Reading: Kurt wins Keystone Nationals

READING, Pa. - In a repeat performance of the final round at the 1993 Keystone Nationals, Kurt Johnson defeated his father Warren today at Maple Grove Raceway. Kurt extended his final-round record in 2000 to a perfect 4-0, dispatching his Dad with...

READING, Pa. - In a repeat performance of the final round at the 1993 Keystone Nationals, Kurt Johnson defeated his father Warren today at Maple Grove Raceway. Kurt extended his final-round record in 2000 to a perfect 4-0, dispatching his Dad with a 6.885-second e.t. at 200.14 mph to the Professor's 6.914 e.t. at an identical 200.14 mph top speed.

"Both of the cars were fairly equal all day long, so it came down to who let the clutch out first," said Kurt.

Johnson's ACDelco Camaro was roaring in Reading, recording the fastest e.t. in every round of eliminations and exceeding 200 mph on all four runs on race day. Johnson leapfrogged Ron Krisher in the championship standings, reclaiming second place by a 33-point margin over Krisher with five races remaining on the NHRA schedule.

Johnson, the No. 9 qualifier at 6.884 seconds, was in the first pair of Pro Stocks on the track today when he defeated No. 8 seed Mark Pawuk in the opening round. Kurt then took out Krisher, the No. 1 qualifier, in the second round, 6.892 to 6.920, and overcame a slight holeshot by Rickie Smith in the semi-final, 6.878 to 6.918. Kurt advanced to the final round for the fourth time in 2000 and the 34th time in his career.

"When we ran the low e.t. in the first round, we said 'Wow - we have something here!' " Kurt explained. "We just tried to stay consistent all day."

Kurt was first off the line in the final round with a .452 to .515-second reaction time advantage, and stretched his lead at the stripe. Kurt's victory in the first Johnson family final since the 1999 Gatornationals raised his record against his famous father to 3-9 in final rounds and 12-28 overall. It was Kurt's third career victory in the Keystone Nationals; in addition to his victory over W.J. in 1993, he also defeated Mike Edwards in the final round in 1998.

In contrast to his successful record at Maple Grove Raceway, Kurt has never been in a final round at Heartland Park Topeka, the site of the Advance Auto Parts Nationals on October 1. With his victory today, Kurt will have momentum on his side in Kansas.

KURT JOHNSON RACE RESULTS:
Qualifying: Kurt Johnson qualified No. 9 at 6.884/200.44
Eliminations:
First Round: Kurt Johnson (6.881/200.23) defeated Mark Pawuk (6.913/198.29)
Second Round: Kurt Johnson (6.892/200.05) defeated Ron Krisher (6.920/199.85)
Semi-Final: Kurt Johnson (6.878/200.41) defeated Rickie Smith (6.918/198.55)
Final Round: Kurt Johnson (6.885/200.14) defeated Warren Johnson (6.914/200.14)

Low ET: Ron Krisher, 6.846 seconds (track record)
Top Speed: Warren Johnson, 201.28 mph

<pre> POINTS RACE: (After 18 of 23 events) Driver Wins Points 1. Jeg Coughlin Jr. 8 1,592 2. Kurt Johnson 4 1,229 3. Ron Krisher 2 1,196 4. Warren Johnson 1 1,112 5. Troy Coughlin 0 926 (tie) Mark Pawuk 1 926

</pre> NEXT RACE:
Advance Auto Parts Nationals, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, Topeka, Kan.
TV: TNN, Oct. 1, 4:30-6 p.m. (ET)

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Ron Krisher , Rickie Smith , Mike Edwards