Las Vegas II: Kurt Johnson preview

The Kurt Chronicles: Kurt Johnson ACDelco News & Notes for the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas, Oct. 25-27. JOHNSON DRESSED TO THRILL IN LAS VEGAS It's said that familiarity breeds contempt, but for Pro Stock racer Kurt Johnson,...

The Kurt Chronicles: Kurt Johnson ACDelco News & Notes for the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas, Oct. 25-27.

JOHNSON DRESSED TO THRILL IN LAS VEGAS

It's said that familiarity breeds contempt, but for Pro Stock racer Kurt Johnson, familiarity with his ACDelco Cavalier has bred contentment. After running the quickest elapsed time and the fastest speed at the preceding event in Dallas, Johnson is comfortable and confident in his Chevrolet race car.

"The car is consistently fast now, and that gives me confidence that we can win for ACDelco in Las Vegas," said Johnson. "It's like taking your wife to a dance: You know her moves, and you're not worried that she'll step on your feet."

Johnson's "dance partner" will have a new look for the ACDelco-sponsored event. K.J.'s ACDelco Cavalier will debut special graphics celebrating the 30th anniversary of the legendary rock band KISS. Sporting images of the band on his race car and flames on his driving suit, Johnson is ready for a hot time in Las Vegas - and perhaps a kiss from Lady Luck at the second autumn race at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

K.J. will go to the bright lights of Las Vegas fresh from a record-setting performance at the Texas Motorplex, where he established the track e.t. and speed marks at 6.785 seconds and 204.03 mph respectively. Kurt's career-best speed was the second fastest run in Pro Stock history.

"When I checked the weather conditions on Sunday morning in Dallas, the computer said we'd run 6.78 at 204 mph," Kurt recalled. "We hit the marks perfectly. We knew the car had the potential to run those numbers so I wasn't surprised when they came up on the scoreboard.

"We're making fine adjustments to the setup now instead of radical changes," he reported. "The Jerry Haas chassis and GM horsepower are working well together. There aren't any magic cars or magic motors in Pro Stock today; it's a matter of making the package as perfect as possible. If you want to see magic, go to one of the shows."

With his primary sponsor's logo on the marquee and his seven-year winning streak on the line, Johnson's motivation level is pegged. But he also knows that luck is the wild card on the racetrack as well as in the casinos.

"With the conditions we expect in Las Vegas, qualifying could come down to one roll of the dice on Friday night," he predicted. "You can have a fast car and a powerful motor, but you never know when something unexpected is going to happen. If a valve spring breaks or a gear fails in the best session, it can be tough to bump into the field.

"We tested at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after the April race and made nine solid runs," Kurt recalled. "We have good data, a great race car and a confident outlook. We have everything we need to hit the jackpot at the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals."

-kc-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Jerry Haas