Kurt Johnson advances to the Madison quarter-finals Kurt Johnson faced several obstacles entering Sunday's final eliminations of the Sears Craftsman Nationals in Madison, IL. After qualifying 13th, he would be facing a very tough opponent in ...
Kurt Johnson advances to the Madison quarter-finals
Kurt Johnson faced several obstacles entering Sunday's final eliminations of the Sears Craftsman Nationals in Madison, IL. After qualifying 13th, he would be facing a very tough opponent in Mike Edwards in the first round without the benefit of lane choice. In addition, the higher temperatures encountered in the first round meant the teams would be racing under conditions they had not faced all weekend. Finally, in his six previous starts from the 13th position, KJ had not been able to advance to the second round.
But just as they have done all season, the ACDelco crew responded. KJ and Edwards left the line at precisely the same time, with Johnson posting the third-quickest pass of the round at 6.877 seconds with a top speed of 200.89 mph to upset the No. 4 qualifier.
This set the stage for a second round encounter with Allen Johnson. However, the match-up was over shortly after it began, as almost immediately after launching, Kurt found himself fighting to maintain control of his race car and slowed to a 7.526-second elapsed time, allowing his opponent to gain the round win.
"We were pretty pleased that our ACDelco Cavalier ran that 6.87 in the first round. We had changed motors after qualifying, so we were happy to make a nice, straight pass in the bad lane. That was an important round win, because if you lose in the first round, you stand to lose a lot of points.
"We hoped to pick up a couple hundredths in the second round by moving into the left lane. We made a few changes because the track temperature went down ten degrees. Unfortunately, it didn't like it, spinning and shaking. The tires might have been at fault, but it still shouldn't have behaved that way.
"Greg (Anderson) had the opportunity to pick up points on us, but, in NASCAR terms, we both hit the wall at the same time. We're at the halfway point of the season, and we're only 70 points out of the lead, so we're doing fine.
"We'll be testing in Denver this week, making sure all our guns are loaded for that race, and get ready to power through the second half."