Commerce: Kurt Johnson Saturday notes

KJ Rebounds to Qualify 11th in Atlanta After rare mechanical issues forced him to shut off early during each of his first two attempts on Friday, ACDelco Cobalt racer Kurt Johnson entered the final day of qualifying at the Summit Racing ...

KJ Rebounds to Qualify 11th in Atlanta

After rare mechanical issues forced him to shut off early during each of his first two attempts on Friday, ACDelco Cobalt racer Kurt Johnson entered the final day of qualifying at the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals in the unenviable position of having only two chances to claim a spot in Sunday's final eliminations field.

Further compounding Johnson's assignment were the warmer temperatures and high humidity at Atlanta Dragway on Saturday, each of which robbed power from the normally-aspirated "doorslammers". Although knowing this would likely prevent him from earning his sixth consecutive Top Four starting position, the team's attention turned towards ensuring their participation on race day, with Kurt starting the day at the team's shop in Sugar Hill, repairing the piece that had failed on Friday night before heading back to the Commerce quarter-mile.

Any doubts were quickly allayed in the morning session, when KJ carded a solid 6.709-second, 206.61 mph effort, quickest of the second-day qualifiers. Coming back in the heat of the afternoon, KJ completed his qualifying effort in style, recording the second quickest elapsed time of the session at 6.684-seconds with a top speed of 206.86 mph to capture the 11th starting position.

"Today was much better than yesterday. We had a couple freak issues, and although the first one was something that just happens every now and then, the second one could have been avoided. If anything, we learned we have to pay attention to every little detail.

"Most importantly, the ACDelco Cobalt crew rebounded well today. We came out this morning and put up that 6.70 to get us in the field, but our performance was still a little off in the first sixty feet. We then decided to go back to our notes from testing after the race here last year, which helped us come back with a strong 6.68 in the afternoon session.

"One nice thing going into tomorrow that we have not had of late is that the lanes seem to be pretty equal, so we plan to take whichever one they give us and make the most of it tomorrow."

-credit: j2r

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson