Kurt Johnson's Chevy Cobalt Leads GM Racing Qualifiers at Seattle '93 Rookie of the Year Looks to Repeat First Career Win KENT, Wash., July 23, 2005 - Kurt Johnson continued his strong performance in his ACDelco Chevy Cobalt by qualifying second...
Kurt Johnson's Chevy Cobalt Leads GM Racing Qualifiers at Seattle '93 Rookie of the Year Looks to Repeat First Career Win
KENT, Wash., July 23, 2005 - Kurt Johnson continued his strong performance in his ACDelco Chevy Cobalt by qualifying second in Pro Stock after today's final qualifying for this weekend's 18th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways. Johnson had an elapsed time of 6.665 seconds at 207.15, falling just short of surprising No. 1 qualifier Mike Thomas's track-record elapsed time of 6.661 seconds at 206.76 mph. Greg Anderson continued to show the strength of the new Pontiac GTO by setting a new Pacific Raceways speed record of 207.24 mph in qualifying fourth. Anderson was the No. 1 qualifier in the GTO's debut last week at Bandimere Speedway in Denver.
"The good news is that we know our ACDelco Cobalt is capable of winning every race we enter, as we showed in St. Louis," said Johnson. "But as close as the competition has gotten in Pro Stock, a fast car alone doesn't guarantee a trip to the winner's circle. You have to have the complete package with everyone on the crew and back at the shop doing their job to the best of their ability, avoiding mistakes, and even having a little luck thrown in."
"The forecast this weekend called for cooler temperatures, which meant it would be fast. Coming from the thin air in Denver, we're making substantially more power than we were a week ago, which requires a completely different tune-up, and the team that is best able to adapt to the new conditions will have the greatest chance for success. Fortunately, our ACDelco Cobalt has been good in telling us what it needs, and responding to whatever changes we make. This will be our 13th race at Pacific Raceways, and so far we've won every six years, so we're looking to keep things on schedule this weekend. We're definitely ready to win again."
Since the debut of his new Chevy Cobalt at the sixth race of the season at Bristol, Johnson has one win (St. Louis), one runner-up and four semifinal appearances in nine starts. The Sugar Hill, Ga., resident has also qualified No. 1 twice in the new car and is looking to repeat his first career NHRA national event win here at Pacific Raceways 12 years ago en route to his 1993 NHRA Rookie of the Year title.
"Naturally, every time we come back to Seattle, I remember that first win," said Johnson. "Even with the acheivements that we have experienced since then, as anyone will tell you, the first one always has a special place in your mind. But a lot has changed since then. The cars have gotten faster, the competition has gotten tighter, and they've even resurfaced the old race track, turning one of our most challenging and bumpy racing surfaces into one of the smoothest on the circuit. The one thing that hasn't changed, however, is this ACDelco Cobalt Racing team's desire to win."
Jason Line was right behind Johnson in third as the highest-qualifed Pontiac. He had an elapsed time of 6.665 seconds at 206.07 mph. Line's teammate Anderson was fourth in the new GTO with a 6.672 e.t. at a Pacific Raceways-record speed of 207.24 mph. Other Pontiac qualifiers include last week's winner at Denver, Warren Johnson, in eighth and Jim Yates in 13th. Additional Chevy qualifiers include Greg Stanfield in seventh, followed by the Chevy Cobalts of Ron Krisher (9th), Bob Panella (11th), Dave Connolly (15th), and Erica Enders (16th).
In Funny Car, Tommy Johnson Jr. qualified fourth in his Chevy Monte Carlo with an elapsed time of 4.777 seconds at 324.05 mph to take top qualifying honors for Chevrolet. Other Chevy qualifiers include Del Worsham next in line in fifth, Tony Pedregon (7th), Phil Burkart Jr. (8th), Tim Wilkerson (10th), Cruz Pedregon (11th), Tony Bartone (12th) and Jeff Arend in 14th. Eric Medlen in a Ford is the No. 1 qualifier with a track-record 4.726 e.t. at 323.12 mph.
Larry Dixon was No. 1 qualifier in Top Fuel with an elapsed time of 4.490 seconds at a track-record speed of 331.36 mph. Cory McClenathan is qualified ninth at 4.598 and 321.19 mph.