KJ Aims to Seal Solid 2004 with Pomona Win Sugar Hill, Ga., November 8, 2004 -- The 2004 NHRA season will come to a close this weekend with the running of the Auto Club of Southern California Finals in Pomona, CA. As he has throughout his ...
KJ Aims to Seal Solid 2004 with Pomona Win
Sugar Hill, Ga., November 8, 2004 -- The 2004 NHRA season will come to a close this weekend with the running of the Auto Club of Southern California Finals in Pomona, CA. As he has throughout his 12-year Pro Stock career, ACDelco Cavalier pilot Kurt Johnson will be putting the final touches on a successful campaign, with one win in four final round appearances, and a Top Five finish in the POWERade championship standings.
Naturally, it is a showing that almost every racer in the pit area would be thrilled to have accomplished. However, for the highly competitive Johnson, unless the championship trophy is headed for the team's headquarters in Sugar Hill, GA, there is always room for improvement.
"Although the entire ACDelco crew is certainly proud of our performance this season, we all feel it could have been better," stated Johnson. "We started off the year in fine fashion, winning in Phoenix and seemingly ready to challenge for the championship. In the long run, things unfortunately did not work in our favor. I'm sure a lot of cars would be happy finishing in the Top Five, but we're not, which tells you how high we set our goals.
"But through it all, this team never gave up, putting forth a championship effort every day of the week. We spent many hours searching for ways to make our ACDelco Cavalier better, and even though it may not necessarily show it, we've learned a tremendous amount throughout the year that should only make us stronger."
The traditional drag racing finale offers participants one last opportunity to add to their season's stats, and Johnson and his veteran crew have their sights set on delivering a strong performance. With three wins in five final round appearances at this event, the second-generation racer is quite familiar with the benefits of ending the year in the Pomona Raceway winner's circle.
"It some respects, it's been a long year, and although we're ready to put it behind us, we know our work is not yet done," said Johnson. "We still have one more shot to put our ACDelco Cavalier in the winner's circle, and we are going to do everything we can to make it happen.
"We should be in good shape. Although we hurt our primary race engine during our last qualifying run in Las Vegas, which hurt us in eliminations, we will have it back up to speed when we get to California. Our car also seems capable of handling whatever we throw at it, so I'm confident we'll be in the hunt.
"We have a busy few months ahead of us, but before we turn our full attention to 2005, we have a little unfinished business to take care of in 2004. We've won the Finals three times in the past, and short of capturing the championship, winning the final race in Pomona is the best way to go into the off-season. It's like getting an early Christmas present for the entire team, and we would certainly like to play Santa Claus."
Facts on Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Racing Team entering the Auto Club of Southern California Finals:
* KJ and the ACDelco Racing team Ontario, CA Appearance: Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Racing Team will be making an appearance from 5:30 -- 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 10 at Mark Christopher Chevrolet, 2131 E. Convention Center Way, Ontario, CA. For more information, please call (909) 390-2900.
* KJ is a Prime Performer in Pomona: This will be Kurt's 24th appearance at Pomona Raceway, where he has four wins in seven Final round appearances, with a 5.95 average starting position and a 42-18 elimination round record for a .700 win percentage
* Kurt Bats .300 at the Finals: In his 10 starts (in 11 races) at the Auto Club of Southern California Finals, KJ has three wins in five final round appearances, with a 22-7 elimination round record for a .759 winning percentage.
* One year ago: Kurt qualified 6th and advanced to the final round.
* Winning percentage: Kurt's .645 elimination round winning percentage (372-207) ranks 10th among all active NHRA professional drivers.
* National event wins: Kurt's 28 national event victories ties him for 15th on the all-time NHRA professional win list, and tie him for fifth on the all-time Pro Stock win list. Kurt's most recent win came at this year's Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals in Phoenix, AZ.
* Career best elapsed time: 6.716 seconds, Englishtown, NJ. 2003
* Career best top speed: 206.61 mph, Englishtown, NJ. 2003