“The Professor” Ends Draught

(photo courtesy NHRA)

Pro Stock driver Warren Johnson, the second-winningest driver in NHRA Full Throttle Series history, ended a four-year drought with his 97th career win Sunday at the 14th annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway.

Johnson’s improbable win in his K&N Filters Pontiac GXP – points leader Mike Edwards (in the semis) and third-place Jeg Coughlin (in the finals) each failed to get off the starting line – gave the 66-year old driver and six-time NHRA Full Throttle Series champion his first victory since the NHRA Arizona Nationals in February 2006.

“I guess I woke up on the right side of the bed this morning … everybody I raced did something wrong,” said Johnson, who moved to within five points of Shane Gray for the 10th and final playoff berth in Pro Stock. “I had to rely on luck and other people’s mistakes (but) we’ll still take it. There is no such thing as a bad win.”

“I still realize that we’re not where we want to be, performance-wise,” Johnson continued. “We’re down four or five hundredths, but we can fix that. Other racers have stepped up, but sooner or later we’ll get back on top.”

Sunday’s final results from the 14th annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. The race is the seventh of 23 in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Tony Schumacher, 3.849 seconds, 317.87 mph  def. Doug Kalitta, 4.041 seconds, 313.07 mph.

Funny Car — Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 4.149, 304.25  def. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.204, 296.44.

Pro Stock — Warren Johnson, Pontiac GXP, 6.670, 207.75  def. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Cobalt, broke.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 6.926, 193.99  def. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 7.002, 189.47.


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