WARREN WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT IN VIRGINIA Johnson Continues Perfect Record at Pennzoil Nationals, Pads Pro Stock Points Lead with 67th Career Victory Richmond, Va.; April 26, 1998 -- Virginia is for lovers, and ...
WARREN WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT IN VIRGINIA
Johnson Continues Perfect Record at Pennzoil Nationals, Pads Pro Stock Points Lead with 67th Career Victory
Richmond, Va.; April 26, 1998 -- Virginia is for lovers, and Warren Johnson loves Virginia after winning the Pennzoil Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park for the fourth straight year. Johnson is undefeated in the four-year history of the event, with a perfect record of 16 consecutive round wins.
Johnson drove his GM Goodwrench Service Plus Pontiac to his 67th career victory today, tying Funny Car driver John Force for second on the list of all-time NHRA winners. Johnson notched his series-leading fourth win of the season, and extended his lead in the championship race to 210 points over Jim Yates, who failed to qualify.
"I've been very fortunate at Virginia Motorsports Park -- there's no two ways about it," said Johnson. "There is no way to predict when or how often you're going to win, but this track has treated us exceptionally well."
W.J. started the day by reaching his milestone 600th career round win with a victory over Mark Osborne in the first round of eliminations. Johnson crossed the finish line in a virtual dead-heat with Osborne, winner of the two preceding events in Rockingham, N.C., and Atlanta -- but Warren's jet-black "Warbird" was first to the stripe by a margin of less than 1/1000th of a second.
The silver-haired "Professor of Pro Stock" then taught youngsters Richie Stevens and Jeg Coughlin, Jr. a lesson in the science of drag racing. W.J. edged Stevens in the second round by a .005-second margin, and turned back Coughlin by .023 seconds in the semi-final.
Johnson conceded lane choice to Tom Martino in the final round, but that was all he gave up. W.J. resumed his six-second pace, covering the quarter-mile in 6.952 seconds at 198.50 mph while Martino faltered with handling problems. Relying on his patented horsepower advantage, Warren ran the quickest elapsed time in three of the four rounds of competition and produced the fastest speed of the race at 199.24 mph.
The NHRA circuit will wrap up its three-races-in-three-weeks tour in Dallas next weekend. Johnson won the inaugural Castrol Lone Star Nationals last year, and is aiming to extend his perfect record at the Texas Motorplex.
WARREN JOHNSON GM GOODWRENCH SERVICE PLUS NHRA PENNZOIL NATIONALS RACE SUMMARY
QUALIFYING: Warren Johnson qualified No. 2 at 6.927/199.24 mph ELIMINATIONS: Round 1: Warren Johnson (6.942/198.50) defeated Mark Osborne (6.950/197.49) Round 2: Warren Johnson (6.953/198.89) defeated Richie Stevens (6.989/196.24) Semi-Final: Warren Johnson (7.022/197.23) defeated Jeg Coughlin, Jr. (7.047/195.99) Final Round: Warren Johnson (6.952/198.50) defeated Tom Martino (8.842/108.45)
LOW ET: Barry Grant, 6.926 seconds TOP SPEED: Warren Johnson, 199.24 mph
PRO STOCK STANDINGS: (after 6 of 22 events; victories in parentheses): 1. Warren Johnson (4) 443 points 2. Jim Yates (1) 387 3. Mark Osborne (1) 385 4. Jeg Coughlin 381 5. Kurt Johnson 305
PRO STOCK STANDINGS: (after 6 of 22 events; victories in parentheses): 1. Warren Johnson (4) 597 points 2. Jim Yates (1) 387 3. Mark Osborne (1) 385 4. Jeg Coughlin 381 5. Kurt Johnson 305