Englishtown: Kurt Johnson preview

Kurt Johnson has experienced the best of times and the worst of times at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. The track near Englishtown, N.J., was the scene of Kurt's record-smashing weekend in May 1994 when he became the first NHRA Pro...

Kurt Johnson has experienced the best of times and the worst of times at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

The track near Englishtown, N.J., was the scene of Kurt's record-smashing weekend in May 1994 when he became the first NHRA Pro Stock driver to record a six-second elapsed time. He pocketed $91,000 in prize money - the biggest payday ever in Pro Stock.

Five years later, he failed to make the field at the venerable New Jersey track. That untimely DNQ derailed K.J.'s run for the 1999 championship and ultimately consigned him to a third-place finish.

So which Englishtown will Kurt and his ACDelco teammates encounter this weekend at the Matco Tools SuperNationals? The fast quarter-mile that produces record times or the evil asphalt that spurns Pro Stock teams?

"I really don't think it matters," Kurt said. "We're going to win either way.

"We could have won the last two races," Johnson declared. "I'm going into this race with both barrels loaded. My plan is to qualify on Friday, get the big check in the Holley Dominator Duel on Saturday, and win it all on Sunday."

Kurt's self-confidence is backed up by a fast race car. His ACDelco Cavalier has recorded the fastest Pro Stock speed in five of the seven races this season. Successive holeshot losses in Bristol, Tenn., and Atlanta haven't shaken Johnson's faith in either his race car or his driving ability.

"In Atlanta, I lost to the guy (Jim Yates) who won the race," Kurt recalled, "and he had his best reaction time of the day against me. I had consistently good lights throughout qualifying. The car and the driver are both in good shape. Even under the hot conditions we had in Bristol and Atlanta, the car ran really well."

The $50,000 prize that is earmarked for the winner of the Holley Dominator Duel offers extra incentive for Johnson, who won the lucrative bonus event in 1994 and 1998. Kurt will face rival Jim Yates in the opening round of the Duel on Saturday.

"We'll just have to adjust to whatever Englishtown gives us," said Johnson. "I'm optimistic that everything will come together this weekend."

<pre> KURT JOHNSON'S ENGLISHTOWN RECORD

Year  Qual.  Result
1993    2    Runner-up (to W. Johnson)
1994    1    Semi Final
1995    3    First Round
1996   12    First Round
1997    9    Second Round
1998    1    First Round
1999   DNQ
2000   16    First Round

-GM Racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson