Kurt Johnson fast again in Florida

Bradenton, Fla.; January 24, 2001 - Pro Stock driver Kurt Johnson continued to rack up frequent flyer miles in Florida during a marathon test session with his new 2001 ACDelco Cavalier Z24. In his third day of preseason testing at DeSoto Memorial...

Bradenton, Fla.; January 24, 2001 - Pro Stock driver Kurt Johnson continued to rack up frequent flyer miles in Florida during a marathon test session with his new 2001 ACDelco Cavalier Z24. In his third day of preseason testing at DeSoto Memorial Dragway, the second-generation racer topped 202 mph three times and ran a series of low 6.8-second elapsed times.

"This new Cavalier definitely likes to run at the top end of the track," Johnson said. "I ran 202.38, 202.28, and 202.70 mph today. The acceleration really pins me back in the driver's seat in the last 300 feet of race track."

Combined with an earlier 203.20 mph clocking, Johnson has unofficially broken his father Warren's 202.36 mph national speed record three times this week. With a stack of 6.81, 6.83, and 6.84-second time slips, he is also within striking distance of the national elapsed time record that currently stands at 6.809 seconds.

Five-time Pro Stock champion Warren Johnson is also sorting out a pair of black-and-silver GM Goodwrench Service Plus Pontiac Grand Ams in Florida this week. W.J. has stopped the timers at 6.81 seconds and over 201 mph.

"We're giving Dad a good baseline," Kurt laughed. "We've barely scratched the surface with our new car. It's a completely different animal than the ACDelco Camaro we raced last year - a different chassis, a longer wheelbase, a different motor location, and different aerodynamics. It's just a matter of figuring out the right setup.

"Today we totally revamped our clutch to suit the new car. We tried a dozen combinations that the car didn't like, but now it goes down the track and keeps its wheels on the ground."

Johnson finished last season with back-to-back wins in Dallas and Pomona, Calif. He is aiming to extend that winning streak when the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series returns to Pomona Raceway for the season-opening AutoZone Winternationals on February 1-4.

"I told my ACDelco crew that I've got two pairs of clean underwear left, a whole stack of fresh motors in the trailer, and we're not leaving Florida until that car makes consistently quick runs," Kurt added. "We can always find a laundromat."

-Rick Voegelin

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson