Volume II, Issue 5, Page 12

Warren Johnson became just the seventh member of the drag racing community to enter the International Motorsports Hall of Fame when he was inducted on Thursday, April 26. The six-time NHRA Pro Stock champion (1992-93, 1995, 1998-99, 2001), multiple national-record setter and driver of the GM Performance Parts Pontiac GTO joined a select group representing drag racing in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame that already includes Wally Parks, Bob Glidden, Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney, Don Prudhomme and Joe Amato. In addition to Warren Johnson, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame class of 2007 will include Bruton Smith, Junie Donlavey, Ray Hendrick, Jack Ingram and Wayne Rainey.   

The 63-year-old Johnson, commonly referred to as "The Professor" of Pro Stock, has surpassed numerous milestones during a career that spans four decades. Since 1971, Johnson has captured 96 national-event victories (second all time to John Force's 122), 136 No.1 qualifying awards, 830 round wins (.681 winning percentage), six U.S. Nationals crowns, made 149 final-round appearances, set low elapsed time of the meet 139 times and ran top speed at 205 events. Johnson was the first Pro Stock competitor to exceed the 180-mph barrier (1982), the 190-mph barrier (1986) and the 200-mph barrier (1997), and he has set the national speed record on 25 separate occasions and the national elapsed-time mark 11 times. Johnson has won at least one national event in 24 of the last 25 race seasons, and at the 2006 ACDelco Nationals in Las Vegas, Johnson became the first professional driver in NHRA history to compete in 500 national events. In the following interview, he discusses his early career, development of the GM DRCE, the decision to go professional drag racing full time, and the upcoming race at Atlanta Dragway.

Were there any early influences on your career?
WJ: "Actually, I really never had any influential personalities, if you will, because I've always been a type of person that I'm going to do it my way and that's just the way it's going to be. So I really haven't looked at anybody else's career or really taken a lot of interest in what anybody else has done because of the fact that they did it their way, and what I'm doing, I'm going to do my way."

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