Kurt Johnson Pro Stock Showdown preview

KJ Targets Successful Shakedown at Pontiac Pro Stock Showdown Sugar Hill, Ga., February 1, 2008 -- NHRA Pro Stock star Kurt Johnson will be doing something this weekend many people can identify with, namely taking his new car for a ride to see...

KJ Targets Successful Shakedown at Pontiac Pro Stock Showdown

Sugar Hill, Ga., February 1, 2008 -- NHRA Pro Stock star Kurt Johnson will be doing something this weekend many people can identify with, namely taking his new car for a ride to see what it can do. In this case, however, his trips will be confined to the quarter-mile track at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and should only last for a little over six seconds at speeds exceeding 200 mph. Even so, every attempt the ACDelco Cobalt racer makes at the third annual Pontiac Pro Stock Showdown will be important, as the information gathered could set the foundation for a successful 2008 season.

"We're going to be shaking our ACDelco Cobalt down this weekend in Las Vegas," said Johnson. "Between the fickle weather, the research and development work we were doing at the shop, and getting this car finished, we really didn't have a chance to test, so this will be our first time at the track since Pomona.

"The way I see it, we're about to set a wild animal loose and try to tame it with our bare hands. It's going to be interesting."

Even though this event is intended as an exhibition, and has no true bearing on the championship, as the first competitive outing of the year, it offers racers the opportunity to gauge their progress against that of their rivals, and to potentially set the tone for the year ahead. As such, winning remains a top priority.

"This weekend will be the first chance for everyone to get a general idea of where they stand," said Johnson. "We're confident that we made some gains during the offseason, and the challenge will be applying those gains to the racetrack. To be honest, our biggest concern is the car. We need to know how big of a tuning window we'll have to work with.

"Therefore, one of our primary goals for this weekend will be establishing a baseline tune-up for this particular ACDelco Cobalt, a benchmark from which we can start to adjust for the conditions. That is why we will probably stay in Las Vegas and test on Sunday and possibly Monday.

"We'll also use this track to reestablish our race day routine. It will be a good opportunity for our new crew member, Jarrett (Hadorn), to see what it's like without the pressure of a national event. But even though this just a tune-up, make no mistake, this ACDelco crew is going to Las Vegas to win."

-credit: j2r

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson