Reading: Warren Johnson preview

After a productive week, WJ looks to reap the rewards in Reading GM Performance Parts GTO crew handles hectic schedule to prepare for Toyo Tires Nationals Sugar Hill, Ga., September 13, 2006 -- Pro Stock legend Warren Johnson approaches life...

After a productive week, WJ looks to reap the rewards in Reading

GM Performance Parts GTO crew handles hectic schedule to prepare for Toyo Tires Nationals

Sugar Hill, Ga., September 13, 2006 -- Pro Stock legend Warren Johnson approaches life in the same fashion as he does a run down the racetrack, making the most of every second available. For example, in the short period since the last POWERade Drag Racing Series event in Indianapolis, Johnson and his GM Performance Parts crew have performed their normal between race maintenance on their 1,400-horsepower GTO, did a little research and development to further improve their performance, conducted a one-day test session at Atlanta Dragway to gain additional tuning data on their still-new race car, took part in a video shoot for their sponsor and completed emergency repairs on the team's transporter.

As if this were not enough, Johnson will also take time prior to this weekend's Toyo Tires Nationals in Reading, PA to stop by Bergey Chevrolet in Colmar on Thursday evening to greet his fans and sign a few autographs. Although others might wilt under the pressures of such a hectic schedule, it is just part of the daily routine for the six-time champion.

"It's been a typical week here at our shop in Sugar Hill," said Johnson. "As I have always maintained, a little hard work never hurt anyone. We had a few days in which we needed to accomplish a laundry list of items, so this GM Performance Parts GTO crew lowered our heads, got everything done and, as a result, had a very productive week, as well as a little fun along the way. But, our work is only just starting -- we still have a little matter to take care of in Reading.

Once he arrives at Maple Grove Raceway, however, the previously multitasking Johnson will focus his efforts solely on scoring his fifth win at Maple Grove Raceway. Located in the middle of the Pennsylvania farm country just outside of the city of Reading, this venerable quarter-mile has witnessed its share of record runs in all professional categories. In addition, racers are traditionally greeted by capacity crowds, further adding to the experience. Having raced and won in the Keystone State for over 20 years, "The Professor" is well versed in what it takes to succeed at the 'Grove on Sunday, and looks to add to his stellar resume there this weekend.

"We brought out this current GM Performance Parts GTO at the last race in Indianapolis," detailed Johnson. "Although it was certainly a learning experience, the car seemed to get better with every run. We brought it back to the shop, made a few changes based on what we had learned, and then made a few test runs to see how it reacted. Even though we were running on a rather marginal track, we did run quicker than the other Pro Stock cars testing at the same time, so the initial indications are pretty good. Naturally, we'll have to see how it pans out under race conditions this weekend.

"Looking at the forecast, I doubt we'll see any national records set this weekend, but since they groomed the track a few years ago, the surface at Maple Grove has been pretty good. Naturally, we haven't seen it in a year, so we can't be sure what the winter and summer conditions have done until we get there, but it will be the same for everyone, so we'll just have to deal with the cards we're dealt. For as small a facility as it is and with accessibility limited to a couple two-lane roads, this race is remarkably well attended, and the fans truly seem to enjoy Pro Stock racing, so we'll do our best to put on a great show for them while doing whatever we need to take home the trophy."

Quick Notes on Warren Johnson & the GM Performance Parts GTO team entering the 22nd annual Toyo Tires Nationals:

WJ Has Been Right on Track in Reading: This will be Warren's 22nd career NHRA national event at Maple Grove Raceway. In his previous 20 starts, he has four wins (which is the most by a Pro Stock driver) in nine final round appearances (including six in a row from 1991-1996), and a 44-16 elimination round record for a .733 win percentage. WJ's most recent Reading win came in 2003, when he defeated Troy Coughlin in the final.

-credit: j2r

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Troy Coughlin , Warren Johnson