Memphis: Kurt Johnson Saturday notes

KJ's Memphis Title Defense Will Start from Eighth On the strength of a 6.625-second, 208.04 mph run recorded on his final attempt, Kurt Johnson qualified his ACDelco Cobalt eighth for Sunday's final eliminations of the O'Reilly...

KJ's Memphis Title Defense Will Start from Eighth

On the strength of a 6.625-second, 208.04 mph run recorded on his final attempt, Kurt Johnson qualified his ACDelco Cobalt eighth for Sunday's final eliminations of the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, TN.

A cold front that moved into the Memphis area overnight dropped the ambient temperatures by over ten degrees from Friday, creating conditions that were nearly ideal for the naturally aspirated Pro Stock Cars. As a result, teams were forced to step up their performance in order to simply qualify, with times dropping by almost six hundredths of a second.

After a solid 6.639-second, 207.40 mph pass in the early session on Saturday secured their starting position for race day, Johnson and the red, white and blue crew made some adjustments for their final run. Despite running in the less-preferred right hand lane, they delivered the fourth quickest pass for the final session, moving them up to the eighth position and giving them the benefit of lane choice for the first round on Sunday, as he looks to repeat his winning performance from this race a year ago.

"The run this morning didn't go quite as we planned, but we still ran fairly decent. We would have been sweating it going into the last session if we had run a 6.67, but that 6.63 left us fairly confident we wouldn't get bumped. As a result, we threw everything at our ACDelco Cobalt for the final run, and it all came together nicely. We moved into the top half and got lane choice, and even had a .48 on the tree after struggling in the early sessions, which I can tighten up with the air gap.

"Tomorrow, we need to be in the 20's and 30's on the tree, and make nice smooth runs, making it at least to semifinals. Looking at the ladder, everyone in this category is tough, so we'll have to be on our game. We'll see what we can do about repeating our win from last year."

-credit: j2r

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson