Las Vegas; November 5, 1996 -- Kurt Johnson has three good reasons to celebrate:

On October 27, Kurt finished fourth in the NHRA Winston Pro Stock standings -- his fourth straight Top Five finish in the most competitive class in championship drag racing.

On November 4, his wife Kathy gave birth to the couple's first child, Connor Emory Johnson -- a.k.a. "C.J."

On November 5, GM Service Parts Operations announced a three-year extension of its sponsorship agreement with Kurt Racing, Inc. Johnson's sleek Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird will represent GM SPO's ACDelco brand on the NHRA championship drag racing circuit through 1999.

"We are proud to continue the partnership between GM Service Parts Operations and Kurt Racing, Inc.," said Ken Robinson, director of advertising and sales promotion for GM SPO, at a press conference held at the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) convention in Las Vegas.

Johnson, 33, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, will debut a new red-white-and-blue paint scheme on his ACDelco Firebird at the season-opening NHRA Winternationals in February. "I'm really charged up about racing again next year with ACDelco," said Johnson. "1996 has been the biggest year of my life."

"I started the season by debuting a new Pontiac with Delco Freedom Battery, my first major sponsor," Kurt recalled. "In April I won at my home track in Atlanta, and on Labor Day I won the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. Then Kathy and I added a son to our family. It's been a dream season -- and next year with ACDelco back on board is going to be even better!

"It's an honor to be part of a team that includes ACDelco Freedom Battery, ACDelco engines, ACDelco Rapidfire Spark Plugs, ACDelco Oil Filters, and Pontiac," Johnson commented. "Working together as a team, I'm confident that we'll reach our goals both on and off the race track."

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E-mail from: Rick Voegelin, 11-Nov-1996