Las Vegas II: Johnson/Martin Friday summary

Team ACDelco starts strong in Vegas: KJ 3rd, Martin 6th at qualifying midpoint The first day of qualifying for the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals featured a historic moment for Team ACDelco, as Kurt Johnson and Harold Martin attempted to qualify...

Team ACDelco starts strong in Vegas: KJ 3rd, Martin 6th at qualifying midpoint

The first day of qualifying for the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals featured a historic moment for Team ACDelco, as Kurt Johnson and Harold Martin attempted to qualify for the same NHRA event. Fortunately, it was a productive day for both, as Johnson placed third in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock category, while Martin slotted sixth in the Pro Mod division.

For Johnson, his Friday evening attempt came in front of nearly 3,800 ACDelco customers, who had come out to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway from their national sales meeting in the city. Johnson made sure they were not disappointed, as his ACDelco Cavalier rocketed down the Nevada quarter-mile in 6.904 seconds with a top speed of 199.58 mph.

"We were actually a little conservative on tonight's run," stated Johnson. "Although I put it both second and third gear a little early, our main concern was to get down the race track. With that run in the bank, we can go back and really lay into it tomorrow. If we make the right adjustments, I think we could actually take over the No. 1 position. I also have a few things I want to try in the afternoon session.

"That run really took the pressure off, especially when you consider that we had run 6.96 on our first pass and the first car out tonight went 6.90. On top of that, we weren't in the show when we made that run, and you never know what tomorrow is going to bring.

"I'm already starting to focus on Sunday. We know we'll be in the show on Sunday, and now we can concentrate on winning. The ACDelco Cavalier is happy again, and that KISS decal certainly doesn't slow it down. It just wants to rock and roll."

Martin's attempts were his first under the auspices of the NHRA. Even though neither Martin nor his crew had even seen the track prior to their arrival in the Silver State, they were able to make two solid passes, with their best effort of 6.337 seconds and top speed of 223.65 mph coming on their second attempt on Friday evening.

"We're pleased with the progress we're making on this NHRA track, running against the NHRA racers," said Martin. "We haven't made anywhere near the best of our runs, and even developed a slight misfire in the engine that we've been trying to diagnose. Even with that slight issue, we're happy that we've made good clutch and race car runs, so hopefully if we can tie the total package together, our ACDelco Grand Am can squeeze something near the pole."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson