THE KURT CHRONICLES: Kurt Johnson ACDelco News & Notes for the Mac Tools NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla., March 15-17, 2002 Kurt Johnson Tests For Success These are the times that try men's souls -- and the time when Pro Stock teams...
THE KURT CHRONICLES: Kurt Johnson ACDelco News & Notes for the Mac Tools NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla., March 15-17, 2002
Kurt Johnson Tests For Success
These are the times that try men's souls -- and the time when Pro Stock teams test relentlessly to find a competitive advantage. Kurt Johnson and his ACDelco teammates filled the three-week break in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule with a nonstop testing regimen. Kurt's ACDelco Cavalier is now a finely tuned machine for this weekend's Mac Tools NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.
"We made 14 runs in two days at Atlanta Dragway," Johnson said. "The first time I let out the clutch, the car ran 6.82 at 202.73 mph. When it's that fast right off the bat, it's tempting to put the car back in the box and go home!
"But I thought the car should have gone 6.80, so we went to work," he laughed. "We redistributed the weight, tried different suspension springs and tested two motors. By the time we finished, the car ran 6.82 at 202 mph again -- but the humidity had increased 30 percent, so the effort was worthwhile."
Johnson has a fleet of Cavaliers and an arsenal of engines in his Pro Stock armada, but he currently favors the stiff double-rail chassis constructed by Don Ness that carried him to semifinal round finishes in Pomona and Phoenix.
"The more time you spend on one car figuring out what it needs for different conditions, the better off you are -- as long as the car is working," K.J. cautioned. "We have seven engines that will run within a hundredth of a second of each other. Of course, you never have enough horsepower."
While Warren Johnson has been virtually unbeatable at the Gatornationals, Kurt's results have been eminently forgettable. He has only a single final-round appearance in nine starts at Gainesville Raceway -- a runner-up finish to his father in 1999.
"You want to win everywhere, but the Gatornationals is a race I really need to win," he concedes. "If the track gets hot and slick, we have a few tricks in the trailer that might be just what we need."
Would he care to elaborate on this secret weapon?
"No thanks. Everyone will know it when they see it."
And with that, Kurt Johnson departed for Atlanta Dragway for one final test session to prepare for the drag race he has to win.