Seattle: Kurt Johnson preview

KJ Looks to Step It Up in Seattle ACDelco Cobalt racer returns to site of first national event win Sugar Hill, Ga., July 16, 2008 -- One of the hallmarks of Kurt Johnson's strong 2008 showing has been his ACDelco Cobalt's consistent...

KJ Looks to Step It Up in Seattle
ACDelco Cobalt racer returns to site of first national event win

Sugar Hill, Ga., July 16, 2008 -- One of the hallmarks of Kurt Johnson's strong 2008 showing has been his ACDelco Cobalt's consistent performance in both qualifying and eliminations. Heading into this weekend's Schuck's Auto Supply Nationals in Seattle, WA, the fourteenth race on the POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule, the Johnson-led crew has logged a remarkable twelve Top Five starting positions, followed by an equally impressive seven finishes of the semifinals or better, including wins in Madison and Joliet.

This competitive consistency has been a key element in KJ's charge to the front of the Pro Stock standings. Although this performance has put him in a good position to make the NHRA's "second season", the Countdown to One, he knows that to remain in contention for this year's title further gains must be achieved. Therefore he arrives in the Pacific Northwest prepared to walk the fine line between reaching for the next level and delivering repeatable runs.

"We're going into this weekend with essentially an unknown combination, but we're still pretty positive we can make a statement in Seattle" said Johnson. "We tested in Atlanta before leaving for Denver, and made eight runs under some very trying conditions. Even so, we were able to get our ACDelco Cobalt to react pretty consistently.

"Of course, we headed directly to the thin air in Colorado, where it took us some time to get a handle on the tune-up. Even though we're going back to more normal conditions, we'll still have to pay close attention to the car, staying on top of every aspect, getting it tuned to keep it going down the track."

One ally Johnson will have in his pursuit of victory will be the site of this weekend's race. Of the 22 different tracks on which the NHRA's professional categories will compete in 2008, he will always have a special regard for Pacific Raceways as in 1993, it was the site of his first national event win. However, it is his most recent success at the Kent quarter-mile in 2005 that currently garners the most favor with the second-generation racer, as it provides a wealth of data that will assist him in preparing for the first qualifying session on Friday afternoon.

"Seattle is a great city, and the track has always been good to me, so we're naturally excited to go back there," said Johnson. "I won my first race there in 1993, and have done well at Pacific Raceways over the years. The track itself is pretty good, although depending on the weather, it can get pretty tricky. We won there in 2005 with our ACDelco Cobalt, so we have tuning information from that race that we should be able to put to good use. All things considered, we're pretty confident about our chances for a great weekend in the Pacific Northwest."

-credit: j2r

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson