Kurt Johnson Powers to Denver Semifinals After qualifying fourth for Sunday's final eliminations of the Mile-High Nationals, Kurt Johnson looked to score consecutive wins for the fifth time in his career. From the very first round, the ACDelco...
Kurt Johnson Powers to Denver Semifinals
After qualifying fourth for Sunday's final eliminations of the Mile-High Nationals, Kurt Johnson looked to score consecutive wins for the fifth time in his career. From the very first round, the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team showed their intentions by posting a very quick 7.162-second, 192.82 mph pass in eliminating Ben Watson in the first round. After another fast 7.168-second, 192.77 mph run to trailer Jeg Coughlin, the last obstacle between KJ and a final-round match-up with his father, Warren Johnson, was rival David Connolly.
However, just as the teams had completed their burnouts, a brief rain shower forced them to push back from the line while officials dried the track. In addition, the combination of the lowered temperatures and humidity created a completely different racing surface from what the crews had prepared for.
Finally, after forty-five minutes, the two cars rolled to the line. Launching with a solid .033 reaction time, Johnson soon found himself fighting to keep his car under control, resulting in a 7.184-second, 192.14 mph run. Unfortunately, this allowed his opponent, who had gained the advantage at the line with a .010, to hold off a charging Johnson with a 7.199-second time. Despite another strong semi-final showing, Johnson still expressed disappointment at having his day cut short.
"The rain and the track bit us. When I put in third gear it started spinning the tires, which shot me directly towards the wall, and then it just shook extremely hard to where I thought it would flip around and scrape some paint off the car. It turned out the right lane just was not as good as the left, but we had been in the right hand lane all day and it looked good to the 300 foot mark before the semis, but down track it was a mess. Basically, I got out of the groove and couldn't get it hooked back up, which cost us about five hundredths. We should have run a 7.16 or maybe even a 7.13."
"The way our ACDelco Cobalt was running today, I expected to win and gain ground on everyone. I had run against Connolly three times in qualifying and ran better each time. I had a decent light against him, but we just didn't go straight, and it cost us. We'll leave here disappointed to not have won or even made it to the final, but knowing we have a fast race car that we will take to Seattle and see what we can do there."