St. Louis: Kurt Johnson final summary

KJ's Strong Run Ends in St. Louis Quarterfinals After qualifying fifth for Sunday's final eliminations of the O'Reilly Midwest Nationals in Madison, IL, Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Chevy Cobalt Racing team looked to have a long and productive...

KJ's Strong Run Ends in St. Louis Quarterfinals

After qualifying fifth for Sunday's final eliminations of the O'Reilly Midwest Nationals in Madison, IL, Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Chevy Cobalt Racing team looked to have a long and productive day. Things went according to plan in the first round, when Johnson used a solid 6.704 second, 206.10 mph pass to eliminate Max Naylor.

This set the stage for a quarterfinal match-up against former Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin. Despite running in the less-preferred right hand lane, Johnson made his best run of the weekend, tripping the finish line timers in an impressive 6.674 seconds with a top speed of 206.80 mph. Unfortunately, it fell 15/1000's of a second shy of overcoming his opponent's starting line advantage, who used a 6.697-second time to advance.

Despite the disappointment, the second-generation racer was encouraged by his racecar's solid performance throughout the weekend, and was even able to joke about his premature exit at Gateway International Raceway.

"Everything was going along pretty smoothly until the win light was burned out in right hand lane. But seriously, after having two .060 lights in qualifying, I came back with a .037 in the first round today, so I felt I was in good shape.

"In the second round, I let the clutch out and thought it was a .020, .030 or .040 at the worst, any of which would have won the round. I couldn't believe it when they told me at the finish line that I lost on a hole shot. It's just one of those things. I'd been driving well lately, but I'm certainly not happy with that .60 light. Maybe I was just trying too hard.

"Even so, we were pretty impressed with our ACDelco Cobalt's performance this weekend. It made a really good run in that second round, which is what we've been working to accomplish. We still have work to do, but we know what we need to work on, which is a major step forward for our program."

-credit: j2r

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Kurt Johnson , Max Naylor