Second Round Gremlin Shortens WJ's Day in St. Louis Over the last few races, Warren Johnson and the GM Performance Parts GTO Racing team had been working to establish a consistent level of performance, which had recently started to show results...
Second Round Gremlin Shortens WJ's Day in St. Louis
Over the last few races, Warren Johnson and the GM Performance Parts GTO Racing team had been working to establish a consistent level of performance, which had recently started to show results in the form of top half qualifying performances and elimination round wins. Therefore, starting seventh in Sunday's final eliminations of the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals in Madison, IL, Johnson felt poised to continue his forward progress.
In the first round, Johnson handily defeated former NBA player Tom Hammonds with his best pass of the weekend, covering the quarter-mile in 6.690-seconds with a top speed of 207.15 mph. However, as he attempted to line up for his second round encounter against newcomer Justin Humphreys, he was unable to bring his 1,400-horsepower engine back to idle. After staging his car with great difficulty, WJ gave it a game effort, but was soon forced to abort the run in order to regain control, putting a premature end to his day.
"Today we showed the drag portion of drag racing. After qualifying well, we were pretty optimistic heading into race day, and became even more enthused after opening with that 6.69 in the first round. We felt we had a good handle on our GM Performance Parts GTO, and were prepared to make another strong run in the second round. Unfortunately, it wouldn't return to normal engine speed after the burnout.
"Despite repeated attempts, I couldn't get the rpm's to come down. As a result, we put too much heat in the clutch, and it blew the tires off as soon as I let the clutch out. In fact, the car initially didn't even move, killing the reaction time and the sixty-foot time. It's just one of those deals. It obviously had some sort of a malfunction that we won't be able to fully diagnose until we take everything apart.
"However, we're certainly pleased with our car's performance, and how everyone on both Kurt's and my teams is doing their job insofar as making decisions and such. All we have to do now is eliminate these glitches that seem to be happening to us at the most inconvenient times. We're going to go back to the shop, go over everything from nose to tail, regroup and get ready for the next race."