Phoenix: Kurt Johnson eliminations summary

Kurt Johnson proves to be too fast in Phoenix. Phoenix, Ariz., February 23, 2003 - Throughout the weekend of the Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals, Kurt Johnson's ACDelco Cavalier was among the quickest and fastest cars in Pro Stock. In ...

Kurt Johnson proves to be too fast in Phoenix.

Phoenix, Ariz., February 23, 2003 - Throughout the weekend of the Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals, Kurt Johnson's ACDelco Cavalier was among the quickest and fastest cars in Pro Stock. In qualifying, he recorded the best elapsed time in two of the four sessions, with his 6.841-second effort placing him fourth for Sunday's final eliminations. In addition, his 202.30 mph run on Friday established a new Firebird Raceway top speed record.

This trend continued on race day as the younger member of the Johnson racing family made his 200th NHRA Pro Stock start. In the first round, KJ's 6.857-second, 201.46 mph pass was again among the best, and more than enough to defeat Darrell Alderman for Johnson's 300th elimination round victory.

However, in the second round, Johnson was actually too fast, as he left the starting line one hundredth of a second early. This handed the automatic win to his opponent, Troy Coughlin despite KJ's posting a quicker elapsed time (6.866 vs. 6.877 sec.) and top speed (201.58 vs. 200.56 mph). Coughlin had also left before the green light came on, but still advanced, as Johnson was the first to commit the infraction. This was Johnson's first red light since the fall race in Dallas, TX, a span of 86 races.

"All weekend long I had been within six thousandths on my reaction times, from a .018 to a .024. This morning we slowed it down a little, and I went .028. I wasn't quite sure that would get the job done, so I pushed it in the second round. We both actually red lighted - I just did a better job of it. This is a game that is won or lost on the starting line, and today I was just too good.

"The ACDelco Cavalier actually ran pretty well. We worked on it all weekend, and found out what it liked, to where I thought we had a car we could win with today. We have a busy few weeks ahead, putting the new 2003 front end on our Cavalier, taking it to the wind tunnel and then testing it at least once. The bottom line is we're excited heading into Gainesville."

-jgk-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Troy Coughlin , Darrell Alderman , Kurt Johnson