Championship Drag Racing

Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals
Chicago, Ill.
(June 5-8)

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Driver Profile
Kurt Johnson
Mark Christopher Auto Center Chevrolet Cobalt

KJ hunting wins, not points

Chicago, pre-race: For the first time in five years, Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Cobalt Racing team will arrive at an NHRA national event as the leaders in the POWERade Pro Stock Championship standings. Although naturally pleased with their current standing, with more than half the season remaining, including the final six-race Countdown to One playoff, everyone on the team realizes that the battle has just begun. Therefore, their focus entering this weekend’s Torco Racing Fuels Nationals in Joliet, Ill., remains squarely on winning their second race of the season.

“We’ve done well so far, but it’s still early,” said Johnson. “At this point, we would like to have more than one win, but this category is so tough, as shown by the eight different winners in nine races. So far, it has been a crazy year in Pro Stock, so we’re pretty pleased to have our ACDelco Cobalt at the top of the page.

“However, being in front only really matters at the end of year, so our goals haven’t changed in the least. We enter every race looking to win, including this weekend in Joliet. Therefore, we’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing, trying to win as many as we can and let the points take care of themselves.”

A look back at Johnson’s ascension to the top of the standings shows a steady and consistent performance by the red, white and blue crew throughout 2008. In the first nine races, the second-generation racer has earned eight Top Five starts and five finishes in the semi-finals or better, highlighted by his win in Madison one month ago. Even so, with the “factory hot rods” in the midst of one of their most competitive seasons, the team knows further improvement will be necessary to maintain their ranking, and welcome the chance to compete on a track where they have experienced success in the past.

“Our ACDelco Cobalt is running well, with everyone on the team doing their job, and we’re going to keep plugging away, doing whatever we can to make it better,” said Johnson. “Looking at our results so far, we’re not anticipating any major changes. It’s just that now that we’re ahead, we feel that we need to pay even more attention to every detail. Our plan is to look at the overall program and see if there is anything we might be missing or can improve.

“We’re looking forward to going to Route 66 Raceway. It’s one of the best facilities we go to, and we’ve had good success there in the past. With two national event wins and last year’s King Demon Crown (the Pro Stock all-star race, which had been held in Joliet the last few years), we have a solid notebook on the track, so we should be in good shape this weekend. With the combination of a good race car and a good track, I think it’s time to turn up the wick.”

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