Norwalk: Kurt Johnson preview

KJ Hopes to Refocus Attention During Busy Norwalk Weekend Sugar Hill, Ga., June 26, 2008 -- After a trying and emotional weekend in Englishtown, the POWERade Drag Racing Series will hope for some return to normalcy at this weekend's Summit...

KJ Hopes to Refocus Attention During Busy Norwalk Weekend

Sugar Hill, Ga., June 26, 2008 -- After a trying and emotional weekend in Englishtown, the POWERade Drag Racing Series will hope for some return to normalcy at this weekend's Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. Although their thoughts may naturally be elsewhere in the days leading up to the event, Pro Stock points leader Kurt Johnson is confident that his ACDelco Cobalt Racing team will be ready for a return to action once qualifying gets underway on Friday.

"The events of last weekend are still fresh in our minds, and the tragedy has affected the entire drag racing community," said Johnson. "It's definitely tough, and our thoughts continue to be with the Kalitta family. However, we're professionals and we have a responsibility to the fans and our sponsors to do our very best, so the ACDelco Cobalt crew is heading to Norwalk ready to race. It's going to be a busy weekend, and we have to keep our heads in the game."

In addition to the normal demands of racing in the NHRA's most competitive division, this weekend the ACDelco crew and other top Pro Stock teams will have the added test of the K&N Horsepower Challenge, the factory hot rods' answer to an all-star race. As part of Saturday's activities, the eight cars that have performed the best in qualifying over the last year will meet in a three-round, single-elimination race, with the winner taking home $50,000, with a potential for even more should they go on to win the race on Sunday. Johnson has excelled in previous runnings of this specialty event, with his four wins leading all competitors. However, the red, white and blue crew must also keep their minds on the big picture - final eliminations - as they look to maintain their top ranking in the championship standings.

"We have a big job ahead of us, but we're excited by the prospects of being able to double up" said Johnson. "We'll start off with the Horsepower Challenge on Saturday. Historically, the ACDelco Cobalt crew has done well in these money races, and we're looking forward to having fun just going out there and racing for that fifty grand.

"At the same time, we have to make sure to get ourselves qualified for eliminations where we're looking to go rounds and pad our lead in the POWERade standings. We'll certainly have our hands full, but we have the car and the team to get the job done."

Fortunately, competitors and fans arriving in the Buckeye State will have the benefit of racing at one of the most accommodating tracks on the circuit, Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. In only its second year on the POWERade tour, this family-run facility has already earned a reputation for hospitality, ingratiating itself to all that attend.

"We're looking forward to going back to Norwalk," said Johnson. "It's a great facility, and the Bader family does a great job of making sure both the fans and the racers are happy. We ran fairly well there last year, and are looking to do even better this time around. With our ACDelco Cobalt making good, consistent runs, and the driver doing his job, we should be primed to have a very productive weekend."

-credit: j2r

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson