At the pace Kurt Johnson was clicking the slow motion button on his video remote it was surely going to give out.
Johnson was advancing the video, which with every click of the remote button, advanced .018 of a second, seeking some kind of proof his car had left .22 to early. The more Johnson clicked, the less evidence he saw confirming his disqualification against Vincent Nobile in the first round of the NHRA Sonoma Nationals.
“I believe what I see and I know I didn’t move first,” Johnson told ESPN2’s Dave Rieff. “Vincent was .006 red and I was two tenths. At 12 clicks you will be at a .00 [reaction] on the tree. I was at 13 clicks meaning I was .030 or .030 on the tree.”
Johnson questioned why his 60-foot incremental timing was off by .2 as well as his reaction time.
“The numbers don’t add up and the car didn’t move,” said Johnson. “I basically got screwed on this one. The biggest thing is I don’t want it to happen again. We could use those 20 points.”
Johnson would have liked an answer for what transpired.
“The NHRA didn’t have an answer and neither did the timing people,” Johnson said. “They thought there might have been something hanging from the car and it triggered the guard beam. I looked under the car and there were no wires hanging, nothing there. My car is an eighth inch higher in the front end, it just wasn’t our day.”
Graham Light, NHRA Sr. VP of Operations at NHRA, confirmed Compulink timing technician Jeff Foster looked over videos and data sheets related to the run.
“Clearly Kurt’s reaction time was incorrect,” said Light. “He [Foster] thinks something triggered the guard beam. This would have caused the red-light. There is no conclusive evidence we could use to overcome the result of the race. Clearly Vincent got to the finish line first.”
Light said he didn’t know whether Johnson left before Nobile.
“Even if Kurt left after Vincent and he was deep-staged, he could have gotten a red-light by leaving slightly later,” Light said. “We are dealing with thousandths of seconds and you can’t make up numbers nor can you overturn something unless you have clear evidence. At this point we don’t.”
Light confirmed Foster is still poring over the evidence to determine a clear resolution.
“At this point, the race stands as it is,” Light concluded.
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