Sonoma: GM Racing Friday summary

Warren Johnson (GM Performance Parts Pontiac) "The sun going down actually helped the air conditions quite a bit. Unfortunately, the wind kept picking up and Pro Stock cars don't really do well with a direct headwind so there was a little bit of a...

Warren Johnson (GM Performance Parts Pontiac) "The sun going down actually helped the air conditions quite a bit. Unfortunately, the wind kept picking up and Pro Stock cars don't really do well with a direct headwind so there was a little bit of a problem with that running a real speed. But we actually had the fastest speed of the old style bodies - all the cars that were faster than us on speed were of the new body styles. It's pretty evident that they are more slippery even though we were quicker."

Does that affect only mph? "It will affect the e.t. a little bit, maybe three or four thousandths of a second. We were pretty quick all the way to the thousand foot and then we fell off by about three thousandths to the two cars that were the new body style. That's about what we figured it would be - maybe five thousandths on the outside. But that's three, four, five thousandths that you get with a new body style."

Do you get your new Pontiac GTO next week? "The graphics are already applied and it will be at the shop on Monday. Hopefully it will be at Brainerd. Basically we just have to wire it and spend a half a day testing, then it will be ready to go."

Doe the car drive differently with that headwind? "It's glued down a little tighter at the other end because of the downforce on the spoiler and what not. You can feel it. When I pulled the parachutes I didn't even use the brakes and I barely made the turnoff. You can feel the parachute tug a little harder on it, not like a fuel car, but it's definitely stronger. The track is actually pretty good right now. We don't have any sand blowing on the track and based on what I see, this is the smoothest racetrack as far as surface smoothness we've run on all year long. We drove up and down it on Tuesday and I was impressed."

"This is the same car we ran at Denver and Seattle, but we've been nitpicking it a little here, a little there. We made some changes on it to try and get it to 60-foot a little better and have better reaction times. At least with the track temperature we had tonight, the car worked real well. We're going in the right direction for that track temperature. We'll have to wait until it gets warm to see if it repeats."

Tony Pedregon (Quaker State Chevy Monte Carlo) - "We've been going through a process where we've been trying to get some consistency and we'll find out Sunday if we've been successful. That's what we've been chasing with these summer races. This is a good track, and with these conditions being at sea level, the first run allowed us to set up for a good run. Somebody asked me what I thought the track would take and I told them that I thought a 4.74 or a 4.75 would do it. Fortunately, Dickie (Venables) thinks the same way that I do, but we've been working real hard trying to get that kind of performance. It didn't do any engine damage, it was a good clean run, the conditions were there, and we kind of run like we did at the first two races. We feel like we're capable of that kind of performance and it's nice to see we were right."

Qualifying for the Fram Autolite Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday, July 30, beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern. A three-hour telecast of final eliminations will be telecast on ESPN2 on Sunday, July 31, starting at 9 p.m. Eastern.

-gm-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson , Tony Pedregon