Pomona: Kurt Johnson wins finals

POMONA, Calif., Nov. 12, 2000 - For the second week in a row, Kurt Johnson and his ACDelco teammates celebrated in the NHRA winner's circle. Kurt ended the season with a victory in the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Pomona...

POMONA, Calif., Nov. 12, 2000 - For the second week in a row, Kurt Johnson and his ACDelco teammates celebrated in the NHRA winner's circle. Kurt ended the season with a victory in the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway. In a replay of the preceding race in Dallas, Johnson defeated newly crowned champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the final round and extended his final-round record in 2000 to a perfect 6-0. "Unbelievable!" Johnson exclaimed. "At about 1,000 feet I could see the shadow of Jeg's front end and it looked like his car was ahead of mine. A split second later the win light came on in my lane and I said, 'Damn, I won the race!'" The victory was Kurt's second NHRA Finals title and his 21st national event victory. After defeating Arturo Delgado, Richie Stevens, and Bruce Allen in the first three rounds, Kurt went into his final-round match with Coughlin as the underdog. Coughlin had turned quicker elapsed times in the previous rounds and he put Kurt in the unfavored right lane. Johnson upset Coughlin with a 6.854-second e.t., the quickest Pro Stock run of the event. "The lane really didn't bother me," Kurt declared. "Jeg was running quicker than me, so we had to make some changes for the final round. The car really responded and made a perfect run." Johnson improved his final-round record against Coughlin to 4-0 in his last race with a Camaro Z28. Next year he will campaign a smaller, more aerodynamic ACDelco Cavalier. "What a way to retire the Camaro!" K.J. said. "It's been a great car the last three years and a tremendous race car the last three months. I credit my success to the race car and the people working on it. My hat's off to my ACDelco crew." The race for the 2001 championship will begin at Pomona Raceway on February 1. "I hope we can hit the ground running," said Johnson. "Hopefully we can come back here and win again." <pre> KURT JOHNSON RACE RESULTS: Qualifying: Kurt Johnson qualified No. 6 at 6.896/199.85. Eliminations: First Round: Kurt Johnson (6.899/199.29) defeated Arturo Delgado (6.955/198.70) Second Round: Kurt Johnson (6.885/199.14)) defeated Richie Stevens (7.000/197.45) Semi-Final: Kurt Johnson (6.887/199.73) defeated Bruce Allen (7.259/170.58) Final Round: Kurt Johnson (6.854/200.59) defeated Jeg Coughlin Jr. (6.887/199.55)

Low ET: Kurt Johnson, 6.854 seconds (track record) Top Speed: Mark Pawuk, 200.62 mph

POINTS RACE: (After 23 of 23 events) Driver Wins Points 1. Jeg Coughlin Jr. 10 2,054 2. Kurt Johnson 6 1,604 3. Warren Johnson 2 1,481 4. Ron Krisher 2 1,392 5. Mark Pawuk 1 1,214

NEXT RACE: AutoZone Winternationals, Feb. 1-4, 2001, Pomona, Calif.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Ron Krisher , Bruce Allen , Arturo Delgado