Memphis: Kurt Johnson Saturday summary

KJ Improves, Will Start Fourth in Memphis Qualifying for the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals was completed on Saturday under conditions that severely challenged teams in the NHRA's Pro Stock category. The combination of 100 degree temperatures and...

KJ Improves, Will Start Fourth in Memphis

Qualifying for the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals was completed on Saturday under conditions that severely challenged teams in the NHRA's Pro Stock category. The combination of 100 degree temperatures and drenching humidity combined to strangle the naturally-aspirated "factory hot rods", magnifying the importance of even the slightest error in judgment.

Starting the day confident that his 6.784-second, 203.03 mph pass from Friday evening would keep him in the sixteen-car field, Kurt Johnson used his first attempt on Saturday to gain valuable tuning information on his still-new ACDelco Cobalt.

After duplicating his elapsed time from the previous day on that initial run and bettering his top speed to 203.68 mph, which was third fastest among the 23 cars making an attempt, the second generation racer changed his approach for his last attempt trying to improve his starting position.

Running in the right hand lane, Johnson's car made its best pass of the weekend, a 6.765-second, 204.26 mph blast to capture the fourth starting position for Sunday's final eliminations in Millington, TN.

"We used our first run as a learning experience, trying a few different things to see how this new car would act. We made a decent 6.784-second pass, but when we saw V. Gaines run 6.76, we worried that we might have missed a potential opportunity. So, for the last session, we put it back to the way we had it in Q1 last night and made a few subtle changes.

"I thought it ran pretty well, and even though we might have lost a little in the back half with the carburetion adjustments, it really picked it up in the early part of the run, which is a trade-off we're willing to make.

"This ACDelco Cobalt is really coming around, looking pretty impressive. On each run, it's picked up a couple hundredths on the correction, so now we're looking for a few thousandths. We're looking to have a good day tomorrow with the car and on the tree, and if we do that, it'll be a hit."

-credit: j2r

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson