Memphis: Kurt Johnson Monday final report

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Oct. 5, 2009 -- Following the postponement of yesterday's 22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals due to heavy rain showers, eliminations for the event were finally completed today at Memphis Motorsports Park under cloudy...

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Oct. 5, 2009 -- Following the postponement of yesterday's 22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals due to heavy rain showers, eliminations for the event were finally completed today at Memphis Motorsports Park under cloudy skies and cool temperatures. Kurt Johnson, who entered the Pro Stock contest in the No. 12 qualifying spot, saw his Monday afternoon of racing come to an early end when he lost in the opening round to Ron Krisher.

"It was soft, and on this run it actually shook going into second gear," Johnson said. "In these conditions you just don't know what number to put on the racetrack as many changes as we've been through. Track temperature was only 72 degrees, and we've seen 72 degrees be real bad, and we've seen 72 degrees be real good, and actually today was real good. We just kind of tip-toed out there, got a little soft on the clutch and got the tire wadded up and it shook in second (gear)."

Johnson's ACDelco Chevrolet ran a 6.648 e.t. at 209.23 mph (the third fastest speed of the session) to Krisher's 6.604 second run at 208.46 mph.

"It was a solid five hundredths slower to the eighth-mile and then ran decent the back-half; I think it was the third-best back-half speed out there," Johnson said. "It just kind of upsets you that you can run so good in the speed department but we're struggling to get to the eighth-mile consistently fast. We can do it on occasion, but we just can't do it consistently. It appears that there is something in the car that doesn't have a big enough window to work with. That's what we need to address. You've just got to fix what's broken and that's the biggest issue right now.

"I am kind of excited that I had three 'twenty' lights (.020 reaction time) in a row, so we've fixed that problem. We've got the tools to work on the race car whether it's the welders, or the grinders, the cutters, whatever needs to be done there, then that's what we need to address."

Pro Stock was won by Jason Line (Pontiac) who defeated Ron Krisher (Chevy) in the final round. Line ran 6.576 seconds at 210.05 mph while Ron Krisher red-lighted. The Funny Car winner was Jeff Arend who defeated Tony Pedregon in the finals. Arend's Toyota ran 4.091 seconds at 310.41 mph while Pedregon coasted across the finish line with a 16.659 e.t. at 37.81 mph. The Top Fuel category was won by Morgan Lucas who beat Tony Schumacher in the championship heat.

The next stop on the tour is the Fourth annual NHRA Virginia Nationals on Oct. 9 -- 11 at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va.

-credit: j&jr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Ron Krisher , Morgan Lucas , Jason Line , Jeff Arend