Memphis: Kurt Johnson Saturday summary

Kurt Johnson starts seventh and looks for a big day in Memphis Kurt Johnson made two important runs during Saturday's final day of qualifying for the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, TN. The first came in the morning session, when...

Kurt Johnson starts seventh and looks for a big day in Memphis

Kurt Johnson made two important runs during Saturday's final day of qualifying for the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, TN. The first came in the morning session, when Johnson posted his run of record at 6.785 seconds with a top speed of 203.37 mph, bettering his previous best from Friday and claiming the seventh starting position for Sunday's final eliminations.

However, Johnson's final qualifying pass was also significant. Although slightly slower than his previous best, the 6.806-second elapsed time and top speed of 203.28 mph represented the best in the Pro Stock category for that session, and came under conditions, which closely matched those forecast for tomorrow's eliminations.

"For the first three runs, we were using an engine we hadn't used since Topeka, and we might have bit a little off on the fuel curve. We had made a few changes to it trying to improve, but I think were a little too conservative."

"After we ran that 6.787 last night burning the clutch out of it, we adjusted it for this morning thinking it would go 6.75 or 6.76, and it didn't, so we decided to go back to the motor we had been running, which is pretty close to the first one on the dyno. We also made some changes to the chassis and the gearing, and came up with a good combination for our ACDelco Cavalier on this track."

"That was really a test run for tomorrow, because it was run in the heat of the day, which is when we'll be racing. If we can repeat that four times on Sunday, we'll be pretty pleased."

Johnson also addressed the potential second round match-up between himself and Greg Anderson, the current POWERade points leader with whom Johnson is locked in a fierce battle.

"If we want to make up ground in the championship, we need to race Greg in the early rounds. Hopefully Steve Schmidt (Anderson's first round opponent) will take care of him before then, but if not we'd certainly like to try to inflict some damage. However, neither one of us can afford to overlook the first round. We have a tough opponent in Darrell Alderman that we have to take care of first. If we're able to do that, then we'll see what happens in the second round."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Greg Anderson , Steve Schmidt