After battling tire shake on his second attempt on Friday evening, Kurt Johnson came into the final day of qualifying in Sonoma looking to reclaim his position on Sunday's final eliminations ladder. Although the weather conditions on Saturday ...
After battling tire shake on his second attempt on Friday evening, Kurt Johnson came into the final day of qualifying in Sonoma looking to reclaim his position on Sunday's final eliminations ladder. Although the weather conditions on Saturday morning were the best of the four rounds of qualifying, Johnson was unable to take advantage, as he was slowed by a mechanical malfunction.
This left the younger member of the Johnson family in the unenviable position of having one final chance in the heat of the afternoon to earn a spot in the starting line-up. Just as his father had done a week ago in Seattle, Johnson made the most of the opportunity, blasting down the quarter-mile in 6.796 seconds with a top speed of 203.77 mph, slotting the ACDelco Cavalier in the 13th position.
"We may not have been worried going into that last run, but we were certainly a little concerned," stated Johnson. "We were on a good run in the morning session when the motor shut off momentarily. We tracked it down to a problem in the electrical system, so we replaced everything. We're still not quite sure where the trouble came from, so we'll pack up what we replaced, take it back to the dyno room, and determine what failed.
"Luckily, our ACDelco Cavalier made a nice pass and got us in the field. It's unfortunate that we couldn't have made that run right off the bat and tuned it from there, because we'd be qualified higher. But the important part is that we're in the show, which is a battle in itself."
Ironically, Johnson's reward for his efforts was a first-round match-up with his father, six-time Pro Stock champion Warren Johnson.
"Naturally, we would have preferred to face someone other than my father," opined Johnson. "We only want to race each other in the final, but at least we're both racing tomorrow. Our goal is to duplicate what we did in Chicago, getting in on our last qualifying attempt and not looking back, marching through the field to the winner's circle."