Baytown: Kurt Johnson Friday notes

Sitting on top midway through Houston qualifying, KJ & crew turn their attention towards assisting teammate On paper, the numbers will show that Kurt Johnson put his ACDelco Cobalt in the provisional No. 1 qualifying position on Friday at ...

Sitting on top midway through Houston qualifying, KJ & crew turn their attention towards assisting teammate

On paper, the numbers will show that Kurt Johnson put his ACDelco Cobalt in the provisional No. 1 qualifying position on Friday at the O'Reilly Spring Nationals in Houston, TX, covering the quarter-mile in 6.638-seconds with a top speed of 208.42 mph. However, what doesn't show is that Johnson's excitement was somewhat tempered by the fact that his teammate and father, six-time champion Warren Johnson, had an uncharacteristic on-track incident while running beside him in the other lane, contacting the wall after losing the motor at the finish line.

Fortunately, the senior Johnson was not injured, and both teams immediately got to work assessing the damage and starting the lengthy repair procedure. Although naturally disappointed by the turn of events, KJ was still able to appreciate his own car's strong showing.

"We threw everything at our ACDelco Cobalt for the second session that we thought would make it go fast, and it did. It stuck and made an absolutely flawless run. Unfortunately all the action was in the other lane with Dad. I looked over and saw smoke coming out from his front and rear wheel wells, and at first thought he had just blown a motor and made a lot of extra work for us.

"But then I saw he was having trouble slowing down, and that his car was filling up with smoke, so I knew he couldn't see where he was going. At that point, I did everything I could to get my car stopped. Just as I did, he came over into my lane and tagged the wall. I was able to pull up right next to him at the top end afterwards and saw that he was all right, except for a little smoke inhalation.

"It's an unfortunate situation, but it could have been a lot worse. The important part is that everyone is fine and the GM Performance Parts Pontiac doesn't seem to be that bad. It's just going to be a long night getting it put back together. The hard part is breaking that motor, which had been really fast.

"For tonight, however we'll go over our car and quickly load it in the trailer. After that we'll see what the yellow (WJ's GM Performance Parts crew) team needs. Luckily, we have more parts in Sugar Hill (GA), so eventually we'll get it all fixed."

-credit: j2r

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson