Kurt Johnson Aims to Boost his Average in Pomona ACDelco Cobalt crew looks to end 2006 season with fourth win Sugar Hill, Ga., November 7, 2006 - Only one race remains on the 2006 POWERade Drag Racing schedule - the Auto Club NHRA Finals, ...
Kurt Johnson Aims to Boost his Average in Pomona
ACDelco Cobalt crew looks to end 2006 season with fourth win
Sugar Hill, Ga., November 7, 2006 - Only one race remains on the 2006 POWERade Drag Racing schedule - the Auto Club NHRA Finals, which will be held this weekend in Pomona, CA. Although some view this event as simply the final stop of the nine-month, 23-race NHRA tour, Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team view it as an opportunity to add a little extra polish to a solid showing.
With three wins in four final round appearances, new personal bests in elapsed time and top speed and another Top Five points finish almost a certainty, Johnson has had a season that many would gladly accept. However, this second-generation racer has his sights set even higher.
"With three wins, there's probably a lot of people who would love to be in my shoes," said Johnson. "Considering the level of competition, it's not a bad record. But this ACDelco Cobalt crew is here to win it all, so, although I almost hate to say it, we see this as an average year.
"However, we also see it as added motivation to be even better next year. Although we've already started working on 2007, this weekend is an important race. We see it as an opportunity to get our fourth win of the season and get back into fourth in the POWERade standings by the end of the season, bringing up our average, and giving us something good to think about all winter."
This weekend's event presents an additional challenge for the Johnson-led crew. With just over ten days between the conclusion of the Las Vegas event and the first qualifying session at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, there was no time for the ACDelco crew to return to their Georgia headquarters and work on their race car. Therefore, the younger member of the Johnson racing family split his time between future projects and strategizing, setting his game plan for this weekend, as well as the upcoming winter months.
"We're always thinking of ways to go faster," detailed Johnson. "In fact, we've spent the last week thinking about what's going to happen in Pomona, as well as what went down in Las Vegas. We've tried to include every factor, including how we did at the first Pomona race earlier this year. Basically, we're looking to add it all together and come up with one sum that equals eight good runs, four in qualifying and four in eliminations, so we can put our ACDelco Cobalt in the winner's circle.
"Obviously, our first goal is to qualify in the top half of the field and get lane choice for Sunday. That's something that's eluded us in the last few races that we have to get back. We need to run like we did in Memphis and Indianapolis.
"Having these last two races on the West Coast makes it tough. With everything sitting at Mark Christopher Chevrolet for the week, there wasn't a lot we could do in the way of major changes or testing. Even so, we know we'll unload a car in Pomona that is fully capable of winning the race. After all, there's no sense in backing down now. Every one on this team is going to Pomona to win the race, so we can have a good time on Sunday afternoon in the California sun. As I said, this is a great opportunity, and we're not about to let it slip away."
Quick Notes on Kurt Johnson & the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team entering The Auto Club NHRA Finals:
KJ & the ACDelco Cobalt Crew Appearance: Kurt & the entire ACDelco Cobalt Racing team will be greeting the fans and signing autographs at Mark Christopher Chevrolet, 2131 Convention Center Way, Ontario, CA from 5:00 -- 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 8. For further information, please call (909) 390-2900.
Kurt is No Stranger to the Finals' Winner's Circle: This will be KJ's 14th appearance at the NHRA season-ender, where he has three wins in five final round appearances.
KJ Overall at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona: This will be Kurt's 28th race at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, where he has four wins in seven final round appearances, and a 46-22 elimination round record for a .676 round-win percentage.
One year ago: Kurt qualified third with an elapsed time of 6.683 seconds and a top speed of 207.62 mph, and advanced to the semi-finals.