Englishtown: Kurt Johnson preview

KJ Is Ready to Complete His Englishtown Resume ACDelco Cobalt crew looks for consecutive wins for first time since 2003 Sugar Hill, Ga., June 14, 2006 -- In his 13 years of NHRA Pro Stock competition at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in ...

KJ Is Ready to Complete His Englishtown Resume

ACDelco Cobalt crew looks for consecutive wins for first time since 2003

Sugar Hill, Ga., June 14, 2006 -- In his 13 years of NHRA Pro Stock competition at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ, ACDelco Cobalt racer Kurt Johnson has accomplished just about everything possible. He has been the No. 1 qualifier on three occasions, and advanced to two final rounds in 1993 & 2004. He won the annual Pro Stock specialty race, currently known as the King Demon Crown, three times when it was held in New Jersey (1994, 1998 & 2003). Finally, he earned a permanent place in NHRA history when he became the first driver in the history of the Pro Stock category to record an elapsed time in the six-second range with his 6.988-second pass at Raceway Park on May 20, 1994.

However, the one final piece of the competitive puzzle that continues to elude the second-generation racer is a national event win at this legendary facility. It is an oversight that KJ hopes to rectify this weekend as the POWERade Drag Racing Series makes it annual visit to the Garden State for the NHRA Supernationals.

"There really is no special secret to winning in Englishtown, or anywhere else we race, for that matter," opined Johnson. "Basically, you have to have the right combination of skill and luck so that hopefully the cards will fall in your direction. We're not going to try any harder, or use anything different this weekend just because we haven't won there yet. About the only thing we can hope for is to have a little better luck than we have had during eliminations in New Jersey in the past."

"If we do win there, it will be somewhat like the late Dale Earnhardt and the Daytona 500. Just like he had done with all the support races at Daytona International Speedway, we have won just about everything there is at Raceway Park, except the big one on Sunday. This weekend, our ACDelco Cobalt crew is going to do everything we can to finally get that elusive E-town win."

The Johnson-led crew comes into this weekend's event with plenty of positive momentum, having scored a win and a runner-up finish in the last two races. In addition, the team's chances for success will be boosted by the return of veteran crew member Kevin Horst, who missed the Chicago race to attend a family wedding. As they go for back-to-back wins for the first time since the 2003 season, the soft-spoken Georgia driver believes the necessary parts are in place to get the job done.

"We've got a pretty good stride going with a runner-up and a win at the last two races, so we're not going to make many changes," said Johnson. "We've raced in 4000 and 1000 feet of air, and Englishtown falls near the middle, if not to the better side of the equation, which is the side we won on. We felt that we left Chicago with a pretty decent set-up, which we will have to adjust for the conditions in Englishtown, trying to keep human error at a minimum."

"It will also be good to have Kevin back with us. I want to thank Derrick who showed up last weekend to help us get to the winner's circle. It will just be a little easier to have our ACDelco Cobalt crew at full strength for this weekend, working together as a unit right from the start."

"Things seem to be in place. We have a fast race car, a team that knows how to win races, and a pretty fair driver. Hopefully this weekend, that combination will add up to another win, and we can add a Raceway Park trophy to our collection."

Quick Notes on Kurt Johnson & the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team entering

The NHRA Supernationals:

An E-town Win is on KJ's Radar Screen: This will be KJ's 14th career appearance at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, where he has two final round appearances in 1993 & 2004, and a 14-12 elimination round record for a .538 win percentage. Raceway Park is one of only five stops on the NHRA circuit where KJ has yet to win.

KJ's New Jersey Qualifying Stats: In his 12 previous career starts at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Kurt has three No. 1 qualifying performances (in 1994, 1998 & 2005), seven starts in the top half of the field, and an average starting position of 5.67.

One year ago: Kurt earned the 24th No. 1 qualifying position of his career, and first for the new Chevy Cobalt with an elapsed time of 6.675 seconds and a top speed of 206.48 mph, and advanced to the semi-finals.

Trying to go back-to-back: Kurt will be looking to win consecutive races for the fifth time in his career, having last done so at the 2003 Houston and Bristol races.

Career Best Elapsed Time: 6.646 sec., Joliet, IL, 6/11/06

Career best top speed: 207.72 mph, Pomona, CA, 2/12/06

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson