FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Rick Voegelin/408-761-2201 KURT JOHNSON WINS SECOND STRAIGHT U.S. NATIONALS K.J. Scores Sixth Consecutive Indy Win for Johnson Family Indianapolis; Sept. 1, 1997 -- Kurt Johnson drove his...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Rick Voegelin/408-761-2201
KURT JOHNSON WINS SECOND STRAIGHT U.S. NATIONALS
K.J. Scores Sixth Consecutive Indy Win for Johnson Family
Indianapolis; Sept. 1, 1997 -- Kurt Johnson drove his ACDelco Pontiac Firebird to his second straight U.S. Nationals Pro Stock victory today at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Kurt, the defending U.S. Nationals champion, scored the sixth consecutive Indy win for the Johnson family; his father Warren won four straight U.S. Nationals titles in 1992-1995.
"It's unbelievable!" Johnson declared. "Who could think that Dad would win here four years in a row, and then I would win the last two. If you're going to win a race, if you're going to shine anywhere, this is the place to shine."
Kurt's ACDelco Pontiac dominated the 43rd annual U.S. Nationals, the oldest, richest, and most prestigious event on the NHRA tour. Kurt qualified No. 1 in Pro Stock, made the first six-second Pro Stock pass at Indianapolis Raceway Park, set the track elapsed time and top speed records, and scored his second straight national event victory after on August 17 in Brainerd, Minn.
Kurt tallied his ninth career NHRA national event victory in his 19th final-round appearance by defeating V. Gaines, 7.046/195.82 to 7.069/194.88. The margin of victory was 16 thousandths of a second.
Johnson qualified No. 1 at the U.S. Nationals with a track-record elapsed time of 6.984 seconds. Kurt's qualifying run was the first six-second pass at Indianapolis Raceway Park; he eclipsed the two-year-old track record set by his father Warren at 7.040 seconds in 1995. Kurt also set the IRP speed mark at 197.49 mph.
K.J. gained ground in the NHRA championship race, pulling to within 16 points of his father. Jim Yates leads with 1404 points, followed by W.J. with 1260 and Kurt with 1244 points. Kurt will be aiming for his third straight national event victory at the NHRA Keystone Nationals on September 11-14.
KURT JOHNSON RACE SUMMARY QUALIFYING: Kurt Johnson qualified No. 1 at 6.984/196.89 ELIMINATIONS: Round 1: Kurt Johnson (7.056/195.27) defeated David Nickens (7.104/194.13) Round 2: Kurt Johnson (7.091/195.69) defeated Ron Krisher (7.160/194.51) Semi-Final: Kurt Johnson (7.044/195.82) defeated Bruce Allen (7.078/195.01) Final Round: Kurt Johnson (7.046/195.82) defeated V. Gaines (7.069/194.88) LOW ET: Kurt Johnson 6.984 (track record) TOP SPEED: Kurt Johnson 197.49 mph (track record)
PRO STOCK STANDINGS: (after 16 of 22 events; victories in parentheses): 1. Jim Yates (5), 1404; 2. Warren Johnson (4), 1260; 3. Kurt Johnson (2), 1244; 4. Bruce Allen, 875; 5. Steve Schmidt, 846.
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E-mail from: Rick Voegelin, 01-Sep-1997