Kurt Johnson Caps Off Strong Year with Runner-Up Finish in Pomona
ACDelco Cavalier pilot Kurt Johnson finished off an outstanding 2003 season by scoring a runner-up finish at the Auto Club of Southern California Finals in Pomona, CA. After qualifying sixth, Johnson again displayed the form that powered him to a second place finish in the POWERade championship chase, consistently recording one of the lowest elapsed times of each round. Johnson opened his day by disposing of Troy Coughlin with a 6.764-second pass, bettering his quickest time from qualifying.
In the next two rounds, Johnson would continue his march through the field, getting better with each round. After using a 6.758-second elapsed time to eliminate 2002 Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin, KJ defeated Mike Edwards in the semi-finals to reach his tenth final round of 2003, where he would face Greg Anderson, with whom he had battled for the championship throughout the year.
Running in the less-preferred right hand lane, Johnson combined a strong .024 reaction time with a 6.749-second elapsed time, which was the quickest time of the day on that side of the track. However, it was not enough to prevent Anderson, who used the quickest run of the day at 6.735 seconds, from narrowly edging Johnson at the finish line stripe.
"After falling off the pace a bit and qualifying sixth, we made some substantial gains today. For example, we were strong in the first sixty feet, which is where we had been struggling. The ACDelco Cavalier ran well all day. Going into the final, I wasn't overly concerned about running in the right hand lane, because I won from there last year,
"We made a pretty good run at 6.749 with a top speed of 205.26, especially for that lane. I out ran Greg to sixty feet and in the last three hundred feet as well, but it just wasn't enough.
"I had a career year, but Greg just happened to be in the way. We won four races, and went to ten final rounds, which is nothing to complain about. We've learned a lot this year, and this championship fight has just given us added motivation going into 2004. I promise this ACDelco Cavalier crew will be coming out with a full head of steam next year. We're certainly not satisfied with finishing second - we want to be No. 1, and that will be our focus throughout the off-season."