KJ Stays Hot, Scores a Runner-Up Finish in Memphis For the fifth time in the last six races, Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team powered their way to the final round of an NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event, overcoming...
KJ Stays Hot, Scores a Runner-Up Finish in Memphis
For the fifth time in the last six races, Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team powered their way to the final round of an NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event, overcoming scorching summer temperatures and scoring a runner-up finish at today's O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, TN.
Starting from the No. 1 position, Johnson eliminated Kenny Koretsky, Greg Stanfield and David Howard en route to his sixth final round appearance of the season, 60th of his career, and second at Memphis Motorsports Park.
Facing rival Greg Anderson without the benefit of lane choice, he knew he would need every advantage in order to score his fourth win of the season, and used a stellar .029 reaction time to gain a one hundredth of a second lead at the starting line. Unfortunately, his 6.834-second, 201.88 mph pass fell just shy of holding off his opponent's 6.801-second run.
Despite the loss, Johnson was able to move into second place in the POWERade points standings, keeping himself in the thick of the championship chase.
"We're still fine-tuning the set-up on this ACDelco Cobalt, and right now, it's just not happy when we get on a rough race track, and this one in Memphis is probably the roughest we race on.
"In addition, this car has been so good lately that we thought we could make other changes to compensate for it, and we just came up a bit short. When you run low elapsed time, you think you can just fine tune it, and obviously today we should have made some other changes.
"Lane choice played a big role in the final. We hadn't been over there all day, and even though we were able to get down it in qualifying, it was completely different tonight. We spun the tires in second gear, and then it started bouncing over the bumps, all of which cost us.
"We're still pretty pleased with our performance this weekend, making it to another final. It's a great job by the entire ACDelco crew. That guy's (Anderson) been a pain in our side, and it would have been nice to beat him and gain a few more points, but we still have six races left, so we're still right in there with our eyes focused firmly on the target.
"As brutal as the conditions were out here this weekend, I'm just glad this race is over. Those fans hung in with us all weekend, and I know I'm beat, so we have to thank them for their support. I'm really looking forward to getting back on a smooth racetrack like Indy, because I'm pretty confident our car will be just fine. We'll go back to Georgia, go over everything from head to toe, and be ready to get after them at IRP (Indianapolis Raceway Park, site of the U.S. Nationals, the next race on the NHRA schedule)."