Kurt Johnson Drives to a Runner-Up Finish in Las Vegas Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Racing team had an outstanding day during Sunday's final eliminations of the SummitRacing.com Nationals, scoring a runner-up finish at The Strip at Las Vegas...
Kurt Johnson Drives to a Runner-Up Finish in Las Vegas
Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Racing team had an outstanding day during Sunday's final eliminations of the SummitRacing.com Nationals, scoring a runner-up finish at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
After qualifying third, Johnson combined strong driving skills and a powerful race car to score early round wins over veterans Bruce Allen and Jeg Coughlin. In the semi-finals, he faced Jason Line, who had qualified in the second position. Drilling his young opponent by over four hundredths of a second at the starting line, Johnson powered through the quarter-mile in 6.912 seconds with a top speed of 200.38 mph to score the hole shot win, overcoming Line's quicker 6.900-second elapsed time. This placed KJ in his second final of the 2004 season, 52nd of his career, and third consecutive championship round in Las Vegas, where he would face rival and No. 1 qualifier Greg Anderson.
Racing without lane choice and against a car with a perceived performance advantage, Johnson knew he would need every advantage to score his 29th career win. Rising to the challenge, Johnson used his best reaction time of the day to leave on Anderson by a hundredth of second. Even though he made on of the better runs in the less-preferred right hand lane, his 6.908-second elapsed time was not enough to hold off Anderson's 6.849-second charge.
Despite the initial disappointment, Johnson realized it had been a very productive weekend.
"You're never happy when you lose in the final, but we're still pleased with our performance. We came here with a combination that we had never used before at a national event, and made it all the way to the final. Anyway you look at it, it's a good weekend.
"For some reason, our engine seemed to be falling off today, because we're off about four hundredths from where we were at the beginning of the weekend, which obviously didn't help. This particular engine has about forty runs on it, so we'll take it back to Georgia and see what we find.
"But the news is not all bad. I drove well today, leaving on everyone I faced, and the ACDelco Cavalier made good runs all weekend, responding well to our adjustments. Sure, it would be nice to win here, but we're not about to give up. There are twenty-seven other drivers who would love to be in our place.
"The bottom line is that we need to find more power. In the final, we were right with him in the first 330 feet, but by the top end we were down a few hundredths and one mile per hour in top speed, which is all horsepower. That's all it is, so we'll just keep working at it until we find more."