Las Vegas II: Kurt Johnson Saturday notes

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 31, 2009 -- ACDelco's Kurt Johnson dodged a Halloween scare today at the 9th annual Las Vegas, and he will enter Sunday's Pro Stock eliminations at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the No. 16 position. Johnson survived a furious ...

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 31, 2009 -- ACDelco's Kurt Johnson dodged a Halloween scare today at the 9th annual Las Vegas, and he will enter Sunday's Pro Stock eliminations at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the No. 16 position. Johnson survived a furious round-four qualifying flurry in which a number of drivers bumped in and out of the competitive field, but Johnson's 6.742 second run at 205.51 mph run was enough to keep him in the field,.

Tomorrow's order of business doesn't get any easier for Johnson. He will face No. 1 qualifier, and current points leader Mike Edwards, in tomorrow's opening stanza.

"The good news is that we stayed in -- we're qualified," Johnson said. "But looking ahead to Sunday, we have our work cut out for us. Mike's (Edwards) the hottest Pro Stock driver in the world right now, so we're going to need an absolutely perfect run tomorrow in round one.

"We haven't made a good run yet this weekend. In fact, we made three terrible runs, so we're ready for the pendulum to swing the other way. The last pass looked decent on the computer, so it's a matter of changing the right components and finding the right setup because we know this ACDelco Chevrolet should be lot faster than it is. We changed a critical two or three areas on the car but there are still a couple of items we haven't addressed yet."

Johnson has entered 19 national events (including this one) at The Strip since the NHRA returned to the Nevada desert in 2000, and the Bruton Smith-owned facility is a venue where the veteran driver has experienced his share of success over the years. During a four-season stretch between 2003 and '06, Johnson's ACDelco Chevrolet advanced to the final round at least once each year, winning back to back at the fall contest in 2005, where he defeated Greg Anderson in the finals, and the spring race in 2006 in which Dave Connolly was his title-round opponent. Johnson was runner-up at both contests in 2003, and in the spring of '04, and he was No. 1 qualifier at the October 2002 race.

"We've been swinging for the fence all year," Johnson said. "You have to be perfect out there especially when you're racing the best driver in the country. Unfortunately, we haven't had a race like this in a long time where we've struggled like this. I'm pumped for tomorrow's first round and we'll be ready."

-credit: jjr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Greg Anderson , Dave Connolly , Mike Edwards