Team Chevy's Kurt Johnson Wins $50,000 King Demon Crown ACDelco Chevy Cobalt Driver Captures Fourth NHRA Pro Stock Shootout Victory CHICAGO, June 9, 2007 - Team Chevy's Kurt Johnson pocketed an extra $50,000 in cash today by winning the 23rd ...
Team Chevy's Kurt Johnson Wins $50,000 King Demon Crown
ACDelco Chevy Cobalt Driver Captures Fourth NHRA Pro Stock Shootout Victory
CHICAGO, June 9, 2007 - Team Chevy's Kurt Johnson pocketed an extra $50,000 in cash today by winning the 23rd annual King Demon Crown, a lucrative race-within-a-race bonus event for the eight Pro Stock drivers who have accumulated the most qualifying points during the preceding 22 national events. It was Johnson's fourth King Demon Crown victory which is the most by any driver in the history of the special shootout.
"This was a great day," said Johnson. "You never know how they're going to turn out or the way it's going to go down. You let the clutch out, you hope everything comes together and you look for that win light at the finish line. Sometimes it comes on and sometimes it doesn't. We didn't really have the package yesterday. Our ACDelco Chevy Cobalt was qualified No. 6 last night, and there were cars outperforming us. I wasn't cutting very good lights. I knew everything had to come to a point. The car had to come to a point, I had to be with it, the crew had to do their job, and everything came together today. Like Greg (Anderson) said last week, I'm just the one who didn't screw it up."
Johnson's ACDelco Chevrolet was qualified in the No. 5 spot for today's race. Johnson defeated No. 4 qualifier Dave Connolly in round one by .0056 of a second running 6.712 seconds at 207.11 mph, and No. 1 qualifier Greg Anderson in round two with a 6.672 e.t. at 206.86 mph. In the finals against Greg Stanfield, Johnson's Chevrolet launched first and outran Stanfield's Pontiac to the finish line with a 6.692 e.t. at 207.15 mph. Stanfield's GTO posted a 6.729-second run at 206.26 mph. Johnson's margin of victory was .055 of a second.
"It was ugly this morning," said Johnson. "When I let out the clutch against Connolly, it was out of control. Obviously, he didn't make a good run either, looking at the e.t.s. We ran a great driver with another great team, and when you win by .0056 at the finish line, it shows that anyone of us could have won."
Previous King Demon Crown victories for the 44-year-old driver of the ACDelco Chevy Cobalt came in 1994, 1998 and 2003. If Johnson can win tomorrow's Torco Racing Fuels national event, he will collect an additional $25,000 in prize money. He is qualified sixth for Sunday's eliminator.
"You get excited about $50,000," said Johnson. "You look at it all year long, even though there are no points involved, as far as POWERade points are concerned, but you have to stay in the top eight when this King Demon Crown comes around to this weekend of the year. I came out of the shower this morning and I realized there was a lot of money on the line."
" We don't really worry about records, but it's a lot of fun right now. You want to put on a great show for the fans to keep them coming and that's what it's all about. I had a great time out here today and I hope everyone who came out did too."
With time trials for the 10th annual Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Route 66 Nationals completed, Greg Anderson's Summit Racing Pontiac GTO continued on its qualifying juggernaut. The 46-year-old North Carolina earned his sixth No. 1 qualifying award of the season (in nine races), and his fifth pole at Route 66 Raceway after driving his Pontiac to a 6.617 e.t. at 208.94 mph. Anderson also qualified for his 102nd consecutive event.
"We have a good package," said Anderson. "We just made a couple of mistakes today and I screwed up driving. The positive is that we're No. 1 qualifier in a tough, tough field. That's great, but that won't get you anything tomorrow. We have to perform No. 1 tomorrow and that's the goal right now. We'll go back, do our homework tonight and get our Summit Racing Pontiac fixed back up. We missed a little on the setup today. I missed driving wise too, so we didn't deserve to win, but maybe tomorrow will be a different story."
The Summit Racing Pontiac driver has now captured 54 No. 1 qualifying awards since the beginning of his first championship season in 2003, or 53.4 percent of the races he's entered during the time period. This weekend's qualifying effort was also his 57th career pole award and places him fifth all time among NHRA competitors.
"That's King Demon cash," said Anderson. "It's $3000, and 57 times No. 1 is a neat, neat stat. I never thought I would be anywhere near there and every time you do it, it's really neat. It's a good thing I did it yesterday because I wouldn't have done it today. We didn't perform up to par today. We got beat in the King Demon shootout, and that was kind of a bummer, but we have to forget about that and get ready to race tomorrow. We showed you what this Pontiac GTO could do last night - we have a fast, fast hot rod."
Jeg Coughlin Jr. has the quickest Chevy Cobalt in the 16-car field and is qualified in the No. 3 spot with a 6.632 e.t. at 208.17 mph. Jason Line's Pontiac is qualified in the No. 9 spot and Kenny Koretsky is 10th in a Chevy Cobalt. Craig Hainkinson is qualified 11th, Greg Stanfield is 12th, Warren Johnson is 13th and Mike Edwards is 14th - all in Pontiac GTOs. Dave Connolly is qualified 15th and Tom Hammonds is 16th - both in Chevy Cobalts. The bump was 6.666 seconds and the qualifying spread from No. 1 to No. 16 is .049 of a second.
-credit: gm racing