KJ Opens Season with Strong Semi-Final Run in Pomona
Kurt Johnson gave his new ACDelco Cavalier a good workout in its competitive debut at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Ca. After qualifying second, Johnson opened with a solid 6.753-second, 204.91 mph in the first round to edge veteran chassis builder Jerry Haas.
However, KJ's assignment did not get any easier, as he would face rival and two-time Pro Stock Champion Jeg Coughlin in the second round. Once again, the Georgia-based crew responded, posting a 6.768-second elapsed time with a top speed of 204.88 mph to defeat Coughlin.
Standing between Johnson and his 51st career final round was a very familiar opponent - his father, six-time Pro Stock Champion Warren Johnson, who held the distinct advantage of being able to choose his lane. Although Kurt was able to make one of the quickest passes of the day in the less-preferred right lane at 6.765 seconds, it was not enough to hold off his father's 6.748-second charge.
"I feel we actually made a pretty good run in that lane with that 6.76. We were off a little in the first sixty feet, which hurt us, so I think we could even have run a 6.74 over there. Unfortunately, we didn't, and we lost.
"My driving was also a little off today, which was surprising because I had driven well during our test session in Las Vegas and our first qualifying run. I did feel a little scrunched in the car today, so we'll make a few adjustments so I can get comfortable, and tighten up the clutch pedal to pick up my reaction times. It's just part of the learning process.
"We're actually fairly pleased with our performance this weekend, coming in with a new and untested race car and leaving with a third place finish. We'll move on to Phoenix next weekend, and see if we can win one."