Kurt Johnson Wins Third Pro Stock Challenge, Qualifies Fourth in Englishtown Kurt Johnson had a very productive day on Saturday at the NHRA Supernationals in Englishtown, New Jersey. He opened his day by recording with a 6.724 second, 205.76...
Kurt Johnson Wins Third Pro Stock Challenge, Qualifies Fourth in Englishtown
Kurt Johnson had a very productive day on Saturday at the NHRA Supernationals in Englishtown, New Jersey. He opened his day by recording with a 6.724 second, 205.76 mph pass in the first qualifying session to secure his ACDelco Cavalier a top position in Sunday's final elimination field.
With that difficult task handled, Johnson then turned his attention to the Pro Stock Challenge, a one-day event pitting the top eight qualifiers from the last year in a three-round single elimination race, with the winner pocketing $50,000.
Starting from the fifth position, K.J. gained an easy win in the first round when Jeg Coughlin left the starting line one thousandth of a second too early. This set the stage for a semi-final match-up against his father, Warren Johnson, who had won this event in 2001. KJ responded with the best pass of his career at 6.716 seconds with a top speed of 206.57 mph to advance to the money round of this all-star race for the third time in his career, with the added benefit of slotting the ACDelco entry fourth for the quickest field in Pro Stock history.
The final hurdle facing Johnson was former teammate Greg Anderson, who had recorded the quickest and fastest pass in the history of the division to capture the No. 1 qualifying position. Knowing he would need every advantage to gain the victory, Johnson used his best reaction time of the day to leave on his opponent.
Powering down the quarter-mile, Johnson's Cavalier built on its lead as Anderson struggled to maintain control of his race car, securing the victory with a 6.753-second, 205.60 mph run.
"I wasn't worried heading into the final, but I was a little concerned," stated Johnson. "Greg's got a good combination to get down this race track, and had been making nice runs all weekend.
"Our ACDelco Cavalier has been running strong lately, and we felt we could pick up a little bit, but it's very tough to make a perfect run in one of these race cars. We've been able to hit a 6.71 and a 6.72, but we still haven't gotten everything we need to out of it. We were certainly lucky in the final, but we'll take it when we can get it.
"I want to thank Barry Grant for putting this program on, and I'm sure we'll put that money to good use. The carburetor business has been good to me in Englishtown, with the bonus I received for the first six-second pass in 1994, and winning this special race three times. We're pretty pleased right now.
"Although I like my chances for tomorrow, it's going to be like any other race, where anybody who's qualified can win. I may even change motors, because we have to improve our performance in the first 330 feet. Our ACDelco Cavalier is close, but you always want to go faster, and tomorrow is even more important than today in the big scheme of things."