Topeka: Kurt Johnson Friday notes

Kurt Johnson/ACDelco Racing First Day Qualifying Results/NHRA Summer Nationals Heartland Park Topeka TOPEKA, Kan., May 29, 2009 -- The first day of qualifying for the 21st annual NHRA Summer Nationals was completed today at Heartland ...

Kurt Johnson/ACDelco Racing
First Day Qualifying Results/NHRA Summer Nationals Heartland Park Topeka

TOPEKA, Kan., May 29, 2009 -- The first day of qualifying for the 21st annual NHRA Summer Nationals was completed today at Heartland Park Topeka, and ACDelco's Kurt Johnson will head into the final day of time trials looking to improve on his No. 7 starting position in the Pro Stock category.

In round one of qualifying today Johnson struggled to get his car down the left lane of the hot, slippery racing surface, and his ACDelco Cobalt darted toward the centerline almost immediately after launching. He recovered and rolled to a 6.854 second pass.

"It's a bummer because you go and test and you think you have a combination that's going to go fast," Johnson said. "You come here and the track is so much different (from what it was last week at Atlanta Dragway). It's been throwing a lot of people curves and it really bit us on that first run. We knew it would be hot; we addressed it and that left lane was just terrible, but it's the same for everybody so we have to attack it and get with the program."

During the second session, though, the 46-year-old Northeast Georgian resident rebounded with a solid 6.724 e.t. at 205.69 mph which was good for the No. 7 position -- a spot that Johnson feels confident he can improve upon on Saturday.

"We were actually a little conservative on that run tonight," Johnson said. "We'll have a couple of more opportunities on Saturday and we're going to have to use them to our best advantage. We're happy to be in the top half, and tomorrow could change a little bit but we're going to have to get after it.

"This is kind of fun. I ran a combination tonight on the ACDelco Chevrolet that was probably extremely odd, but it shows potential so we're going to try something new again tomorrow. You get in this window where you get to the edge and you never seem to get out. You have to keep pushing it to find out where your limits are and that's where we're going tomorrow."

Mike Edwards is the No. 1 qualifier in a Pontiac with a 6.674 e.t. at 207.08 mph.

ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 8 p.m. (ET) on Saturday May 30. NHRA Race Day, a 30-minute pre-race show, will air at 11 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, May 31 also on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD. ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will feature three hours of eliminations coverage at 4 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, May 31.

-credit: j2r

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Mike Edwards