Houston: Kurt Johnson qualifies No. one

HOUSTON - With rain washing out last weekend's race in Dallas, Kurt Johnson had to wait three long weeks to get back on track after failing to qualify in Memphis on October 7. Johnson rebounded from his disappointment in Tennessee by qualifying...

HOUSTON - With rain washing out last weekend's race in Dallas, Kurt Johnson had to wait three long weeks to get back on track after failing to qualify in Memphis on October 7. Johnson rebounded from his disappointment in Tennessee by qualifying his ACDelco Camaro in the top spot for the Matco Tools SuperNationals at Houston Raceway Park. Kurt advanced to the semi-final round where he lost to his father Warren by seven thousandths of a second.

Johnson won the Pro Stock "pole" for the fourth time this season and the 19th time in his career with a 6.902-second elapsed time. "What happened in Memphis was just a glitch," he said. "The motor wasn't right, the car wasn't right, and we found some problems with the suspension. We made 19 runs and here we are - hard work pays off. We just brought a barrel of gas and a bag of sandwiches and went testing."

Kurt's Camaro ran 6.912 to defeat Larry Morgan in the first round and 6.903 over Rickie Smith in the second stanza. K.J. had lane choice in his semi-final match with Warren, and took the preferred left side. Father beat son off the starting by six thousandths of a second, and added another thousandth at the finish line to take the victory, 6.912 to 6.913. W.J. improved his record against Kurt to 3-2 in the 2000 season and 29-12 overall.

"I lost by seven thousandths - it was a good drag race," Kurt commented. "We've got a good race car right now, and I can't complain about going to the semi-finals near the end of the season."

Johnson is second in the championship standings with a 19-point lead (one round) over Warren. "We need to win the next two races to hold onto that number two spot," Kurt declared.

Kurt will have his chance on November 3-4 in Dallas when the rain-delayed O'Reilly Fall Nationals is scheduled to take place at the Texas Motorplex.

<pre> KURT JOHNSON RACE RESULTS: Qualifying: Kurt Johnson qualified No. 1 at 6.902/199.55.

Eliminations: First Round: Kurt Johnson (6.912/199.49) defeated Larry Morgan (6.999/196.79) Second Round: Kurt Johnson (6.903/199.79) defeated Rickie Smith (6.960/198.58) Semi-Final: Warren Johnson (6.912/200.00) defeated Kurt Johnson (6.913/199.85)

Final Round: Warren Johnson (6.914/199.40) defeated Brad Jeter (6.975/197.94) Low ET: Ron Krisher, 6.901 seconds Top Speed: Warren Johnson, 200.00 mph

POINTS RACE: (After 21 of 23 events) Driver Wins Points 1. Jeg Coughlin Jr. 10 1,858 2. Kurt Johnson 4 1,373 3. Warren Johnson 2 1,354 4. Ron Krisher 2 1,324 5. Mark Pawuk 1 1,106

NEXT RACE: O'Reilly Fall Nationals, Nov. 3-4, Dallas (rescheduled from Oct. 20-22 due to rain)

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Brad Jeter , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Ron Krisher , Larry Morgan , Rickie Smith