Las Vegas: Kurt Johnson Saturday summary

KJ Rebounds to Qualify 12th in Las Vegas Coming into the final day of qualifying at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas, NV, Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Chevy Cobalt Racing team faced numerous challenges. First, after their...

KJ Rebounds to Qualify 12th in Las Vegas

Coming into the final day of qualifying at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas, NV, Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Chevy Cobalt Racing team faced numerous challenges. First, after their evening run was slowed by a mysterious mechanical gremlin, they found themselves outside of the top sixteen required to qualify.

In addition, Saturday's higher temperatures and humidity at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway combined to rob the naturally-aspirated Pro Stock contingent of valuable horsepower, further reducing the room for error in the tune-up. Finally, with 26 cars vying for a spot in Sunday's field, there would be 10 cars whose weekend would end a day early.

Fortunately, Johnson quickly dispelled any doubts about his participation on race day, blasting through the quarter-mile in 6.771-seconds with a top speed of 203.43 mph on his first attempt on Saturday afternoon, securing the twelfth starting spot on Sunday's final eliminations ladder. Completing his qualifying effort with a consistent 6.776-second, 203.40 mph run, he appears ready to defend his win from this event a year ago.

"We had a couple of unusual gremlins hurt us on Friday, but were able to bounce back today and get ourselves in the show. Our ACDelco Chevy Cobalt did everything it was supposed to do, making two solid, repeatable 6.77-second runs.

"We still have room to improve, because it's not running the back half of the racetrack as well as it should, so we'll have to work on that for tomorrow. We're good on the starting line and in the first sixty feet, but we just have to pick it up in the last eighth mile. We'll take a look at all our information and figure out what we need to do. We're qualified twelfth, and the odds makers put us at 12-1 to win tomorrow, so maybe there's something lucky in the twelves this weekend."

-credit: j2r

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson