An Eventful First Day in Reading Finds KJ Eighth and in the Sand Reading, Pa., September 29, 2006 -- The first day of qualifying for the Toyo Tires Nationals in Reading, PA proved to be an eventful one for Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Cobalt ...
An Eventful First Day in Reading Finds KJ Eighth and in the Sand
Reading, Pa., September 29, 2006 -- The first day of qualifying for the Toyo Tires Nationals in Reading, PA proved to be an eventful one for Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team. After completing a 6.649-second, 207.66 mph run in the right hand lane during the second session on Friday afternoon, Johnson's chutes did not fully deploy.
When using the brakes proved to be ineffective due to the combination of the high speed and bumps in the shut down area, he was forced to employ emergency maneuvers to bring his car to a halt and ended up in the gravel pit, going through the safety nets and collecting a television camera before finally coming to a rest.
Although Johnson was uninjured and his race car suffered substantial damage, the second-generation driver did have the presence of mind to assemble the pieces and have the car weighed, making his run official and slotting him in the provisional eighth position for Sunday's final eliminations. This will allow him to race should he be able to effect repairs.
"I'm not exactly sure what happened. I know the chutes didn't fully deploy, and when I got on the brakes they started to lock up. After that it just started bouncing and I was along for the ride. I was going through everything I could to get stopped, but it wasn't working.
"I saw I was going to hit the rock pile, so I let off the brakes to make sure I hit it as squarely as possible. As fast as we were going, it skipped over the top, and I saw I was quickly running out of room, so I cranked the wheel to get it turned so it would bury the rear end and stop. I didn't think it would go over, and fortunately it didn't.
"The big thing was getting the car weighed to make sure the run counted. Of course, with all the rocks we collected, weight was not an issue. I'm alright, and we can fix the ACDelco Cobalt. We've already had offers of help from some of our competitors, which means a lot. It might take some time, but we're going to do whatever we need to come back and do it again. We thought we were going to have a smooth weekend, but we have some work to do now."