Memphis: Kurt Johnson eliminations summary

Kurt Johnson Sees Red in Memphis The color red dominated Kurt Johnson's day at the rain-delayed final eliminations of the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, TN. In the first round against Darrell Alderman, Johnson was the beneficiary of...

Kurt Johnson Sees Red in Memphis

The color red dominated Kurt Johnson's day at the rain-delayed final eliminations of the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, TN. In the first round against Darrell Alderman, Johnson was the beneficiary of a red-light start by his opponent, getting the round win on his opponent's disqualification. The ACDelco Cavalier pilot punctuated his success by recording the fourth quickest pass of the first round at 6.820 seconds with a top speed of 202.09.

In the second round, Johnson faced his season-long rival for the POWERade championship, Greg Anderson. Anderson, who had the benefit of lane choice, placed Johnson on the left side of the track. Trying to gain every advantage in order advance to the semi-finals and gain ground in the title chase, it was Johnson's turn to leave the starting line one hundredth of a second early, giving his opponent the automatic win. Afterwards, Johnson expressed surprise at the result.

"I went into the second round determined not to red light twice in a row against the same opponent. I didn't feel any extra pressure, and just let the clutch out as I had been all weekend. After having a .003 reaction time in the first round, we even opened up the air gap in the clutch to slow it down. It felt good when I left, and went straight down the track.

"I clicked it in high gear, looked over and saw that I had him by a nose, and thought I was going to win. I waited for my win light to come on, when I suddenly caught his was on from the corner of my eye.

"I was floored when I learned that I red-lighted, especially by .017, and then I found out that Bruce (Allen) went red by ,027 ahead of me. In fact, when I talked to Greg at the finish line, he told me he had put me in the left lane because they had noticed something with the tree on that side, and were themselves afraid of red-lighting.

"We'll put this behind us before we leave the race track, and head to Chicago ready to keep swinging at it, trying to get this ACDelco Cavalier back in the winner's circle."

-j2r-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Darrell Alderman , Kurt Johnson , Greg Anderson