KJ Sees Red in Brainerd After qualifying seventh for Sunday's final eliminations of the Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd, MN, Kurt Johnson looked to repeat his winning performance from a year ago and make the debut of his new ACDelco Cobalt a ...
KJ Sees Red in Brainerd
After qualifying seventh for Sunday's final eliminations of the Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd, MN, Kurt Johnson looked to repeat his winning performance from a year ago and make the debut of his new ACDelco Cobalt a triumphant one. Things seemed to go according to plan in the first round, when he combined a solid .032 reaction time with the second quickest pass of the round at 6.768 seconds, 203.52 mph to eliminate former Pro Stock champion Jim Yates, who posted a 6.783 second, 203.00 mph run in the losing effort.
This set the stage for a second round encounter against current points leader Jason Line, who was the only car quicker than Johnson in the opening stanza. Racing in the less-preferred right-hand lane, KJ knew he would need every advantage in order to advance to the next round and gain ground in the championship chase. Therefore, he staged quickly, determined to gain the starting-line edge. Unfortunately, the race was over within a few hundredths of a second, as Johnson left the line early, with his red light start awarding the automatic win to his opponent.
"I'm probably more upset about the red light than anything else. I was locked in on the tree, but not that much. In fact, I had been pretty comfortable in the car all weekend. It was our first race with this new ACDelco Cobalt, so we really can't be too disappointed, but we're never satisfied unless we win. It was nice to win a round, but we're here to take home the trophy.
"Somehow it would have been slightly better if we had made a good run, but something must have happened to the car, because we slowed down in that round when everyone else seemed to pick up a little bit. We had made a pretty respectable run in the first round and made some adjustments for the second round hoping to pick up. We headed in the same direction with the tune-up as we had this morning, but it didn't like it, so we obviously went over the edge. We'll take the information we gathered here and go on to Memphis, and see if we can regroup and get this car its first win there."