KJ Battles Back to Start 13th in Reading The second day of qualifying for the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals provided weather completely unlike that of the day before, with temperatures dropping by almost twenty degrees. As a result, racers in the...
KJ Battles Back to Start 13th in Reading
The second day of qualifying for the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals provided weather completely unlike that of the day before, with temperatures dropping by almost twenty degrees. As a result, racers in the ultra competitive Pro Stock category knew significant improvement would be necessary over their Friday efforts in order to earn a spot in Sunday's starting field.
For example, by the time Kurt Johnson rolled his ACDelco Cobalt to the line for his third qualifying attempt on Saturday morning, his 6.709-second clocking from the day before, which had been good enough for the third position, was no longer among the top sixteen necessary to qualify. Although he responded with a solid 6.660-second, 208.97 mph run, he knew he would need to pick up the pace even further on his final attempt.
As he staged for his fourth and final time trial, Johnson once again faced the pressure of having already been bumped out of the field. However, he quickly dispelled any doubts about his participation on Sunday, recording a solid 6.641-second time with a top speed of 208.49 mph to claim the 13th starting spot.
"Today was a bit of a struggle -- we shook the tires in the morning and just didn't run as well as we'd like this afternoon. For some reason, we're not getting the wheel speed we'd like at the drop of the clutch. As a result, the track, which is extremely good, is throwing us a curve and the clutch is slipping, so it looks like our issues are with the clutch more than anything else.
"We changed tires and it didn't seem to have any effect on it, but luckily we were able to get down the track on our final attempt and get our ACDelco Cobalt in the show. We know what we have to fix -- it's just a matter of hitting it on the next run.
"Even so, it's not a total mess. After all, we were ninth on the page in that last run. It's just we're not satisfied unless we're on top. We're running good speed, so I believe we have a majority of the project handled -- there are just a couple portions that need to be addressed, and that's what we'll be working on for tomorrow."