A Strong Driving Performance Powers Kurt Johnson to Dallas Quarter-finals Kurt Johnson faced a stiff assignment in the first round of Sunday's final eliminations at the O'Reilly Fall Nationals in Dallas, TX. Starting fourteenth, Johnson squared...
A Strong Driving Performance Powers Kurt Johnson to Dallas Quarter-finals
Kurt Johnson faced a stiff assignment in the first round of Sunday's final eliminations at the O'Reilly Fall Nationals in Dallas, TX. Starting fourteenth, Johnson squared off against rival Greg Anderson, the defending Pro Stock champion, who had qualified in the third position and needed a single round win to clinch his second championship.
Knowing he would need a flawless performance to score the upset and advance, Johnson used one of the quickest reaction times of the round to gain a two hundredths of a second advantage, which he combined with a 6.827-second, 202.42 mph run to eliminate Anderson on a holeshot, who ran a quicker 6.813-second pass in the losing effort.
"We threw a few new things at our ACDelco Cavalier today, changing the car completely around in an attempt to stop spinning the tires down track. Fortunately, it responded, running that 6.82 when most people slowed down from what they ran in qualifying.
"It's a good feeling any time you can put the World Champion on the trailer, especially on a holeshot. I had felt pretty confident yesterday, knowing we were within a couple hundredths of him.
"It was just a good; old-fashioned drag race. I guess I've racked up enough losses against him in the last year and a half that it was bound to start swinging our way. Hopefully, it's a direction we'll keep heading in for some time."
Johnson then squared off against one of the youngest drivers in the Pro Stock category, David Connolly, who has been on a charge as of late. Once again racing without lane choice, Johnson left the starting line ahead of his opponent and powered down the track, tripping the finish line beams in 6.857 seconds with a top speed of 202.58 mph. Unfortunately, it was not enough to hold off Connolly's 6.838-second, 203.52 mph pass.
"We simply hade the misfortune of facing the quickest car in the second round, and even though we closed on the gap on him throughout the weekend that 6.85 just wasn't enough to get us to the semis. Ironically, I think we would probably have beaten anyone else in that round, but that's not the way it worked out.
"Even though we had a decent day with our ACDelco Cavalier, we still need to work on improving our speed to the eighth mile mark, because it affects our performance in the back half. It's a new problem for us, but we know it's an issue, so we'll keep working until we get it fixed."