KJ Captures the Second Starting Spot at the ACDelco Gatornationals ACDelco Cobalt racer Kurt Johnson continued his string of strong qualifying efforts on Saturday, with his 6.665-second, 207.27 mph pass capturing the second starting position...
KJ Captures the Second Starting Spot at the ACDelco Gatornationals
ACDelco Cobalt racer Kurt Johnson continued his string of strong qualifying efforts on Saturday, with his 6.665-second, 207.27 mph pass capturing the second starting position for Sunday's final eliminations of the ACDelco Gatornationals in Gainesville, FL. This marks Johnson's best qualifying performance since the 2006 U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, IN.
After rain cancelled Friday's qualifying sessions at Gainesville Raceway, Johnson, as well as the 28 other Pro Stock drivers attempting to qualify were left with only two opportunities to earn a spot in Sunday's final eliminations field. Further complicating their assignment was the ever-changing weather conditions, which ranged from sunny and warm to completely overcast with high winds.
However, Johnson was up to the challenge, quickly dispelling any concerns about his participation on race day with a strong 6.692-second, 206.76 mph run in the opening stanza, slotting him third midway through qualifying. He stepped up the pace even further in the afternoon session, improving to a 6.665-second time. This matched the quickest time of the day, which was posted by his father Warren Johnson, who had run the lane beside KJ.
Although the Johnson family patriarch gained the number one position by virtue of a top-speed tie breaker, with his 208.36 mph effort edging Kurt's 207.27 mph speed, the second-generation racer was satisfied with the results, especially in light of the fact that he had missed this race the last two years.
"After the torture we went through the last two years here in Gainesville, we're pretty pleased to have our ACDelco Cobalt end up as the number two qualifier. That was a heck of a run against Dad this afternoon, and although you never like to lose the number one position on a top speed tie-breaker, it's not as bad when it's your teammate that edges you out.
"Actually, we were a little soft on that last run. We ended up putting the information we gathered on Wednesday in Valdosta aside, because the car was doing things there it hadn't done all season. As a result, we're about a run behind on the tune-up. However, we are creeping up on it, and I think there is another hundredth left in it. We'll save that for tomorrow.
"I am impressed by Dad's performance in his GM Performance Parts GXP, coming out with a brand new car and running that well. I guess they're finally listening to me over there, bolting it together the way it should be.
"We certainly had a good day today, but our work here is only halfway done. This is a great race to win with a lot of tradition, and stands packed with tremendous fans. On top of that, we'll have a lot of ACDelco and Chevrolet people here tomorrow pulling for us, so if we could come out of here tomorrow night with the winner's trophy, it would be awesome."