Sugar Hill, Ga., October 5, 2005 -- Kurt Johnson is hungry. Even though it has been only four races since his last POWERade Drag Racing Series national event win in Brainerd, MN, and three since his last final round appearance in Memphis, TN, this...
Sugar Hill, Ga., October 5, 2005 -- Kurt Johnson is hungry. Even though it has been only four races since his last POWERade Drag Racing Series national event win in Brainerd, MN, and three since his last final round appearance in Memphis, TN, this second-generation racer is anxious to return his ACDelco Cobalt to the winner's circle. Johnson's next opportunity to earn his 32nd NHRA "Wally" (the nickname given to the winner's trophy) will come at this weekend's O'Reilly Fall Nationals in Dallas, TX, and both he and his crew are working to achieve their common goal.
"We're out at every race chasing POWERade points, but the bottom line is that we want to win," stated Johnson. "After all, the best way to score more points than anyone else is to win the race. The last win for our ACDelco Cobalt was in Brainerd four races ago, and since then we were the runner-up once and had three other events where things didn't exactly work in our favor. That may not seem like a long time to some, but for us, it's an eternity.
"In Pro Stock, races are won or lost in thousandths of a second, so the entire package has to be perfect. All three areas have to perform, from the driver and crew to the race car. If one of them is off, you're not going to turn on the win light. Therefore, we're continually working to make sure everything is clicking so we can regain our winning form in Dallas this weekend."
One factor working in Johnson's favor is his record of success at the Texas Motorplex, site of this weekend's race. Starting with his rookie year in 1993, when he qualified sixth and defeated Vince Khoury, Lewis Worden, Bruce Allen and his father Warren Johnson en route to the third national event win of his career, the all-concrete surface has been a good one for the second-generation racer. With the event having being postponed for two weeks by Hurricane Rita, weather conditions are predicted to be completely different, presenting a new set of tuning conditions. In any case, Johnson knows both he and his crew will be ready.
"The Texas Motorplex is one of the better tracks we race on, but we're going to attack it like any other," said Johnson. "The racing surface is somewhat deceiving. It looks good, but hooking up to it can be tricky. Before we get there, we'll look at our notes from the last few years and come up with a game plan. As long as they scrape the old rubber off of it, and prepare it properly, it should be fine.
"The biggest change created by the postponement will be the weather. It was over 100 degrees during the originally scheduled date, while it supposed to be in the 70's this weekend. I'm looking forward to going back under better conditions. We ran a career best speed in Chicago last weekend, so we're planning to fine-tune that set-up and go forward from there.
"We've won at the Motorplex in the past, so we know if everything goes right, it's another place that we can win. They say everything's bigger in Texas, so it's the perfect setting for a big win by this ACDelco Cobalt crew."