Kurt Johnson Continues Hot Streak With No. 1 Qualifier at Memphis Last Week's Winner Captures Top Spot for Fourth Time This Season MILLINGTON, Tenn., Aug. 20, 2005 - Not that he needed to, but Pro Stock driver Kurt Johnson put an exclamation...
Kurt Johnson Continues Hot Streak With No. 1 Qualifier at Memphis
Last Week's Winner Captures Top Spot for Fourth Time This Season
MILLINGTON, Tenn., Aug. 20, 2005 - Not that he needed to, but Pro Stock driver Kurt Johnson put an exclamation point on his recent string of strong performances by capturing his fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season for tomorrow's eliminations at the 18th annual O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South at Memphis Motorsports Park. Johnson's ACDelco Chevy Cobalt turned an elapsed time of 6.787 seconds at 202.85 mph to edge fellow Cobalt driver Rickie Smith for top spot on the 16-car Pro Stock grid. Smith had a 6.792 e.t. at 202.91 mph in qualifying second.
"This Chevy Cobalt has just been so consistent, and that's been the real key," said Johnson. "Whether the track temperature is 140 degrees like today or 85 degrees, it doesn't seem to matter. It just goes straight. We just keep adjusting on it to make it a little bit better."
Johnson was the event winner last week at Brainerd and in the six previous races leading into this weekend's contest, the Sugar Hill, Ga., resident has three wins, one runner-up and three No. 1 qualifiers. His recent surge has put him third in the Pro Stock points standings, just 55 points from points leader Greg Anderson and a mere 6 points behind Warren Johnson. He'll face Kenny Koretsky in tomorrow's first round of eliminations.
"We have more than 100 runs on this car now, but we continue to work hard to keep making it better," said Johnson. "Now we need to take advantage of running strong because there are a lot of cars that can run well. It's all in the timing."
Greg Anderson was the highest qualified Pontiac as he put his GTO third on the grid with a 6.805 e.t at 202.55 mph. Pontiac drivers joining him were teammate Jason Line in sixth, Warren Johnson eighth in his second race with the new GTO, and Jim Yates in 15th.
Other Chevrolet drivers qualifying included Ron Krisher (5th), Greg Stanfield (9th), Erica Enders (11th), Dave Howard (13th), and Ronnie Humphrey (14th).
In Funny Car, Tommy Johnson Jr. took top honors in the Chevrolet camp by qualifying third with an elapsed time of 4.936 seconds at 299.33 mph. Tim Wilkerson was close behind in fourth, driving his Chevy to an elapsed time of 4.940 seconds at 300.86 mph. Other Chevy qualifiers included Del Worsham (6th), Cruz Pedregon (9th), Gary Densham (11th), Tony Pedregon (12th), Tony Bartone (14th), and Bob Gilbertson (15th). Points leader Robert Hight is the No. 1 qualifier in a Ford with a 4.883 e.t. at 295.72 mph.
Tony Schumacher was No. 1 qualifier in Top Fuel with an elapsed time of 4.610 seconds at a speed of 309.56 mph. Larry Dixon was close behind in second with an elapsed time of 4.618 seconds and 314.24 mph, and Cory McClenathan is qualified fourth at 4.640 and 310.41 mph.