Kurt Johnson Hits the Jackpot, Wins the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals Sugar Hill, Ga., October 23, 2005 - Kurt Johnson scored a dramatic and popular win on Sunday, taking home the Pro Stock title at today's ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals in Las...
Kurt Johnson Hits the Jackpot, Wins the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals
Sugar Hill, Ga., October 23, 2005 - Kurt Johnson scored a dramatic and popular win on Sunday, taking home the Pro Stock title at today's ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas, NV. It was Johnson's fourth win of the 2005 season, 32nd of his career, first at 'The Strip' at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and, most importantly, the first at his sponsor's event.
"It doesn't get any better than to win your sponsor's race, and we finally managed to get it done for everyone at ACDelco," said an elated Johnson afterwards. "They have sponsored this race for five years, and we had come close in the past, making it to the final in 2003, but thanks to the efforts of a lot of people, today we were able to change our luck in Las Vegas and park our ACDelco Cobalt in the winner's circle."
After defeating Bob Panella, Jeg Coughlin and Erica Enders in the earlier rounds, Johnson squared off against long-time rival Greg Anderson in the championship round. Racing without the benefit of lane choice, Johnson knew he would need every advantage in order to score the win, and used his starting line prowess to leave first with an incredible reaction time of .002 to Anderson's .037. Johnson then combined his three hundredths of a second edge with a solid 6.839-second, 202.27 mph run to score an exciting holeshot win over his opponent, who posted a quicker 6.821 second, 202.27 mph pass in the losing effort.
"After having the .007 light in the semifinals, I wanted to make sure I didn't go red in the final, so we knocked the chip down a bit, and it worked out almost perfectly, which is what we needed to beat Greg," said Johnson..."We tried not to concern ourselves with the lack of lane choice, focusing instead on making the right changes to make the car respond regardless of what lane we were in.
"I did get a cramp in my foot just before the final, which made for a few anxious moments, but fortunately, our ACDelco Cobalt picked up the pace and it all worked out in our favor. Needless to say, we're pretty happy."
Johnson was quick to acknowledge the hard work put in by his crew throughout the event playing an important role in this hard-fought victory.
"Our ACDelco Cobalt was awesome all weekend but that takes a lot of hard work," stated Johnson. "Fortunately, I had a lot of help from a great bunch of people. After all, I'm just a part of this equation, and this win is just as much for my crew as it is for me.
"The car seemed to really like the conditions here in Las Vegas this weekend. We came here knowing that we needed a strong effort to hold on to second (in the POWERade points standings), so we threw everything at it. It was just an animal from the time we unloaded it, and I knew that if I did my job driving, we could challenge for the win. Even so, you never know what's going to happen, but it turned out to be a great day. I'm leaving in the morning to spend a week in Hawaii to celebrate my 20th wedding anniversary, and there couldn't have been a better way to get the trip started than by winning this race."