Topeka: Kurt Johnson preview

Kurt Johnson Aims for Inaugural Win at Heartland Park Topeka ACDelco Cavalier pilot looks to improve on last year's runner-up finish Sugar Hill, Ga., May 27, 2004 - Over the course of his 11-year NHRA career, Pro Stock standout Kurt Johnson has...

Kurt Johnson Aims for Inaugural Win at Heartland Park Topeka
ACDelco Cavalier pilot looks to improve on last year's runner-up finish

Sugar Hill, Ga., May 27, 2004 - Over the course of his 11-year NHRA career, Pro Stock standout Kurt Johnson has scored 28 national event wins at 15 different tracks. Of the 20 different facilities on the 2003 POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule, the ACDelco Cavalier pilot has reached the winner's circle in all but five. At this weekend's O'Reilly Summer Nationals in Topeka, KS, Johnson will look to reduce that number by one, adding Heartland Park Topeka to his list of successes.

"Heartland Park Topeka is one track that has been fair to me," stated Johnson. "It's never been great nor has it been terrible. Actually, the best outing of my career in Topeka came last year when our ACDelco Cavalier made it to the final round.

"I think we'll be geared up for this weekend's race. One of the goals that we set every year is to win at the tracks where we have yet to win. Hopefully the rain that has dogged the NHRA for the last few weeks will leave us alone, and we can have a good race for ourselves and the fans."

However, in order to put himself in a position to achieve his objective, Johnson knows he must find the proper combination to extract the maximum performance from his race car. Although there has been evidence of its potential in recent outings, the consistency necessary to repeat his stunning victory from earlier this year in Phoenix remains somewhat elusive. Therefore, armed with information obtained at the last event in Chicago, Johnson made the most of the few days between races, searching for speed.

"We're still trying to find the right combination for this car to perform all the way down the quarter-mile," said Johnson. "Right now, it's off in certain areas, and with the competition as close as it is in Pro Stock, there is no room for error. We had changed a few things trying to find some more speed, but it just didn't go down the race track the way we wanted it to.

"I believe I learned a substantial amount in Chicago about what our car needs to run at its best, so we went back to our shop in Sugar Hill and got to work, studying our notes, and trying different things out.

"Basically, we're looking to get the car back to where it was at the beginning of the year. We've had a few days to regroup, and I think the ACDelco Cavalier is going to come out in Topeka firing on all cylinders, ready to add another track to our list of winners."

Facts on Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Racing Team entering the O'Reilly Summer Nationals:

* KJ at Heartland Park Topeka: This will be Kurt's 17th appearance at Heartland Park Topeka, where he has one final round appearance a year ago, and an 16-14 elimination round record. KJ was also the No. 1 qualifier in Joliet in 1995.

* One year ago: Kurt qualified second and powered to his fifth final round of the 2003 season.

* Winning percentage: Kurt's .645 elimination round winning percentage (363-200) ranks 10th among all active NHRA professional drivers.

* National event wins: Kurt's 28 national event victories ties him for 14th on the all-time NHRA professional win list, and tie him for fourth on the all-time Pro Stock win list. Kurt's most recent win came at this year's Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals in Phoenix, AZ.

* Career best elapsed time: 6.716 seconds, Englishtown, NJ. 2003

* Career best top speed: 206.61 mph, Englishtown, NJ. 2003

-j2r-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson