Kurt Johnson Looks to Have Luck on His Side in Reading ACDelco Racing team aims for fourth trip to Maple Grove winner's circle Sugar Hill, Ga., September 14, 2004 - A successful NHRA Pro Stock racing team consists of several key elements. The...
Kurt Johnson Looks to Have Luck on His Side in Reading
ACDelco Racing team aims for fourth trip to Maple Grove winner's circle
Sugar Hill, Ga., September 14, 2004 - A successful NHRA Pro Stock racing team consists of several key elements. The first is having the proper funding, allowing the purchase of equipment, from the finely-tuned race car and a supply of powerful 500 cubic-inch engines, to the materials necessary to transport and maintain it throughout the course of the grueling 23-race POWERade Drag Racing season.
In addition, the effort must be supported by a talented and dedicated crew who will work long hours at the track and in the shop, making sound decisions to make the most of the ever-changing atmospheric and track conditions. The final ingredient is one over which the team has little control - simple racing luck.
Knowing he has the first two pieces of this high-speed puzzle well in hand, ACDelco Cavalier pilot Kurt Johnson enters this weekend's Lucas Oil Nationals in Reading, PA looking to complete the picture with a little good luck, which he plans to generate through hard work and meticulous preparation.
"You can have the strongest team and the best equipment, but luck still plays a part," said Johnson. "For example, the difference between a successful weekend and going home early can boil down to being in the good lane for the best qualifying session, something you have no way of controlling. As close as the competition has become in Pro Stock over the last few races, everything comes into play.
"We've been bitten by the racing gods a couple of times in the past, but we're not going to worry about it. We have put it all behind us and focused on the task ahead. We know this ACDelco Racing team has all the right parts, so it's up to us to bear down and make sure we take advantage of any and every opportunity, and make our own luck."
The first piece of good fortune on Johnson's horizon may be the location of this weekend's race. In his 11 previous races at Maple Grove Raceway, the second-generation driver has three wins, which is second behind only his father, Warren Johnson, among active Pro Stock drivers. Even so, Johnson knows that an error-free performance will be necessary this weekend in order to make a return trip to the winner's circle.
"We're cautiously optimistic about our chances for this weekend," said Johnson. "Our ACDelco Cavalier has been running well of late, and for the most part, we've been making solid tuning decisions. In addition, we're going to Maple Grove Raceway, where, with a couple exceptions, we have run well in the past.
"However, the entire team realizes that past history means little once we arrive in Reading and, as last year showed, there is absolutely no room for error. After falling shy by a couple of thousandths under some very unusual circumstances in 2003, our plan for this race is quite simple. We're going to hit the track and unload with both barrels. We've already shown we know the way to the winner's circle at Maple Grove, and with a lot of skill and a little luck, it's a drive we'll make again this weekend."