Columbus: Kurt Johnson preview

KJ & Crew Work to Continue Their Charge in Columbus ACDelco Cobalt crew looks to improve on 2005 runner-up finish at National Trail Sugar Hill, Ga., May 16, 2006 -- Kurt Johnson is a man on the move. After an uncharacteristically slow ...

KJ & Crew Work to Continue Their Charge in Columbus

ACDelco Cobalt crew looks to improve on 2005 runner-up finish at National Trail

Sugar Hill, Ga., May 16, 2006 -- Kurt Johnson is a man on the move. After an uncharacteristically slow start, Johnson and his ACDelco Cobalt Racing team have come to life in the last three races, with a win, a semifinal round appearance and a total of seven elimination round wins. This performance has allowed the second-generation racer to catapult nine spots in the POWERade championship standings from seventeenth to eighth, progress he looks to continue this weekend at the Pontiac Performance NHRA Nationals in Columbus, OH.

"We've had to overcome our share of challenges this year, but this ACDelco Cobalt crew is back on track," stated Johnson. "From having the truck break down, or experiencing unusual mechanical problems with the race car and issues with race track preparation to the tragic loss of one of my best buddies in Scott Geoffrion one week ago, so far it's been an uphill battle, but we're hanging in there and starting to make up ground."

The team's recent strong showing has also prompted a change in the team's competitive strategy, as their new race car will remain parked at the team's headquarters in Sugar Hill as they continue to campaign the tried, proven and winning ACDelco Cobalt with which they started the season.

"The competition in Pro Stock is as tight as it has ever been, making it extremely important to be consistent in every run," said Johnson. "That's why we're not in a hurry to bring out the new car. We know what this ACDelco Cobalt wants and needs to run, so we'll use it for the next few races. We have other things that we need to test at the moment, and eliminating the variable of brand new tubing is just more productive at this time. It'll be on the track when it's ready. For now, we're looking to stay focused and consistent, making sure we have good parts underneath us, and keep moving forward."

The site of this weekend's race presents some added incentive for Johnson, as National Trail Raceway is one of only five tracks on the 2006 POWERade schedule where he has yet to reach the winner's circle. Having come close with a runner-up finish one year ago, he enters this event determined to complete the picture and add a Buckeye State win to his trophy case.

"We certainly want to win in Columbus and add it to our resume," explained Johnson. "However, it's not like we're going to try any harder because we have yet to win there. We put the same maximum effort into every race, whether we have ten wins at that track or none.

"What we might do differently is look at our notes from previous years at National Trail and see if we can determine why we didn't win, looking even further into the details. For example, we feel like we let one slip away from us in the final here a year ago. It was a race we believe we could have won but didn't, which is something we don't want to let happen again. We've been to the final round there twice in my career, so it's time we step it up a notch and get this ACDelco Cobalt into the winner's circle."

-j2r-

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