venture he undertakes. As such, the GM Performance Parts Pontiac GXP crew will arrive at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona with the single-minded purpose of ending the year in the winner's circle.

"Whether it's the first or last race of the season, every time the GM Performance Parts GXP team pulls into a racetrack, we are there to win," stated Johnson. "After all racing is not a social event for me -- it is a competition, and I don't like to lose. This has certainly not been the year we had expected, but that hasn't changed our outlook. In fact, all it has done is make us even more determined going in to the Finals. We still have some goals we'd like to accomplish, so there is still a lot of work to be done before this season comes to an end."

One concern Johnson will not have this weekend is a lack of familiarity with the race track. This will be The Professor's 55th appearance at the fabled quarter-mile, dating back to the seventh race of his Pro Stock career in 1976. With nine wins in 12 final round appearances and 31 finishes of the semifinals or better, he certainly knows his way to the Pomona winner's circle. This vast experience could work in his favor this weekend as the unseasonably warm temperatures forecasted could present racers with unique conditions for the traditional NHRA season-ender.

"This weekend could prove to be very interesting," opined Johnson. "If the forecast for warmer temperatures holds true, it's going to be a challenge just getting down the racetrack, so we'll have to dig deep into our book of knowledge to see what we can come up with. This track has baked in the California sun all summer, so it will not be in the greatest shape when we get there, potentially making it one of the trickiest tracks we've have raced on all year. I wouldn't expect to see any records broken this weekend.

"Of course, we always seem to run better when the conditions worsen, so we'll just have to adjust our GM Performance Parts GXP to take whatever the track will give us. We won't really know until we get there and see things for ourselves. It's shaping up to be a free-for-all, and we're looking to go out there and have a blast at our competitors' expense."

-credit: j2r

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson