KJ Eradicates Gremlins to Reach Las Vegas Quarterfinals After battling a problem with his race car throughout qualifying that relegated him to fifteenth starting position at the SummitRacing.com Nationals, Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Chevrolet...
KJ Eradicates Gremlins to Reach Las Vegas Quarterfinals
After battling a problem with his race car throughout qualifying that relegated him to fifteenth starting position at the SummitRacing.com Nationals, Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Chevrolet Racing team knew he had his work cut out for him in Sunday's final eliminations. He and his crew would have to first find and fix whatever was wrong, after which they would have to come up with a tune-up for race day with very little information from qualifying.
After poring over their notes from previous events at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, they devised a strategy and made several changes on Sunday morning. Despite running in the less-preferred left lane, the team's efforts were rewarded when the ACDelco Chevrolet posted their quickest elapsed time of the weekend, and second quick for the round, rocketing down the quarter-mile in 6.871-seconds with a top speed of 201.07 mph to upset No. 2 qualifier Larry Morgan.
Ironically, in the second round, Johnson would square off against David Connolly, the only competitor that had run quicker in the opening stanza. Again racing without lane choice, the second-generation racer used a .026 reaction time to gain a slight advantage at the starting line. However, even though he had to pull his car back into the groove after the launch, he was still able to make another solid pass at 6.920-seconds. Unfortunately, it was not enough to hold off his opponent's 6.874-second pass, putting a premature end to Johnson's day.
"The way I look at it, making it to the second round after the struggles we had in qualifying is a pretty good day. We started with a nightmare, and it really didn't turn out the way we wanted it to, but it certainly could have been worse.
"I'm pretty confident we've finally gotten rid of the gremlins that plagued us this weekend. We've been trying some new components, and it's just been acting crazy the last ten runs. We made the changes we thought were necessary, and fortunately, it responded.
"I also had a good day driving, leaving on the two people we raced, and getting the car to work well with the driver and vice versa. We missed lane choice for the second round by two thousandths, which didn't help, because if we had been able to make a straight run, I think we had a good shot of advancing.
"This wasn't the way we wanted to end things with this car, but we're excited about running the Cobalt in Bristol. We'll go back to Georgia, get it buttoned up, make sure the seat belts and steering wheel work and that it hits on all eight cylinders, and put her in the winner's circle."