Warren Johnson to race Grand Am in 2001

SUGAR HILL, Ga. - Warren Johnson will have a new set of wheels next year when he debuts his GM Goodwrench Service Plus Grand Am at the season-opening NHRA AutoZone Winternationals on February 1, 2001. The five-time Pro Stock champion will trade in...

SUGAR HILL, Ga. - Warren Johnson will have a new set of wheels next year when he debuts his GM Goodwrench Service Plus Grand Am at the season-opening NHRA AutoZone Winternationals on February 1, 2001. The five-time Pro Stock champion will trade in the Pontiac Firebird that propelled him to NHRA Winston titles in 1998 and 1999 for the smaller, more aerodynamic Grand Am body design. "We've had great success with the Firebird," said Johnson. "We won two championships, won 26 NHRA national events, set six national elapsed time records, and established eight national speed records. The Firebird has been a terrific race car, but after five years of refining the design I'm ready to take on a new challenge with the Grand Am. "We've been working on this project for almost a year," Johnson revealed. "Based on the preliminary wind tunnel tests, I believe that my GM Goodwrench Service Plus 2001 Grand Am will be my best race car yet. I've campaigned a variety of body styles in my 26 years as a professional Pro Stock racer, and I like what I see in the Grand Am." The tape measure backs up W.J.'s optimism. The Grand Am is seven inches narrower and has a two-inch longer wheelbase than the Firebird that Johnson is driving in 2000. "The Grand Am's smaller front area and overall shape will translate into faster speeds," Johnson explained. "The Grand Am's longer wheelbase will also improve stability. The distance between the rear suspension links is reduced which makes the chassis more predictable on the initial launch. Overall it's a terrific package with championship potential." Johnson's new Grand Am will carry the familiar black-and-silver colors of his longtime sponsor, GM Service Parts Operations (SPO). The 2001 season will mark GM SPO's 16th year as W.J.'s major sponsor. The association between GM SPO and Warren Johnson Enterprises is one of the most successful relationships in motorsports. "Warren Johnson's knowledge, experience, and technical ability reflect the qualities that have made GM Goodwrench Service Plus the gold standard in automotive service," said Bill Fitzgerald, manager of event marketing for GM Service Parts Operations. "Warren's determination and his commitment to excellence are qualities that we want to associate with GM Goodwrench Service Plus. The enduring association between Warren Johnson Enterprises and General Motors exemplifies the teamwork that is essential for success in both motorsports and business." "Our long-term relationships with GM SPO and Pontiac give our team the stability and resources that are absolutely crucial for success in an intensely competitive and technically demanding category like Pro Stock," said Johnson. "Our racing program is focused on long-term research and development to maintain and enhance our competitive advantage. GM SPO has a keen understanding that consistency and commitment are the cornerstones for continued success." Johnson believes that the debut of a new generation of Pro Stock race cars will enhance interest in the Pro Stock class. "The fans are going to see entirely new cars in Pro Stock next year," he noted. "It's important for the continued popularity of the Pro Stock class to have a wide variety of body styles and manufacturers represented on the track. Drag racing fans develop fierce loyalties to both drivers and brands, and rivalries are definitely an important element in entertaining the fans." With 80 career victories, Johnson has the most wins among active Pro Stock racers. Johnson has won at least one national event for 19 straight years and has qualified for 261 consecutive races since March 1987 - the longest active streaks in NHRA competition.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson