Bristol: Kurt Johnson Saturday summary

KJ's New ACDelco Cobalt Engineers the Third Starting Spot in Bristol Kurt Johnson faced several obstacles entering Saturday's qualifying sessions at the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals. First, having unveiled his new ACDelco Cobalt one day...

KJ's New ACDelco Cobalt Engineers the Third Starting Spot in Bristol

Kurt Johnson faced several obstacles entering Saturday's qualifying sessions at the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals. First, having unveiled his new ACDelco Cobalt one day earlier, he was racing a mostly untested car in the largest Pro Stock field of the 2005 season.

In addition, with the first 120 feet of racing surface at Bristol Dragway having been replaced prior to this event, adjustments would have to be made to their notes from previous races. Finally, with persistent rains threatening to curtail the on-track action at any moment, racers knew that they might be restricted to a single attempt to make Sunday's final elimination field.

However, all this seemed to matter little, as they took full advantage of their solitary qualifying pass, recording a 6.837-second, 200.83 mph pass, slotting them in the third starting position. The crew's efforts were rewarded when the NHRA officials designated the ACDelco Cobalt as the Best Engineered Car of the event.

"I had hoped that we would get two runs in today, but fortunately, we made some good calls on this new ACDelco Cobalt for what turned out to be our only qualifying pass. We got it under control in the first 100 feet, where it was acting up in testing. We also did a better job with the clutch and the overall set-up. Everybody on the team did their job, and the car went right down the racetrack.

"With our limited experience with this car, and an uncertain racing surface, we really didn't know what to expect. I looked at the starting line, and it seemed pretty good, so I adjusted the car accordingly, and it stuck. It ran .997 in sixty feet, and was at the top of the pack to the 330 foot mark, which was pretty good for a brand new race car. We're certainly pleased.

"Tomorrow should be interesting. Naturally, as the only new car in the field, everyone else will have a better notebook than we do on how to adjust for the conditions, so we'll rely on our experience and give it our best shot. It made a flawless run today, so now it's a matter of making four just like it on race day."

-j2r-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson