Sonoma: Kurt Johnson final report

SONOMA, Calif., July 26, 2009 -- The NHRA Western Swing came to a conclusion today at the 22nd annual Fram-Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway, and ACDelco's Kurt Johnson will come away from the final leg of this stretch of three consecutive ...

SONOMA, Calif., July 26, 2009 -- The NHRA Western Swing came to a conclusion today at the 22nd annual Fram-Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway, and ACDelco's Kurt Johnson will come away from the final leg of this stretch of three consecutive races with a round win that will put him a step closer to a spot in the Countdown to 1 Championship playoff.

Johnson entered race day with the ACDelco Chevrolet qualified in the No. 8 position and with a first-round matchup against his dad, teammate, and six-time champion, Warren Johnson. In the opening heat, the younger Johnson was able to trigger the win light with a 6.626 e.t. at 209.65 mph to a 6.627 second run at 210.37 mph.

After the first-round win, Johnson faced Greg Anderson in round two of eliminations. The two raced each other during each leg of the Western Swing including round one in Denver, where Anderson won, and round one in Seattle, where Johnson came away with the win. This time, though, it was Anderson who would advance into the next round with the Summit Racing Pontiac driver posting a 6.593 e.t. at 209.11 mph to Johnson's 6.618 second run at 209.30 mph. The margin of victory was approximately four feet at the stripe.

"It was a good drag race with Greg -- we were close -- 11 thousandths, and we fell a little short" Johnson said. "You never like to leave without a win, but at the same time there are quite a few positives that we can take away from this race, especially as we get ready for Brainerd.

"I was good on the tree all day, and then we kind of made some adjustments to the ACDelco Chevrolet this morning -- it didn't like it. We came back, made some more adjustments for round two, and really made a pretty impressive run on the computer, something we've been looking to do for a long time. Even though we ran decent yesterday in qualifying, the computer still didn't look the way we like it to."

Johnson will remain in eighth place in the Full Throttle standings following today's race and now has an extra week to prepare for the next event on the schedule, the 28th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals on Aug. 13-16 at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minn. Johnson is the defending champion at the Lucas Oil Nationals, a four-time winner of the event (1997, 2000, 2005, 2008), and he holds the track record elapsed time at 6.648 seconds set in Aug. of '08.

"I think we finally hit on something that's going to be pretty good," Johnson said. "We picked up two hundredths on our 60-foot this morning, and we've been struggling with that. We also picked up a round, and with these last few races before the Countdown, I think we're going to be fine. We're going to try tuning it up another two-hundredths and keep working on it, that's all there is to it. "

Sunday's Pro Stock winner at Infineon Raceway was Jason Line who defeated Greg Anderson in an all-Pontiac final.

-credit: j2r

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Greg Anderson , Jason Line