Sonoma: Kurt Johnson preview

With Focus on Constant Improvement, KJ Works to Succeed in Sonoma ACDelco Cobalt crew looks to end Western Swing on winning note Sugar Hill, Ga., July 21, 2008 -- A successful NHRA Pro Stock program is an extremely fluid operation. Even when...

With Focus on Constant Improvement, KJ Works to Succeed in Sonoma
ACDelco Cobalt crew looks to end Western Swing on winning note

Sugar Hill, Ga., July 21, 2008 -- A successful NHRA Pro Stock program is an extremely fluid operation. Even when a team is consistently going rounds and winning races, attention must be paid towards finding ways to improve. Such is the case for championship contenders Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team. Through the first fourteen races of the 2008 POWERade Drag Racing season, they have been among the elite of the "factory hot rods", repeatedly qualifying at or near the top of the field, and systematically going deep into final eliminations, a performance that has them second in the standings entering this weekend's race at Infineon Raceway.

Even so, as they head to the California wine country for the final stop on the three-race Western Swing, Johnson has already targeted one area they will need to address prior to the start of eliminations, as he hopes to score his third win of the season.

"Every week, we evaluate our program, seeing what we can do to make it better," said Johnson. "For example, heading into Sonoma, we're going to be working on reaction time. With the changes we made to it prior to the start of this Western Swing, our ACDelco Cobalt is definitely more consistent. Before that, we had a race car that would sit there, spin the tires and hang a right.

"I'm happy to say that we've pretty much cured that problem, as shown by the two quick passes we made during eliminations in Seattle. Although we're pleased with those results, it's now a matter of going rounds and winning races. We're getting close to the cutoff for the Countdown to One, and we'd like to get back on top before then."

Located in the heart of the California wine country, Infineon Raceway is a state-of-the-art multipurpose motorsports facility, hosting events in virtually every major racing series. However, when the straight-line set makes their annual visit to the Napa valley this weekend, there will be little time for teams to enjoy the scenery, as another tightly packed field is expected, with every competitor looking to end the weekend in the winner's circle.

"Infineon Raceway is a good place to race," said Johnson. "As a Bruton Smith-owned track, you know the facility will be among the best on the circuit, and one you look forward to racing on. The atmospheric conditions should be somewhat similar to what we had in Seattle last week, so it should be fast on Friday night and Saturday morning, with 6.50's a definite possibility. Power should not be an issue, so we'll have to get our ACDelco Cobalt geared accordingly, and make sure we get back to twenties or teens on the tree. If we do that, it should be a really good weekend."

-credit: j2r

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson