Kurt Johnson Gainesville test summary

KJ Has Mixed Emotions Following Gainesville Test Fellow Racer's Accident Overshadows Happiness with ACDelco Cobalt's Performance Sugar Hill, Ga., March 20, 2007 -- After a trying weekend at the ACDelco Gatornationals, Kurt Johnson and the...

KJ Has Mixed Emotions Following Gainesville Test
Fellow Racer's Accident Overshadows Happiness with ACDelco Cobalt's Performance

Sugar Hill, Ga., March 20, 2007 -- After a trying weekend at the ACDelco Gatornationals, Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team got right back to work on Monday, participating in a one-day test session at Gainesville Raceway. Making four passes in the Florida sun, they rediscovered the consistent performance that had eluded them in qualifying only two days before, as Johnson recorded the two quickest passes of his Pro Stock career, opening with a 6.584-second, 209.83 mph run followed by an equally strong 6.593-second, 210.08 mph pass on his second attempt.

Although these numbers are unofficial as they did not occur in national event competition, they did serve to lift the team's spirits and give them a renewed sense of confidence heading into the next race in Houston, TX.

"I feel much better today than I did on Saturday," said Johnson. "All of our numbers were good, and we were racing under conditions that were not nearly as favorable as they were the last two days, including a racetrack that was almost ten degrees hotter and a 12 mph headwind that gusted even higher. The main difference, however, was the unfortunate lack of fans in the stands.

"I believe the combination we found today should put our ACDelco Cobalt in good shape for the rest of the year. With the information we gathered, there are some areas of the race car we won't even have to mess with from here on out, reducing the number of variables in the tune-up and making it somewhat easier to produce consistent, repeatable runs."

However, Johnson's enthusiasm was dampened by the on-track incident involving fellow racer Eric Medlen, who was seriously injured while making a test run in his Funny Car.

"When everything's said and done, what we do on the racetrack means little when something happens as it did to Eric Medlen on Monday," said Johnson. "It was a typical test day after the event, with everyone out there working on their stuff, focusing on making their race cars better, trying to go fast and learn something, but still having fun. Then something terrible like that happens. At the end of the day, you're supposed to be able to go back to your hotel, or catch your flight home, not be laid up in a hospital bed. Fortunately, these incidents are rare, but when they happen, they remind you how dangerous this sport can be, and what really is important.

"Eric is a tough kid and a good racer, and right now our thoughts and prayers are with him, his father John and the Medlen family, as well as the entire John Force Racing organization, hoping he makes a complete and speedy recovery."

-credit: j2r

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , John Force , Eric Medlen