Brainerd: Kurt Johnson Friday summary

Kurt Johnson's eventful Friday ends in the No. 1 spot in Brainerd Kurt Johnson's racing weekend started with some unexpected excitement, as the ACDelco Cavalier pilot found himself among the millions of Americans affected by the massive power ...

Kurt Johnson's eventful Friday ends in the No. 1 spot in Brainerd

Kurt Johnson's racing weekend started with some unexpected excitement, as the ACDelco Cavalier pilot found himself among the millions of Americans affected by the massive power outage that swept a large portion of the United States and Canada.

After spending Thursday visiting with GM employees at various locations in the Detroit area, Johnson found himself stranded when the blackout shut down the Metro Detroit airport. Fortunately, he was able to make alternate arrangements, catching a flight through Cinncinnati, and arriving at Brainerd International Raceway one hour before the opening qualifying session.

"It was an interesting experience being at the airport during the blackout, especially when you consider how widespread it was. I ended up spending the night sleeping in the airline's executive club. However, I was never really concerned about making it to the track on time. Even if my flight this morning didn't leave as scheduled, I could have ridden with (Top Fuel team owner) Connie Kalitta, who flew over from Michigan in his plane this morning.

"To be honest, I never really worried about the race car, because I have an awesome crew. I know Kevin (Horst) and Joe (Cottle) would have everything ready for me, and they did. I was able to use the little time I did have to finish up the work on the engine, and obviously, our ACDelco Cavalier was ready."

Johnson's performance on the race track during Friday's twin qualifying sessions was equally exciting, as he posted the two quickest Pro Stock runs of the day, with his 6.876-second, 200.23 mph pass on his second attempt earning him the No. 1 qualifying position heading into Saturday's final time trials.

"Despite the solid elapsed time, we didn't really make a perfect run in the first session. It pulled to the left and shook the tires a little. We changed the preload on the chassis for tonight, so it would make a straight run, as well as changing the carburetors and the transmission."

"When I let the clutch out, the dashboard raised up eight inches, so I couldn't see any part of the track all the way through low gear and halfway through second gear. I raised up in the seat about an inch and a half so I could just see the racetrack and when I put it into third, the dash fell back into place."

"I was actually a little surprised by how well it ran tonight. It made a big move to the eighth mile mark, but when I put it in high gear, it felt a little lazy, but we're certainly happy with the number. Considering how the day started out, things worked out perfectly."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Connie Kalitta