KJ's Charge Stalls in Richmond Quarterfinals After qualifying eleventh for Sunday's final eliminations of the Torco Race Fuels NHRA Nationals in Richmond, VA, ACDelco Cobalt pilot Kurt Johnson knew he faced a monumental task in trying to ...
KJ's Charge Stalls in Richmond Quarterfinals
After qualifying eleventh for Sunday's final eliminations of the Torco Race Fuels NHRA Nationals in Richmond, VA, ACDelco Cobalt pilot Kurt Johnson knew he faced a monumental task in trying to simultaneously score his first win at Virginia Motorsports Park and earn a spot in the final stage of the POWERade championship playoffs. Further complicating his assignment were the cloudless skies, 90 degree temperatures and high humidity at Virginia Motorsports Park, which produced a completely new set of tuning conditions.
Undaunted, Johnson responded by matching the low elapsed time of the weekend with his 6.645-second pass in the first round, which, combined with an impressive 207.50 mph top speed, allowed him to upset No. 6 qualifier Allen Johnson, whom Kurt was chasing in the battle to reach the Countdown to One.
This set the stage for a crucial second round match-up with Richie Stevens. In one of the closest matches of the day, Johnson carded a solid 6.678-second, 207.50 mph effort. Unfortunately, Stevens used a slightly quicker 6.670-second pass to erase KJ's hopes of a Cinderella finish.
"We came into today determined to get ourselves into the top four positions in order to qualify for the last round of the Countdown. After having some engine issues in qualifying, we put a motor in our ACDelco Cobalt that we had tested in Memphis, and we absolutely floored ourselves by running low elapsed time of the meet with a 207.50 mph top speed. We left the car mostly alone for the second round, with the exception of taking 100 rpm's off the starting line chip and softening the clutch a little.
"However, with the track temperature going up by ten degrees from the first round, the end result was that we slowed the car down by about six hundredths in reaction time and performance, ending our day. Naturally, we're floored by not making the Countdown to One, but we're going to regroup and go into the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals ready to get ourselves back in the winner's circle."