Bristol: Kurt Johnson Saturday summary

KJ & Crew Overcome Obstacles, Qualify 14th in Bristol On paper, Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team's qualifying effort at the O'Reilly Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals would seem like any other. Based on his 6.762-second, 204.54 mph...

KJ & Crew Overcome Obstacles, Qualify 14th in Bristol

On paper, Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team's qualifying effort at the O'Reilly Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals would seem like any other. Based on his 6.762-second, 204.54 mph run from Saturday afternoon, the second-generation racer captured the 14th starting position for Sunday's final eliminations at Bristol Dragway.

However, a review the last few day's events reveal that the Johnson-led crew put forth a yeoman effort in order to secure their spot for race day. On Thursday, the team transporter was felled by a transmission failure 30 miles from Bristol, which required a tow in order to reach the track.

The team's misfortunes continued on Friday, as a pin fell out of the throttle linkage just prior to their first qualifying attempt, resulting in their making that first run without the benefit of a full burnout. In the evening session, their tremendous .989 sixty-foot time was negated by the car popping out of second gear.

The challenges continued on Saturday, as the combination of a loss of oil pressure, a failed temperature gauge and an inoperative data acquisition system during their morning warm-up produced a last-minute thrash. Through it all, the team never faltered, working together to fix the problems and get back on track.

"It has been one heck of a weekend so far. It seemed like we had to deal with three or four things every day. Some were mistakes, others were things I haven't had happen in 13 years of racing. However, the entire ACDelco Cobalt crew never stopped. They just kept beating and banging, trying to fix things and go on. The way we see it, we have more parts in the trailer, and things like this just make us smarter.

"I just wish our car had run a little bit better in qualifying. We got behind the eight ball with the problem on Friday night, so we had to be a little conservative this morning so we could make sure to get down the track and in the show.

"The good thing is that we know what to do for tomorrow. We've been through three rounds of adapting to the race track, so we'll put it back to where it was this morning when it ran well. We'll get after it for the first round and see how it does.

"I'm not disappointed at all, because all you have to do in Pro Stock to have a shot at winning is qualify, and we've done that. We're looking forward to having fun tomorrow."

-j2r

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson