Reading: Kurt Johnson preview

KJ is looking for Sunny Skies & Smooth Sailing in Reading ACDelco Cobalt crew targets return to Reading winner's circle Sugar Hill, Ga., September 13, 2006 -- This weekend's Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, PA will mark Kurt Johnson's ...

KJ is looking for Sunny Skies & Smooth Sailing in Reading
ACDelco Cobalt crew targets return to Reading winner's circle

Sugar Hill, Ga., September 13, 2006 -- This weekend's Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, PA will mark Kurt Johnson's fourth race with his current ACDelco Cobalt, and so far he has liked what he has seen. In its first three events, Johnson's latest ride has three starts in the top half of the field, including a strong second in Indianapolis, and an equally solid showing on race day, highlighted by KJ's impressive win in Memphis, TN. Therefore even though it has been just over a week since the POWERade Drag Racing Series completed its most recent event in Indianapolis, it is easy to see why the second-generation racer is anxious to get back on the track.

"We should be in great shape for Reading this weekend," said Johnson. "This ACDelco Cobalt has been running extremely well since we brought it out in Brainerd, and already has a win under its belt in Memphis. We did have a little bit of a glitch in Indy a week ago, but we have addressed the problem area, and should be good to go. We don't want to sound overconfident, but we believe there's no reason we shouldn't be able to go into Maple Grove and romp and stomp, qualifying well and walking out with the win on Sunday."

As excited as he is about the latest addition to his racing stable, the talented Johnson is well aware that his success this weekend will depend on more than just a fast race car. With another tightly packed Pro Stock field anticipated, qualifying will again be a test of both man and machine. Racers may also have to deal with the changing weather conditions often encountered at the Keystone State quarter-mile at this time of year. Finally, there is the racing surface at Maple Grove Raceway, which has shown the capacity to deliver record runs. In order to claim his fourth win of the season, KJ knows his team will have to deliver an error-free performance.

"With competition as close as it is in Pro Stock right now, you have to have the whole package in order to win," stated Johnson. "You have to start by making four good runs in qualifying to get a spot in the top half of the field. After that, you have to be solid on Sunday, with everyone doing their job, from the crew and the driver to the race car. Fortunately, I believe we have all the right pieces to get the job done, and it's about time we get back to the winner's circle there.

"One of the biggest factors every year in Reading is the weather. If the conditions are right, we could see records set, or, if Mother Nature doesn't cooperate, we could be treading water all weekend. However, we don't have any control over it, and we know they will eventually get the race in, so we're not about to worry. We'll focus instead on doing the best we can to adapt to whatever is thrown at us.

"Our ACDelco Cobalt ran extremely well on its last three runs in Indy, and I believe we've picked up a little power, so we should be fine. The track at Maple Grove is pretty good, it's a fun community to race in with a tremendous fan base for Pro Stock, and we've won there in the past, so we have a lot of reasons to look forward to the race. It should be a great weekend."

-credit: j2r

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson