Norwalk: Kurt Johnson preview

KJ Is Set to Attack the Track in Norwalk ACDelco Cobalt racer determined to maximize his performance in the Buckeye State Sugar Hill, Ga., June 27, 2007 -- Every week in the POWERade Drag Racing Series, teams in the Pro Stock Car division are...

KJ Is Set to Attack the Track in Norwalk
ACDelco Cobalt racer determined to maximize his performance in the Buckeye State

Sugar Hill, Ga., June 27, 2007 -- Every week in the POWERade Drag Racing Series, teams in the Pro Stock Car division are put to the test in one of the most competitive categories in all of motorsports. With over 25 closely matched cars competing for one of only 16 spots in Sunday's final eliminations field, the challenge begins from the very first qualifying session, with the difference between winning and going home early often measured in mere thousandths of a second.

However, as ACDelco Cobalt pilot Kurt Johnson explains, there is an additional obstacle beyond his fellow competitors which he and his team must conquer in order to score their second win of the season at this weekend's Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, namely the quarter-mile of asphalt and concrete on which they must race.

"The racetrack is just as big an opponent as the guy in the other lane," said Johnson. "In our case, lately we just seem to have been too conservative in how we approach the track. We didn't go up there thinking that way, but that's what the data has told us after the runs. The track has bitten us the last two races, and we can't have that, so we're going to be extremely aggressive. It's us against the racetrack, and we're not letting it beat us in Norwalk.

"This ACDelco Cobalt crew is really going to get after it this weekend. It may be a new track on the NHRA schedule, but it's still asphalt and concrete, and I've been doing this long enough that I can look at the texture and figure out what it needs. We'll get there on Thursday and immediately go to the starting line and come up with a game plan. We have some good ideas, and we're going to try and make them pay off."

Ironically, Johnson's aggressive game plan will begin at a track making its debut on the NHRA national event circuit, Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. Located in Norwalk, Ohio which is located midway between Toledo and Cleveland, the Bader family's pride and joy has been a member of the drag racing community since the early 60's, hosting numerous match races and events with other sanctioning bodies before joining the NHRA ranks in 2006. Well aware of the owners' reputation for unmatched customer service, as well as the $4 million in upgrades performed in the last year, the Johnson-led crew is among many looking forward to this inaugural event.

"It's exciting going to a new racetrack," said Johnson. "It's a new challenge for all of us in so far as the race is concerned, but this won't be my first Norwalk experience. I tested there in '97, but even before that, I remember going there in 1981 for an IHRA race the day after I graduated from high school, which was also the weekend that we moved south (from Minnesota to Georgia).

"Even back then, the Baders did everything they could for the racers and the fans, a philosophy that continues today. I understand they've put a lot of money into upgrading the facility, as well as a ton of promotion, so we're looking forward to getting there and checking it out. Most importantly, we're going there ready to get this ACDelco Cobalt back on a winning track. Having our Sundays end way too early is getting pretty painful, and we're going to put a stop to that."

-credit: j2r

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson