DALLAS: Kurt Johnson Dallas/Houston preview

With three races remaining on the NHRA calendar, Kurt Johnson has set his sights on clinching the No. 2 spot in the Pro Stock championship standings. K.J. has already set a personal-best record with four victories in 2000. A runner-up finish in...

With three races remaining on the NHRA calendar, Kurt Johnson has set his sights on clinching the No. 2 spot in the Pro Stock championship standings. K.J. has already set a personal-best record with four victories in 2000. A runner-up finish in the points race would duplicate his 1993 finish when he was honored as the Winston Rookie of the Year. Kurt and his ACDelco team are working overtime to prepare for the O'Reilly Fall Nationals in Dallas on October 20-22 and the Matco Tools SuperNationals in Houston on October 27-29. After missing the cut for the 16-car Pro Stock field at the preceding race in Memphis, Johnson took on a strenuous testing schedule. "We tested at Atlanta Dragway three days in a row and made 19 runs," Kurt said. "We learned a lot and changed our entire setup. I believe we've figured out why we didn't qualify in Memphis. We had never encountered conditions like that before, and what we were doing was completely wrong for this chassis. "We've thrown a little bit of everything at our ACDelco Camaro to get ready for Dallas and Houston," Kurt continued. "I could fill a book with the information we've gathered on what it likes and what it doesn't like. The car ran 6.95 at 200 mph at Atlanta when there was nobody else on the track, so I think we're in great shape to close the year with a strong finish." Kurt was a winner the first time he drove at the Texas Motorplex in 1993, defeating his father Warren in the final round. He scored a second victory in Dallas over Robert Patrick in 1995, and was runner-up in 1996 and 1998. Kurt was the No. 1 qualifier at the Castrol Nationals last May at the Motorplex. "I expect the conditions in Dallas will be similar to what we had when we raced at the Motorplex earlier this year," Kurt predicted. "Maybe a little more sunshine and a little warmer track temperature." Kurt notched his single career victory at Houston Raceway Park in 1999 when he defeated Mike Edwards in the final round. "It's time to win again in Houston," Kurt asserted. "My goal is to clinch the No. 2 spot in the championship before we go to Pomona. I want to leave Houston with a healthy lead over the No. 3 driver so we can concentrate on ending the season with a victory at the NHRA Finals." Kurt is already looking ahead to the start of the 2001 season and the debut of his new ACDelco race car. "I plan to wear out the engine dyno this winter," he declared. "If I can put another ten or 15 horsepower under the hood, we'll be looking good."

<pre> KURT JOHNSON TEXAS MOTORPLEX RESULTS: Year Qualified Result 1993 6 Winner (over W. Johnson) 1994 5 Semi Final 1995 6 Winner (over Patrick) 1996 15 Runner-up (to Yates) 1997 Spring 11 Second Round 1997 Fall 1 Second Round 1998 Spring 5 Runner-up (to Edwards) 1998 Fall 5 Second Round 1999 Spring 2 Semi Finals 1999 Fall 4 First Round 2000 Spring 1 First Round

KURT JOHNSON HOUSTON RACEWAY PARK RESULTS: Year Qualified Result 1993 3 First Round 1994 4 Semi Final 1995 5 Second Round 1996 4 Second Round 1997 Spring 3 Semi Final 1997 Fall 11 First Round 1998 Spring 9 First Round 1998 Fall 1 Second Round 1999 Spring 3 Winner (over Edwards) 1999 Fall 4 First Round 2000 Spring 7 Second Round

LAST RACES: Advance Auto Parts Nationals, Topeka, Kan., Oct. 1 Qualified: No. 3 Finished: Lost to Darrell Alderman in second round.

AutoZone Nationals, Memphis, Tenn., Oct. 8 Qualified: No. 20 - did not qualify

POINTS RACE: (After 20 of 23 events) Driver Wins Points 1. Jeg Coughlin Jr. 10 1,827 2. Kurt Johnson 4 1,295 3. Ron Krisher 2 1,267 4. Warren Johnson 1 1,239 5. Mark Pawuk 1 1,052

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Robert Patrick , Darrell Alderman , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Ron Krisher , Mike Edwards