Las Vegas: Kurt Johnson eliminations summary

Kurt Johnson drops a heartbreaker in Las Vegas. After qualifying second, Kurt Johnson looked to score back-to-back wins for the third time in his career during Sunday's final eliminations of the Summitracing.com Nationals in Las Vegas, NV. From...

Kurt Johnson drops a heartbreaker in Las Vegas.

After qualifying second, Kurt Johnson looked to score back-to-back wins for the third time in his career during Sunday's final eliminations of the Summitracing.com Nationals in Las Vegas, NV. From the opening, it was clear Johnson's ACDelco Cavalier was certainly capable of completing the task. Facing second-year driver Gene Wilson, Johnson combined a very quick 6.883-second elapsed time with the fastest top speed of the weekend at 201.73 mph to not only advance to the second round, but also claim The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway track record. This marks the third consecutive race that K.J. has established a new track top speed mark.

The results were much the same in the next two rounds, as Johnson disposed of Mike Edwards and Mark Whisnant. This placed Johnson in the 42nd final round of his career, where he would meet current points leader and No. 1 Greg Anderson, with Johnson having the luxury of choosing his lane, based on his 6.894-second effort in the semifinals.

With the two cars so evenly matched, any advantage would prove to be crucial. Anderson was the first off the starting line, and although Johnson recorded the quicker elapsed time and speed (6.896 sec., 201.10 mph to his rival's 6.907 sec., 200.95 mph), it was not enough to prevent his rival from gaining the very narrow victory.

"We had originally planned to be a little more aggressive on our set-up, since my lights had been in the .042-.046 range. Unfortunately, we underestimated the condition of the right hand lane, and figured he would probably run a 6.94 or 6.95. Our ACDelco Cavalier had been consistent and fast all weekend, and had another 6.89 in the final, but we were tripped up by an .051 light.

"We certainly wanted to win, but are still happy with going to the final. However, when you're the quicker car and you don't get the trophy, it really ticks you off. Fortunately, we'll be racing next weekend, so we'll quickly put today behind us and get after them in Houston."

-wjr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Greg Anderson , Gene Wilson , Mark Whisnant , Mike Edwards