THE KURT CHRONICLES: Kurt Johnson ACDelco Results from the Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals QUICK RESULTS: Qualified: 2nd Finished: Winner Points: 2nd Kurt Continues Hot Streak with Brainerd Victory, Takes Second Place ...
THE KURT CHRONICLES: Kurt Johnson ACDelco Results from the Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals
Kurt Continues Hot Streak with Brainerd Victory, Takes Second Place in Points
BRAINERD, Minn. - Kurt Johnson staged a triumphant return to his racing roots today, winning the Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in his home state of Minnesota. The victory has Johnson's second at BIR, his third of the season, and the 18th of his career.
With three wins in the last four events, including back-to-back victories in Sonoma, Calif., and Brainerd, Minn., Kurt and his ACDelco Camaro are the hottest combination on the NHRA circuit. Johnson defeated points leader Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the final round, 6.986/196.59 mph to 6.995/195.85 mph, and vaulted from fourth to second in the NHRA Winston championship standings. He trails Coughlin by 280 points with eight races to go.
"I knew we could run with Coughlin, and maybe even run a little quicker than him," said Johnson as he celebrated his victory. "We were outrunning him in the last eighth of a mile, which is strictly horsepower."
Kurt qualified second in Brainerd, marking the ninth consecutive race that the ACDelco driver has qualified in the top half of the 16-car field. Johnson faced his father Warren in the first round after W.J. qualified in the 15th spot. Kurt beat his father for the first time this season and the 11th time in his career, 6.982 to 7.017. He then dispatched Rickie Smith in the second round and two-time NHRA champion Jim Yates in the semi-final. Johnson extended his final-round record to 2-0 against Coughlin; he beat Jeg in the final of the 1998 Sears Craftsman Nationals in Madison, Ill., in the pair's only previous final-round meeting.
"My Camaro ran consistently today," Kurt noted. "It ran 6.90s all day long. It's easier to drive when the car is consistent."
After Kurt last won at BIR in 1997, he went on to win the next event on the schedule, the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. With a hot hand and a winning combination, Johnson will attempt to duplicate that feat in two weeks when the NHRA tour reconvenes at Indianapolis Raceway Park for the biggest race of the season.
<pre> KURT JOHNSON RACE RESULTS: Qualifying: Kurt Johnson qualified No. 2 at 6.951/197.57 Eliminations: First Round: Kurt Johnson (6.982/196.83) defeated Warren Johnson (7.017/196.44) Second Round: Kurt Johnson (6.996/196.36) defeated Rickie Smith (7.004/195.99) Semi-Final: Kurt Johnson (6.994/196.44) defeated Jim Yates (7.003/196.36) Final Round: Kurt Johnson (6.986/196.59) defeated Jeg Coughlin Jr. (6.995/195.85)
Low ET: Bruce Allen, 6.948 seconds (track record) Top Speed: Warren Johnson, 197.62 mph (track record)
POINTS RACE: (After 15 of 23 events) Driver Wins Points 1. Jeg Coughlin Jr. 6 1,290 2. Kurt Johnson 3 1,010 3. Ron Krisher 2 1,007 4. Warren Johnson 1 927 5. Troy Coughlin 0 805
NEXT RACE: U.S. Nationals, Sept. 1-4, Indianapolis TV: TNN, Sept. 4, 4-6 p.m. (ET)