Las Vegas II: Kurt Johnson preview

KJ Aims to Convert Pressure into Las Vegas Win ACDelco Cobalt Racer targets second win at sponsor's race Sugar Hill, Ga., October 24, 2007 -- By its very nature, participation in any form of competitive motorsports comes with a certain amount...

KJ Aims to Convert Pressure into Las Vegas Win
ACDelco Cobalt Racer targets second win at sponsor's race

Sugar Hill, Ga., October 24, 2007 -- By its very nature, participation in any form of competitive motorsports comes with a certain amount of stress for those involved. Further compressing the competition into the quarter-mile, single-elimination format used in the NHRA's POWERade Drag Racing Series only serves to drive this intensity even higher. However, the ultimate pressure comes when the race's title sponsor matches that on the side of a racer's car, as will happen to Pro Stock standout Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team this weekend in the Nevada desert.

However, the second-generation racer quickly downplays the notion of any added need to perform at this weekend's ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals, preferring instead to focusing his efforts on returning to the winner's circle.

"Qur objective is the same at every race no matter who the title sponsor is and that is to end the day with our ACDelco Cobalt in the winner's circle," said Johnson. "However, there is no denying that we will have some extra motivation in Las Vegas this weekend. To say the least, it would be fantastic to win in front of our sponsor, showing our appreciation to all the people who support us.

"ACDelco has a lot going on this weekend, from giving a car away as part of the Drive to Win sweepstakes and hosting a large group in a hospitality tent to having Hulk Hogan as the Grand Marshal. We'll have an awesome new look with the Hulkster on the car, which we'll be unveiling at the FanFest on Thursday, and we're looking to take him and everyone involved to the winner's circle with us, just like we did in 2005."

Fortunately, Johnson's odds of achieving his goal are improved by the site of this weekend's event, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Located in the shadows of the Entertainment Capital of the World, this state-of-the art speedplant is one of the sport's crown jewels, with every driver coveting a win in the Nevada desert. As one of only three Pro Stock drivers with multiple Vegas wins, as well as five final round appearances, he is well-versed on what it takes to succeed in the Silver State. Although acknowledging there will be some stiff competition from another stout Pro Stock field, KJ is determined to hit the jackpot.

"We're looking forward to going to Las Vegas," said Johnson. "We always have fun there, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is one of the best on the POWERade tour, and best of all, we know our way to its winner's circle.

"Our ACDelco Cobalt has been running well lately, and hopefully we have put the mechanical issues that plagued us at the last few races behind us. We've spent the last two weeks freshening everything, making sure it's ready for these last two races, and after testing, we feel pretty good about our chances.

"I know there will a tremendous amount of attention paid to the Countdown, but there still is a race to be won. Those four can fight amongst themselves, but to us they are just another competitor, someone standing between us and the winner's circle, and we'll do everything we can to take home the trophy."

Autograph Session/Hulk Hogan ACDelco Car Unveiling: Kurt Johnson will be unveiling the Hulk Hogan/ACDelco Cobalt and signing autographs from 6:00-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 25 at the NHRA FanFest, which will be held at the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas.

-credit: j2r

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson