WJ Hopes to Celebrate his 25th Seattle Race with a Win Short week has GM Performance Parts crew working overtime to be ready Sugar Hill, Ga., July 16, 2008 -- As the second stop on the NHRA's three-race Western Swing, this weekend's Schuck's...
WJ Hopes to Celebrate his 25th Seattle Race with a Win
Short week has GM Performance Parts crew working overtime to be ready
Sugar Hill, Ga., July 16, 2008 -- As the second stop on the NHRA's three-race Western Swing, this weekend's Schuck's Auto Supply Nationals in Seattle, WA will provide a myriad of challenges for Warren Johnson's GM Performance Parts Pontiac crew, as well as all the teams on the POWERade Drag Racing Series. With less than five days between the conclusion of this past weekend's race in Denver and the first qualifying session at Pacific Raceways, competitors will have to tear down their pit area in Colorado and drive the 1,400 miles to the Evergreen State.
Once they arrive in Washington, they will need to set up camp and perform the normal between-race maintenance on their race cars, which in this instance will be complicated by having to change over from the unique, high altitude set-up used in Colorado. Finally, they will have to review their notes and install a baseline tune-up prior to heading to the staging lanes for their first qualifying attempt. Although certain to test his team's time-management skills, the six-time champion is confident they will be ready for whatever is thrown at them.
"In order to remain competitive in Pro Stock, you have to keep exploring ways to improve, which requires continuous adaptation, so getting our GM Performance Parts GXP ready for this weekend should not be an issue," said Johnson. "For example, the engine combination we are using this year is completely different from anything else we've had in the past, so throughout the year we've had to continually adjust our tune-up to match it to the surface we are racing on. Therefore, switching the tune-up back to more normal conditions should not be an issue.
"The biggest detriment to this compressed schedule is that it prevents us from testing new components. We have a few new things we'd like to try that we believe will improve our performance, but simply don't have the time during the Western Swing to devote a day to testing. Therefore, if we can, we may use some of our qualifying attempts over the next couple races to help us gain that information."
Johnson's competitive history in King County dates back to the first national event held at Pacific Raceways in 1975, when in only his fifth NHRA Pro Stock race, he qualified fifth but lost in the first round to Gary Coe. Thirty-three years and 510 starts later, The Professor will make his 25th career appearance at the Kent quarter-mile, where he looks to add to his four previous wins while also aiding his cause in making the NHRA's post-season. Realizing that to do so a complete and consistent performance will be necessary, he looks forward to returning to more familiar conditions.
"It will be good to get back to racing with some known commodities in Seattle's atmospheric conditions, although we won't know what kind of surface we'll have to race on until we get there," said Johnson. "Fortunately, no one in Pro Stock has been on the track since last year, so we'll all be drawing from the same deck. We have extensive tuning notes from our races there to use as a reference, and, after looking at the track on Thursday and Friday, we'll come up with a initial tune-up and go from there. We'll certainly have our share of variables to deal with, but I believe this GM Performance Parts GXP will be back to form this weekend."