Sonoma Kurt Johnson Finals Notes

SONOMA, Calif.; August 8, 1999 - Kurt Johnson put his ACDelco Camaro in the No. 1 qualifying spot for the fourth time this season and advanced to the final round for the fifth time in 1999 at the Autolite Nationals at Sears Point Raceway. He ...

SONOMA, Calif.; August 8, 1999 - Kurt Johnson put his ACDelco Camaro in the No. 1 qualifying spot for the fourth time this season and advanced to the final round for the fifth time in 1999 at the Autolite Nationals at Sears Point Raceway. He finished as runner-up to Jim Yates, a reversal of last weekend's results in Seattle. Kurt set the Sears Point Raceway elapsed time track record at 6.898 seconds. His father Warren qualified second, marking the eighth race this season that the Johnsons have captured the top two qualifying spots. "We had problems on the first two qualifying runs and weren't even in the show on Friday night," Kurt recalled. "The track really came to us on Saturday. We stood up the spoiler and put some more downforce on the rear tires, and that was really the only change we made. We left one or two hundredths on the table because the clutch was a still a little too soft, but the track and atmospheric conditions were definitely better." Johnson's first two opponents in eliminations, Tony Gillig and Mike Thomas, both redlighted. Kurt outran Richie Stevens in the semi-final round and recorded his first 200 mph pass at Sears Point Raceway with a winning 6.956/200.02 mph run. In the final round, Johnson and Yates left the starting line side-by-side, but K.J.'s Camaro quickly encountered traction problems and slowed to an 11-second e.t. "We came up about 1300 feet short on that run," said the disappointed driver. "I ran in the left lane all day long, but in the final round it seemed like the starting line changed. The track cooled off and should have been better, but the tires didn't want to hold the track in the first two feet. The clutch just locked up and away she went. "I came out of the three-race Western Swing with a win, a runner-up, and a semi-final finish - that's not a bad average," said Kurt. "Now I'm going to go home and see if my family recognizes me. I've been on the road for 12 days, and the only time they see me is when I'm on TV." After a welcome weekend at home, Kurt will be back in action at the Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., on August 19-22.

KURT JOHNSON RACE RESULTS: Qualifying: Kurt Johnson qualified No. 1 at 6.898/199.91 mph. Eliminations: First Round: Kurt Johnson (7.052/197.80) defeated Tony Gillig (17.280/45.56 - foul) Second Round: Kurt Johnson (6.990/199.46) defeated Mike Thomas (7.008/197.54 - foul) Semi-Final: Kurt Johnson (6.956/200.02) defeated Richie Stevens (7.063/195.45) Final Round: Jim Yates (6.982/197.48) defeated Kurt Johnson (11.579/75.75)

Low ET: Kurt Johnson, 6.898 seconds (track record) Top Speed: Warren Johnson, 200.77 mph (track record)

POINTS RACE: (After 14 of 22 events) Driver Wins Points 1. Warren Johnson 5 1,123 2. Kurt Johnson 3 1,022 3. Jim Yates 2 909 4. Jeg Coughlin 2 785 5. Richie Stevens 1 735

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Gillig , Mike Thomas , Jeg Coughlin , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson