Championship Drag Racing

NHRA Nationals
Las Vegas, NV
(April 6-9)

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Driver Profile
Kurt Johnson
Mark Christopher Auto Center Chevrolet Cobalt

KJ will rely on hard work, not luck to win in Vegas

Las Vegas, pre-race: Racers by nature are a very superstitious lot.  From the local weekend warrior to the highest professional series, competitors will unfailingly follow certain routines in order to preserve their luck or extend a winning streak.  From wearing of particular articles of clothing to using the same sequence when strapping into their race car, great care is taken to maintain the positive atmosphere.

Entering this weekend’s Nationals in Las Vegas, NV, however, Kurt Johnson and his ACDelco Cobalt Racing team prefer to take a more pragmatic approach.  Even though some of the events surrounding their on-track efforts in the early stages of the 2006 season would have others searching for a four-leaf clover or rabbit’s foot, this tightly-knit crew focuses instead on testing and checking every component to ensure they will be at their best when arriving in Glitter Gulch. 

“I felt sick after we had our problems in Houston, but this ACDelco Cobalt crew regrouped and had a good test to get ready for our race in Las Vegas,” said Johnson.  “I felt like we made big gains last weekend, straightening the car out and turning our program around.  We certainly could have won in Texas, but had a freak thing happen to us during eliminations, so we’re just going to put it behind us and do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

One factor undoubtedly aiding the team’s outlook heading into this race is their performance during the most recent NHRA national event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  After three runner-up finishes in their previous 10 visits to the Nevada quarter-mile, Johnson & Co. put it all together last October, qualifying second, powering through two former champions and a promising young driver in the early rounds, before culminating with an exciting and popular holeshot victory in the final round against arch-rival Greg Anderson, rewarding their primary sponsor with a win at their event. 

“We’re excited to be heading back to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway,” stated Johnson.  “We have a combination that won the last time we were there, and been to four final rounds overall.   We’ve also gotten our ACDelco Cobalt back under control, so we should be back in the top four positions in qualifying, and going rounds on Sunday.  

“We like racing in Las Vegas.  After all, it is the city of entertainment.  We are always pumped when we go there, and have a great time on and off the track.  We see the last few races as simply building our odds for this weekend, and now it’s time to cash in.”

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