CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES PIONEER KEYSTONE NATIONALS MAPLE GROVE RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SUNDAY, SEPT. 20, 1998 FINAL ELIMINATIONS PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28 KURT JOHNSON WINS HIS SECOND PRO STOCK TITLE OF '98 IN CAMARO ...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES PIONEER KEYSTONE NATIONALS MAPLE GROVE RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SUNDAY, SEPT. 20, 1998
PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28
KURT JOHNSON WINS HIS SECOND PRO STOCK TITLE OF '98 IN CAMARO Z28
KURT JOHNSON, AC DELCO CAMARO Z28, won his and Camaro's second Pro Stock title of the year today, defeating U.S. Nationals titlist Mike Edwards in the final, with a 6.984-second elapsed time at 196.63 mph to Edwards' 7.034/195.86. Kurt eliminated Robert Patrick, Troy Coughlin and Jeg Coughlin to reach the final. Kurt moved into second in Winston Championship points after ousting Jeg Coughlin, his rival for that position. Kurt is now 347 points behind his dad Warren (1469-1122), and 39 points ahead of Jeg.
KURT: "It's a pressure situation all the way (battling for second place). It might go down to the final round in the final race, side by side, who knows. (Taking over second place today) is only a part of it. It's good to win against Jeg here, it's been back and forth. He's won twice, I've won twice." IS THERE A NUMERICAL CHANCE OF CATCHING YOUR DAD? "Only if he doesn't show up."
"In 1993 I won here in the first year I was in Pro Stock, so it's one of my favorite places. We were running pretty good up until that last qualifying session yestrday, and still it ran a 6.99, and the quickest car was about a .95, so we were off a little bit on that last run, and ran a 6.97, even though we had too much clutch in it. So we came back and brought the spring pressure down, and really burned it up. We were really lucky in the second round against Troy, because we slowed down to a 7.02. We were lucky enough to get off the starting line first, and won by three thousandths. The pressure really built up going into the second round against Jeg Jr., because after qualifying we were dead tied for second place in the championship points. So, whoever won that round, it was a 40-point swing right there. The pressure kept building because we had to face Mike Edwards in the final, and he just won the U.S. Nationals. And, when luck's going his way, he's hard to stop. It was quite a day."
ON LANE CHOICE: "I was going to take the right lane inhe final, but we looked at tahe way the concrete was, and the way the rubber was adhering to it, and decided to go with the left. Besides, we had the cnfidence of running a 6.97 in the semis n the left lane, so it really wasn't that big a decision. There was a little more rubber on the left at the starting line."
ON EDWARDS HAVING A BETTER REACTION TIME: "Mike did a heckuva job, went a .428 on th tree against me in the final. I was on all day. I had a .419 in the first round, then a .434, a .451 and a .443 in the final, so I think we had the car working a little beter. I couldn't cut a llight in this car when we first brought it out in St. Louis (where Kurt won his first title of the year). I think I had a .506 in the final. It's a lot of hard work, it's just a combination from front bumper to back bumper on one of these things. Sometimes you blame the driver because he can't cut a light, but it's just the whole combination."
ON NOT RUNNING AGAINST YOUR DAD IN THE FINAL (Warren red-lighted in the semis against Edwards): "I would have liked to have gone up against him in the final, gone head to head, to see what we could do against him. He's obviously the one to beat, he's going to be the Winston champion."
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WIN YOUR SECOND RACE FOR CHEVROLET? "I'm trying to do my job. They're paying me to win races. They put me in a good body style and things seem to have turned out for the better., It's going to make everyone who drives Camaros work harder. And I know eventually one of those guys (Larry Morgan, Tom Hammonds) will win a race. We will just do what we're doing and maybe some day we will have two Camaros in the final."
* This was Kurt's fourth time in the final this season since he switched to the Chevy Camaro Z28 sponsored by AC Delco. He also reached the final at the Winston Invitational (non-points) race, and was defeated.
* This was also the Camaro's fourth appearance in a final this season, plus the final appearance in the non-points Winston Invitational. Kurt has been the only Camaro driver to reach the final.
* Kurt Johnson has two title wins in a Camaro, Sears Craftsman Nationals, Madison, Ill., June 28, 1998, and today's Pioneer Keystone Nationals.
* Prior to Kurt's first win in Madison, the last time a Chevy Camaro won a Pro Stock event was at the 1988 Autolite Nationals in Sonoma, Calif., when Harry Scribner defeated Don Beverley's Olds Ciera in the final round, on a holeshot, 7.498/184.50 for Scribenr, to 7.493/183.59.
* There are only three Chevrolet Camaro Z28s competing in Pro Stock: Kurt Johnson's AC Delco Camaro, Larry Morgan's Raybestos Camaro, and Tom Hammonds' Winnebago/Matco Tools/Kendall Camaro.
* Chevrolet returned to Pro Stock racing in 1998. The last time Chevrolet competed in Pro Stock was in 1992.