THE KURT CHRONICLES: Kurt Johnson ACDelco News & Notes for the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals, Las Vegas, April 6-8, 2001 JOHNSON HOPES THAT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT IN LAS VEGAS The day after a national event is usually a time to relax, unwind,...
THE KURT CHRONICLES: Kurt Johnson ACDelco News & Notes for the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals, Las Vegas, April 6-8, 2001
JOHNSON HOPES THAT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT IN LAS VEGAS
The day after a national event is usually a time to relax, unwind, and make plans for the next race. For Pro Stock driver Kurt Johnson and his ACDelco teammates, the day following the O'Reilly Nationals in Houston was a full-tilt flog.
Johnson stayed at Houston Raceway Park for an intensive test session with his new ACDelco Cavalier. Johnson made seven runs on the HRP quarter-mile, recording times and speeds that are in national record territory. Now he hopes to translate that experience into success at this weekend's SummitRacing.com Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"We started with the same setup that we used on race day in Houston," Johnson said. "The car behaved just as it did when I lost in the semi-finals - the tires were shaking and the reaction time was slow.
"We changed the chip in the starting line rev limiter, changed the clutch, and adjusted the four-link suspension," Johnson continued. "By the time we were finished, the car had run 6.810 at 202 mph." (For those keeping score, the Pro Stock national records currently stand at 6.809/202.36 mph.)
"The reaction times were quicker, too," K.J. reported. "I picked up five hundredths on the Christmas Tree, and that is a major plus for any driver. With the setup we had before, the driveshaft speed was lazy on the launch. Now we've got the car to move hard as soon as I let out the clutch."
With nine years in the driver's seat, Johnson is now a veteran racer - but he is still just a sophomore at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which is hosting its second NHRA event. Without a deep well of experience at The Strip to draw on, Kurt must rely on his intuition to find the proper setup.
"We'll adjust the carburetors and change the gear ratios to compensate for the higher altitude in Las Vegas," Johnson revealed, "but the track surface will be the biggest unknown. It all depends on the texture of the concrete pad after it's ground, whether it's coarse or fine.
"I've got two good engines in the trailer and a chassis setup that I can race with confidence," Kurt declared. "Now we'll just have to see the hand that Lady Luck deals us in Las Vegas!"
KURT JOHNSON'S LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY RECORD <pre> Year Qual. Result 2000 13 First Round