JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 30, 2001 - It's official: Kurt Johnson's ACDelco Platinum Plugs Cavalier is the quickest and fastest Pro Stock on the planet. Johnson set both ends of the national record during qualifying for the NHRA Nationals at Route 66 ...
JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 30, 2001 - It's official: Kurt Johnson's ACDelco Platinum Plugs Cavalier is the quickest and fastest Pro Stock on the planet. Johnson set both ends of the national record during qualifying for the NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, establishing the elapsed time mark at 6.801 seconds and the speed record at 202.70 mph. He qualified on the Pro Stock pole for the first time in 2001 and the 20th time in his career.
On the eve of the inaugural autumn race in Chicagoland, Johnson predicted that he would set the standard if weather conditions were favorable. "We're going with both barrels loaded and we intend to set the national record," he said. K.J.'s prophecy was fulfilled in Saturday morning's qualifying session.
"I was the national record holder in 1994 and 1999, but it's always exciting to do it again," said Johnson. "We keep beating and beating on this Chevy Cavalier. We've been doing pretty well over the last several races, but it hasn't shown because I keep losing rounds by two, three, four thousandths of a second. You have to just keep working and that is what we plan to do."
Kurt defeated former NBA player Tom Hammonds in the first round, 6.81 to 6.83. He came up short against Mike Edwards in the second round with a 6.85 to Edwards' holeshot-assisted 6.86-second e.t.
"I broke a valve spring on the burnout and the car was sick all the way down the track," Kurt reported. "I made 22 runs on a set of springs testing in Atlanta, and then a spring broke after nine runs here. As soon as I crossed that Georgia line, gremlins started jumping on the trailer!"
K.J.'s second-round finish, combined with 20 bonus points for setting the e.t. record, moved him to a tie with Mark Osborne for sixth in the Winston championship standings. He is 77 points out of third place with four races remaining.
The next stop for Kurt and his record-setting ACDelco Cavalier is the rescheduled Pep Boys NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa., on Oct. 5-7. <pre> KURT JOHNSON RACE RESULTS Qualifying: Kurt Johnson qualified No. 1 at 6.801/202.70
Eliminations: First Round: Kurt Johnson (6.813/201.67) defeated Tom Hammonds(6.831/201.70) Second Round: Mike Edwards (6.866/200.80) defeated Johnson (6.858/201.43)
Final Round: Warren Johnson (6.832/201.70) defeated DarrellAlderman (6.852/201.97) Low ET: Kurt Johnson, 6.801 seconds (national record) Top Speed: Kurt Johnson, 202.70 mph (national record)
POINTS RACE (After 20 of 24 events) Driver Wins Points 1. Warren Johnson 6 1387 2. Jim Yates 1 1252 3. Mike Edwards 1 1137 4. Bruce Allen 1 1070 5. Jeg Coughlin Jr. 3 1065 6. Kurt Johnson 1 1060 Mark Osborne 1 1060
NEXT RACE Pep Boys NHRA Nationals, Oct. 5-7, Reading, Pa. TV: ESPN2, Oct. 7, 8-10 p.m.