Pomona II: Kurt Johnson race report

KJ Finishes 2008 with Runner-Up Finish in Pomona Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team completed a solid 2008 campaign in fine fashion, powering to a runner-up finish at the Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals. Starting...

KJ Finishes 2008 with Runner-Up Finish in Pomona

Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team completed a solid 2008 campaign in fine fashion, powering to a runner-up finish at the Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals. Starting third, Johnson eliminated Vinnie Deceglie, Rickie Jones and Jason Line in the early rounds to advance to the 72nd final round of his career, where he would square off against No. 1 qualifier Greg Anderson.

Racing without lane choice, KJ knew he would need every advantage in order to score his fourth win of the season. Unfortunately, trying to gain the edge at the starting line, he left four thousandths of a second early, with the resulting red light handing the automatic win to his opponent.

"Pomona is an interesting place to race, especially when you get to the later rounds," said Johnson. "I knew with dusk approaching, there would possibly be an issue with seeing the tree better. In addition, the track improves so much here at night, which keeps putting more energy in the car.

"As a result, we cut back on the clutch a little bit with our ACDelco Cobalt to try and make sure we didn't red light, but we obviously didn't go far enough. We knew it would be close, and he (Anderson) didn't give me a lot to work with. The bottom line is that I ended up missing it by four thousandths. Still, it was a very good day."

Despite the initial disappointment, Johnson acknowledged that today's strong showing was the final piece of another impressive season. On the strength of three wins in six final round appearances, the second-generation racer finished third in the POWERade points standings, the ninth Top Three finish of his 16-year Pro Stock career.

"We had a good season with our ACDelco Cobalt," stated Johnson. "I felt we had a car capable of winning the championship, but as close as the competition is in this category, you have to run well at every race, with everything falling into the right place, as well as keeping the bad luck at bay.

"Even though we were off a couple of times, everything came together in the end. We won the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship, as well as three races and finished third in the points, running well at just about every track we went to, including a runner-up finish at the last race of the season. Naturally, I'm disappointed that we didn't win today, but I shouldn't be."

"Most importantly, I want to thank our sponsors, ACDelco and Chevrolet, as well as the people here at Mark Christopher Chevrolet. We couldn't do this without their continued support, and we hope our performance this year has made them proud. I think we have a really good team right now, and we're looking forward to coming back next year to attack the competition."

-credit: j2r

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Greg Anderson , Jason Line , Rickie Jones