KJ's Topeka Rollercoaster Stops in the Quarterfinals Throughout his 15-year Pro Stock career, Kurt Johnson has had a rollercoaster relationship with Heartland Park Topeka, site of Sunday's O'Reilly NHRA Summernationals. After qualifying ...
KJ's Topeka Rollercoaster Stops in the Quarterfinals
Throughout his 15-year Pro Stock career, Kurt Johnson has had a rollercoaster relationship with Heartland Park Topeka, site of Sunday's O'Reilly NHRA Summernationals. After qualifying his ACDelco Cobalt in the seventh position, the second-generation racer entered final eliminations looking to improve upon his runner-up finish from a year ago.
Things went according to plan in the first round, as Johnson bettered his quickest elapsed time from qualifying by almost four hundredths of a second, with his strong 6.707-second, 205.41 mph pass giving him the win over veteran Mike Edwards. In the second round against David Connolly, however, he was unable to duplicate this performance, slowing to a 6.743-second time, allowing his opponent, who carded a 6.739-second time, to gain the round win.
"The bottom line is that the track temperature went up for the second round, and we just didn't make enough adjustments to compensate. There are a lot of good cars in Pro Stock, and we consider our ACDelco Cobalt to be one of them. However, to win you have to have the whole combination -- the lid, the can and all the ingredients, as well as a little luck and we were slightly off today.
"We made a good run in the first round -- in fact, it corrected to be one of the best we have made in a while. Unfortunately, we made a few changes for the second round, going in the right direction, but it wasn't enough. As a result, it spun the tires and went right. We had a good car today, but didn't win, so we'll keep after it until we do. We'll get there."