Indianapolis: Kurt Johnson preview 2

K.J. ready to resume racing in Indianapolis ACDelco Cavalier crew put one-week delay to good use SUGAR HILL, GA., September 4, 2003 - The NHRA returns to Indianapolis this weekend as the POWERade Drag Racing Series looks to complete ...

K.J. ready to resume racing in Indianapolis
ACDelco Cavalier crew put one-week delay to good use

SUGAR HILL, GA., September 4, 2003 - The NHRA returns to Indianapolis this weekend as the POWERade Drag Racing Series looks to complete the rain-interrupted Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. This unusual turn of events gave the competitors a full week between qualifying sessions to work on their race cars. Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco crew took full advantage of the opportunity, returning to their shop in Georgia to fine-tune their Cavalier.

"As soon as the postponement was announced, we left Indianapolis Raceway Park and headed back to the shop," explained Johnson. "We did some work on the engines that we didn't have time to do before Indy, and spent some time testing at Atlanta Dragway. We weren't making good clean runs last weekend, so we made some adjustments trying to make sure our ACDelco Cavalier is at its best for the big race."

Sitting in the provisional second position on the strength of a 6.800-second, 202.30 mph effort from last Saturday, it would be understandable if the team took a more conservative approach to this weekend's final three qualifying sessions. However, in the midst of a heated championship battle, Team ACDelco will settle for nothing less than the top position in their return to Indianapolis Raceway Park.

"We were unable to participate in the test session the week before, so we see last weekend's qualifying sessions as our IRP test runs," stated Johnson. "Now we're ready to go back and race. We're not sure what the weather conditions will be like, but we'll adapt to whatever we encounter."

"Our goal remains unchanged. The ACDelco crew wants to take more points away from Indianapolis than anyone else, and the best way to do that is qualify number one and win the race. Starting on Friday, we're looking to go 6.798 or whatever it takes to win the pole position. After that, we plan to go four rounds on Sunday."

One aspect of this race that has not changed is its significance. Even after a one week delay, the U.S. Nationals remains "The Big Go", the one race that every racer wants on their resume.

"The same people who would have raced on Labor Day will be back this weekend," said Johnson. "We will still be in Indianapolis, so even though it is a week later, winning the U.S. Nationals would be just as special. This will be the first of four races in a row, and the best way to start the month is with the ACDelco Cavalier in the winner's circle."

Revised Event schedule: Qualifying: Friday, September 5: One session at 4:45 p.m. Saturday, September 6: Two sessions at 11:00 a.m. & 3:00 p.m. Eliminations: Sunday, September 7: Pre-race ceremonies - 10:00 a.m. First round of eliminations - 11:00 a.m. Revised TV Schedule: Qualifying Highlights: Saturday, September 6: 11:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. (ESPN2) Early Eliminations Coverage: Sunday, September 6: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. (ESPN2) Final Eliminations Coverage: Sunday, September 7: 11:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. (ESPN2) NHRA2Day: Sunday, September 7: 11:00 - 11:30 a.m. (ESPN2)

(Note: All TV times are Eastern and subject to change. Please check your local listings for updated air times.)

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson