ACDelco driver Kurt Johnson was quietly optimistic entering Sunday's final eliminations of the O'Reilly Fall Nationals in Ennis, TX, Starting from the fourth position, Johnson looked to put four consistent, fast runs together to notch his fifth...
ACDelco driver Kurt Johnson was quietly optimistic entering Sunday's final eliminations of the O'Reilly Fall Nationals in Ennis, TX, Starting from the fourth position, Johnson looked to put four consistent, fast runs together to notch his fifth win of the 2003 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing season.
Things went according to plan in the first round, as Johnson's 6.802 second, 203.20 mph pass, which was one of the quickest of the day, to defeat veteran Steve Schmidt. Johnson came back with an almost identical run in the second round against Allen Johnson, covering the quarter-mile in 6.803 seconds with a top speed of 203.20 mph. Unfortunately, KJ's efforts went for naught, as he left the starting line five thousandths of a second too early, giving the automatic win to his opponent.
"There's not much you can say or do about five thousandths of a second. We had the clutch linkage stretched out and kept giving it more air gap, and it still reacted quicker. In addition, we ran a set of tires that we hadn't used since Denver, which I knew would really hook up in the second round. My reaction times usually improve in the second round, and I had an .020 in the first round, so maybe we should have left it alone. It's one of those things where you live by the sword and die by the sword.
"You can't cut anyone any slack out here. Allen had an .002 in the first round, and he had run within three hundredths of us, so we knew the potential was there. I've been really relaxed lately, and reacting on the yellow, so today was a bit of a surprise. Obviously, we have to stretch it out so we can't red light.
"The good part is that our ACDelco Cavalier made an awesome run, which is great news heading into the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals. Naturally, we want to win there more than anything. Who knows, maybe we didn't win here for a reason."