KJ Sets Career Best Speed, but Exits Early in Pomona Entering Sunday's final eliminations of the Carquest Auto Parts NHRA Nationals from the eleventh position, ACDelco Cobalt pilot Kurt Johnson knew he would have his work cut out for him in...
KJ Sets Career Best Speed, but Exits Early in Pomona
Entering Sunday's final eliminations of the Carquest Auto Parts NHRA Nationals from the eleventh position, ACDelco Cobalt pilot Kurt Johnson knew he would have his work cut out for him in order to open the 2006 season with a win.
Of primary concern to the team was their lack of lane choice for their first round encounter with Mike Edwards. Relegated to the less preferred right hand lane at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Johnson did everything he could to overcome the apparent deficit, and responded with a stellar 6.718-second, 207.72 mph pass, the quickest of the day in that lane, and a new career best top speed. Unfortunately, it was not enough to overcome his opponent's starting line advantage, gained through a nearly perfect .006 light.
"Whenever you run quicker than your opponent, you should win, but it is hard to overcome an .006 light. I had been hitting the tree all weekend, and was consistently in the low .40s in qualifying, but came up with a .50 in the first round. Mike (Edwards) was having one of those days that a driver has once in a while, much like I did in Vegas a year ago.
"On a positive note, we are feeling better about our ACDelco Cobalt. It threw us a bit of a curve after testing all winter and then running into these unusually warm conditions. We made some changes, but didn't get after it hard enough. We know a lot more now, and I'd like to test some more under similar conditions, but I think we will be fine tuning it from here.
"We're seeing this as a wake-up call. We'll head back to the shop, regroup on the chassis set-up, and head to Phoenix. We've won in the desert in the past, and will look to get on the board there in two weeks."