KJ Sees Red in Reading Semifinals Three thousandths of a second is an almost immeasurable amount of time, barely imperceptible to the human eye. Unfortunately, during Sunday's final eliminations of the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, PA,...
KJ Sees Red in Reading Semifinals
Three thousandths of a second is an almost immeasurable amount of time, barely imperceptible to the human eye. Unfortunately, during Sunday's final eliminations of the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, PA, it only took three thousandths for Kurt Johnson's competitive day to come to an end.
After qualifying third, the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team continued to display the consistent performance that had powered them to second place in the POWERade championship standings. In the first round, KJ bettered his best qualifying time and speed, using a 6.700-second, 205.44 mph pass to eliminate V. Gaines. In the quarter-finals, he used the second quickest pass of the round at 6.714-seconds to gain the win over his father, Warren Johnson, and advance to the semi-finals for twelfth time this season.
Standing between Johnson and his 61st career final round was rival Greg Anderson. Racing without lane choice, Johnson knew he would need to gain every advantage in order to advance, and rolled to the line looking to get the jump at the start. Unfortunately, Johnson's reactions proved to be too quick, as he left the line three thousandths of a second too early, handing the automatic win to his opponent.
"The way the sun is at Maple Grove Raceway, there's a lot of glare, and it's really bright behind the tree, especially in the left hand lane, which is where we were all day. By the time we ran the semifinals, it was 3:30 in the afternoon, and the sun had changed position, so it was now dark behind the tree, letting you really focus on the top bulb.
"I knew I had every bit of it, and just ended up three thousandths on the wrong side of the line. It could have been a perfect light, but it just wasn't. In the end, it didn't matter because we had transmission problems with it not going into second gear. On a positive note, since we went to manually-shifted transmissions in 1999, this has only happened twice, so the odds of its happening again in the next three years are pretty slim.
"Certainly, we would have liked to have gotten that round, but we're not about to give up. We've got a fast ACDelco Cobalt, and a great team behind it, so we'll go on to Dallas, and keep pecking away at it."