NHRA Pro Stock driver Warren Johnson to retire. [Archive] - The Sportbikes Website


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11-14-2004, 04:01 PM
'The Professor' will retire at the end of the 2005 season.


Warren Johnson, Pro Stock's winningest driver and a six-time NHRA champion, will retire from driving following a final season in competition in 2005.

Johnson, known as "The Professor" for his scholarly approach to the sport, has played a vital role in the evolution of the Pro Stock race car from a modified version of a production vehicle to the purpose-built thoroughbred currently used in competition.

Following a 2005 tour known as "School's Out," Johnson will step out of the GM Performance Parts Grand Am's driver's seat and continue developing parts and performance for the effort of his son, Kurt, and a to-be-named replacement for his entry.

"I didn't say I was going to stop drag racing, just stop driving," said Johnson. "We'll have Kurt in his car next year and another driver in my car, and perhaps even a third car. Stopping driving just allows me the time to do all of the things I never had the time to do; I was born handicapped I only have two hands.

"Driving has never fascinated me. When I started, Arlene said she didn't want to drive, Kurt was too young, and NHRA wouldn't give the dog a license. I've never had any qualms about stepping out of the seat, as long as it was the best approach for our organization, and this seems like the right time.

"Of course, I still have one full season behind the wheel, and both Kurt and I will both be trying to win the championship, and based on some of our recent developmental work, I believe next year could be our best in terms of competitiveness. I know that's a pretty bold statement considering how many good cars there are in Pro Stock, but I think we're going to step up and raise the bar."

"Warren Johnson has been a valued member of the GM SPO family since 1986, but, unfortunately, all good things must come to an end," said Jim Moloney, Director of Marketing for GM Accessories. "Therefore, throughout the course of the 2005 season, GM Performance Parts will celebrate Warren Johnson's illustrious career with 'The Professor's School's Out' tour, which will be a year-long celebration of the man and everything he has done, not only for the sport of drag racing, but for GM Performance Parts.

Added General Motors Drag Racing Manager Fred Simmonds, "When you think about General Motors and drag racing, one name comes to mind, and obviously that's 'the Professor,' Warren Johnson. I can't think of any driver whose had a more important impact on his class than Warren Johnson, from a performance standpoint and even a safety standpoint. Take a look at the roll cages in a Pro Stock car; that's Warren Johnson. The beadlock tires? Warren was on the leading edge of that technology. Everyone knows that the stats 92 wins, 130 poles he is Mr. General Motors Drag Racing."

"I've had a pretty fortunate career in Pro Stock drag racing, and it probably wouldn't have happened like it did without the support of General Motors, Pontiac, and GM Performance Parts," Johnson acknowledged. "All of them had contributed to the safety and performance of these vehicles.

Warren Johnson's Pro Stock Career Highlights:

Six NHRA Pro Stock Championships
92 National Event Wins*
143 Final Round Appearances*
130 No. 1 qualifying performances**
134 Low Elapsed Times of the Event**
198 Top Speeds of the Event**
Six Time U.S. Nationals Champion
453 Career races, spanning from 1971 to 2004
* The most by any driver in Pro Stock history; second only to John Force among all NHRA professional categories.
** - The most among all NHRA professional categories

Rockin C Racing
11-14-2004, 08:17 PM
Yeah I saw that tonight announced at Pomona. It is a sad day to hear that, but can't be helped.

11-14-2004, 10:30 PM
I wont miss him. Never like the guy or his kid. I still say he had something to do with Darrell Aldermanns' shop being vandalized when Aldermann was dominating Pro Stock with that Dodge Daytona. Funny how the only things destroyed was stuff that only experienced pro stock mechanics, crew chiefs and drivers knew would end the year for them. Also Warren got ticked when one of the Dodge guys gave Warren a little taste of his own medicine when they held off staging until Johnsons temps got a bit high. Old fart threw a massive temper tantrum after the race was over (and he lost). But it was fine and dandy for him to do it to other racers.

11-14-2004, 10:44 PM
I still say he had something to do with Darrell Aldermanns' shop being vandalized when Aldermann was dominating Pro Stock with that Dodge Daytona. Funny how the only things destroyed was stuff that only experienced pro stock mechanics, crew chiefs and drivers knew would end the year for them.
Are you on drugs? WTF? W.J. would never do such a thing. The only people resonsible for the break-in and destruction of engine parts are Wayne County Dodge themselves. They're the ones that were running nitrous and just when they were about to be caught by NHRA their shop just mysteriously gets broken into and their engines get smashed up. You ever notice how they were never able to run anywhere nearly as good as they had? Well, any engine shop worth a shit knows how to duplicate parts and has TONS of files and information on how to make a new set of heads. They were cheating and they sabotaged their own stuff to make an excuse for their all-of-a-sudden piss-poor performance after they quit using nitrous.

You either like W.J. or you don't, obviously you don't. Me, I admire the hell out of the guy because he's outlasted everyone in the class and he did it all himself. He's won more races, set more records and kicked more ass than anybody else in Pro Stock. He built the engines, he drove the cars and way back when he even drove the truck and trailer. If it wasn't for W.J. Pro Stock wouldn't be anywhere near what it is today. Anybody using a GM powerplant in Pro Stock has benefitted from W.J.'s hard work since he's the one that developed the DRCE engine for racing.

11-14-2004, 10:51 PM
You believe what you want. I still say he had something to do with it. :D