Englishtown: Kurt Johnson preview

KJ Aims to Put E-town on His Good Side ACDelco Cobalt pilot looks for first national event win at legendary Raceway Park Sugar Hill, Ga., June 20, 2007 -- Beginning with this weekend's ProCare Rx Supernationals in Englishtown, NJ, ...

KJ Aims to Put E-town on His Good Side

ACDelco Cobalt pilot looks for first national event win at legendary Raceway Park

Sugar Hill, Ga., June 20, 2007 -- Beginning with this weekend's ProCare Rx Supernationals in Englishtown, NJ, fans visiting the ACDelco "Pros Who Know" tour display on the manufacturers midway at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park will able to obtain unique collectible mint tins in the shape of Kurt Johnson's ACDelco Cobalt race car. For their part, Johnson and his crew will be looking to use their performance in the Garden State to sweeten their position in this year's POWERade points standings. Entering a crucial stretch of six consecutive race weekends, they are determined to ensure they will be well above the eighth place cutoff point when the straight-line set reaches the second stage of this year's Countdown to the Championship in Indianapolis, IN.

"Our primary goal for these first seventeen races is to make sure we earn one of the eight spots in next phase of the Countdown," said Johnson. "There are twelve fast cars fighting to make the top eight, and even though we're in sixth right now, our position is nowhere near secure. Therefore, we have to make the most of every point-scoring opportunity, going rounds at every race.

"With the competition this tight, it comes down to paying attention to the details, keeping as many things in your favor as you can. Fortunately, we have the parts to get the job done. Our ACDelco Cobalt has been strong lately, and the team is working well together. What we need to do now is be more consistent, making the right decisions and good runs, with every member of the team doing their job to the best of their abilities. It's time to go, so mistakes must be a thing of the past."

Should Johnson attain his objective and end the weekend in the winner's circle, he will have simultaneously accomplished two goals, as the venerable Englishtown track is one of a select few on the NHRA circuit where the second-generation racer has yet to score a national event win. Despite this uncharacteristic drought, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park has been the site of several career-defining moments for the likeable Georgia resident, most notably on May 20, 1994, when he became the first driver in Pro Stock history to record a six-second elapsed time with his 6.988-second pass. However, entering this weekend's event, he is less concerned about history, preferring instead to concentrate on future accomplishments.

"Englishtown is one of those tracks I have a love-hate relationship with," said Johnson. "I was the runner-up at my first race there in 1993 and again in 2004, ran the first six-second run there in 1994, and even won the all-star race in New Jersey three times. Heck, I've even been the No. 1 qualifier there on three separate occasions, but for some reason, we have yet to turn that last win light on.

"Therefore, we'll have a little extra motivation heading into New Jersey. Depending on the weather, the track can be slick or fast, and it's up to us to adapt to the conditions. We'll put a tried and tested set-up in our ACDelco Cobalt for the first qualifying session and focus on going from A to B on every run, qualifying in the top half to get lane choice for the first round, and try to keep it all the way through the final. It's time we put 'E-town' on our good side."

-credit: j2r

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson