Kurt Johnson Powers to Pomona Semi-finals Kurt Johnson opened the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing season in solid fashion on Sunday, powering his ACDelco Cavalier to the semi-finals of Sunday's final eliminations of the Carquest Auto Parts ...
Kurt Johnson Powers to Pomona Semi-finals
Kurt Johnson opened the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing season in solid fashion on Sunday, powering his ACDelco Cavalier to the semi-finals of Sunday's final eliminations of the Carquest Auto Parts Winternationals in Pomona, CA.
Starting from the second position, KJ quickly stated his intentions for the day by recording a 6.693-second, 205.57 mph pass in his first round defeat of Kenny Koretsky. This was not only Johnson's first run in the 6.6-second range, but it also reset the Pomona Raceway track record.
In the second round, however, KJ faced rival Greg Anderson, with whom the ACDelco driver had battled for the championship the last two years. Responding to the challenge, Johnson improved on his opening effort, blasting through the quarter-mile in 6.692 seconds with a top speed of 205.79 mph to easily trailer Anderson.
Awaiting Johnson in the semi-final was his father, six-time Pro Stock champion Warren Johnson. Once again, Kurt recorded the quickest pass of the round at 6.706 seconds. However, it was not enough to overcome the starting line advantage his father had gained, putting an early ending to the second-generation racer's day.
"The track had cooled a little between rounds, and, as a result, it actually stood up pretty hard on the launch in the semis, and I could feel it spinning," described Johnson. "It ran through the middle part fairly well, but when I put it in high gear, it spun really hard and shot to the centerline. Still, I knew it had been a decent run, so I expected to see the win light come on. Then again, when you're racing against a motor that's identical to yours, and knowing Dad can drive, there's no room for error.
"We have a new clutch in the car, which is the big issue right now. Reaction times in the forties and fifties are okay, but we need the tens, twenties and thirties to get ahead. Those are areas we'll work on between now and Phoenix.
"Still we're pleased that our ACDelco Cavalier performed really well this weekend, which was very gratifying after working all winter long and not really knowing what we had. We had bet the farm on the DRCE III this winter, and, fortunately, it panned out. Although we would have liked to win, we're happy leaving here knowing that we have a fast hot rod."