Kurt Johnson Aims to Maintain Sizzling Pace in Sonoma ACDelco Crew Works to Deliver Back-to-Back Wins in the Napa Valley Sugar Hill, Ga., July 26, 2005 - As the nation swelters under the blistering heat of summer, the NHRA's Pro Stock...
Kurt Johnson Aims to Maintain Sizzling Pace in Sonoma
ACDelco Crew Works to Deliver Back-to-Back Wins in the Napa Valley
Sugar Hill, Ga., July 26, 2005 - As the nation swelters under the blistering heat of summer, the NHRA's Pro Stock division is experiencing its own heat wave in the form of second generation racer Kurt Johnson. In the last three races, Johnson and the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team have won twice, established new career bests in elapsed time and top speed, and scored 310 points, which is over 100 more than anyone else in this highly competitive category.
This stellar performance has allowed the popular young driver to move into fourth place in the POWERade Championship standings and reestablish himself as a contender for the 2005 title. Entering this weekend's event at Infineon Raceway, Johnson will look to maintain this feverish pace and move even closer to the top.
"Everything is going really well right now," stated Johnson. "In fact, before the final in Seattle, Kevin (ACDelco team member Horst) came into our transporter and mentioned how this just wasn't our normal luck, and that the planets really seemed to be aligned at the moment.
"However, we're not about to rely on luck to get us through. We're going to keep working hard and making sure our ACDelco Cobalt keeps going down the racetrack. We tested after Englishtown and found a way to handle a hot track, and so far it's gotten the job done. The good news is that it's supposed to be hot this weekend in Sonoma, and we're looking forward seeing what we can do to stay hot and keep moving forward."
This weekend, drag racing's premier professional series will look to wrap up their annual West Coast Swing at Infineon Raceway. Located in the Napa Valley north of San Francisco, this state-of-the-art, multipurpose motorsports facility is one of the crown jewels on the NHRA circuit, adding even more incentive for those looking to finish this three-race stretch on a winning note. Having won there five years ago, Johnson knows what it takes, and, armed with a fast race car and team whose confidence has been bolstered by their recent performance, arrives in Sonoma ready to take care of business.
"I remember when we won in 2000, it was extremely hot and I had to face Jeggie in the semis and Allen Johnson in the final," recalled Johnson. "I had to make some drastic changes to the set-up due to the heat, but it all worked out.
"Infineon is a great place to race. It can be cool in the morning, and scorching hot in the afternoon, requiring completely different tune-ups. It's one of Bruton Smith's tracks, so we know it is a superb facility that is also run properly, which can make a huge difference to both the racers and the fans during the weekend.
"When you have momentum, and everything is clicking as we seem to be right now, it breeds confidence. You don't want to get ahead of yourself, so you have to stay on top of things every step of the way. We plan on working twice as hard from here on out to make sure we maintain this performance. It's not going to be easy, but this ACDelco Cobalt crew is committed to the cause."
Notes on Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team entering
the NHRA California Nationals:
* KJ has had success in Sonoma: This will be Kurt's 13th appearance at Infineon Raceway, where he has one win in 2000 in two final round appearances, and a 17-11 elimination round record in his 12 previous starts.
* Kurt Qualifies Well at Infineon: In 12 starts in the NAPA valley, Kurt has three No. 1 qualifying performances in 1995, 1996 & 1999, and only two starts outside the top half of the field, with an average starting position of 5.25.
* One year ago: Kurt qualified twelfth with an elapsed time of 6.746 seconds and a top speed of 204.54 mph, but fell in the first round.
* Back-to-Back, Jack?: KJ will be looking to score consecutive wins for the fifth time in his career, having last accomplished this feat in 2003 with wins in Houston, TX and Bristol, TN.
* Career Best Elapsed Time: 6.665 sec., Seattle, WA 7/23/05
* Career best top speed: 207.15 mph, Seattle, WA 7/23/05