Over the last four races, Kurt Johnson's ACDelco Cavalier has been the dominant car in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock division, winning three races in four final round appearances. Johnson came into Sunday's final eliminations of the Summit...
Over the last four races, Kurt Johnson's ACDelco Cavalier has been the dominant car in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock division, winning three races in four final round appearances. Johnson came into Sunday's final eliminations of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals presented by Pontiac looking to score three consecutive wins for the first time in his career, and after placing third in qualifying with yet another consistent effort, his chances for success looked good.
However, after defeating Darrell Alderman with the fastest and second quickest pass of the first round, K.J. would face a familiar opponent - his father, Warren Johnson. One week ago, the two had met in the semi-finals in Bristol, TN, with Kurt advancing on his father's red-light start and eventually scoring the win.
With both cars prepared identically in the same facility, another close battle was expected, and the Johnson's delivered. Using his best reaction time of the day (.012), Warren Johnson gained the advantage at the start, and although Kurt responded by posting a quicker elapsed time (6.824 to 6.845 seconds) and resetting Atlanta Dragway top speed record at 203.12 mph, it was not enough to prevent the elder Johnson from ending K.J.'s impressive run. The margin of victory was a mere twenty two ten thousandths of a second, the closest decision in all rounds of elimination.
"That was one heck of a drag race. I let the clutch out, had a decent light at an .035, but ended up getting beat by two thousandths at the finish line. There's not too much you can do in that situation. However, if it has to happen, we'd certainly rather it be that car than any other.
"On the other hand, the ACDelco Cavalier was strong all weekend. We'll just put this one behind us and try to win the next one in Englishtown. For the rest of today, we'll do whatever we can to help Dad win."
(Note: Warren Johnson did end up winning the event, using carburetors from K.J.'s ACDelco Cavalier to defeat Greg Anderson in the final round.)