Johnson Jr. Suffers First Round Setback At Houston BAYTOWN, Texas (April 18, 2004) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Skoal RacingSM crew continued their weekend trend of consistent performances with their Don "the Snake" Prudhomme-owned Chevy Monte...
Johnson Jr. Suffers First Round Setback At Houston
BAYTOWN, Texas (April 18, 2004) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Skoal RacingSM crew continued their weekend trend of consistent performances with their Don "the Snake" Prudhomme-owned Chevy Monte Carlo Funny Car. However, the five-time NHRA winner was defeated in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations Sunday at Houston Raceway Park.
Johnson, who qualified in the No. 5 position, powered his Mike Green-tuned Chevy flopper to a run of 4.924 seconds at 303.03 mph, but was edged at the finish line by John Force, who drove to a performance of 4.847 at 308.99. It was Force's best elapsed time of the weekend.
"You hate to lose and you're disappointed, but you can't be upset because we didn't beat ourselves," Johnson said. "We went down the race track and made a good run. The problem is that we drew the wrong guy. (John) Force stepped it up. You knew he was capable of doing that, but you can't go out there and try and go quicker and smoke the tires just because you're running John Force."
Despite the early-round setback, Johnson made five consistent, full passes down the Houston Raceway Park quarter mile and is confident that his Skoal Racing Chevy Funny Car will be a contender in the Funny Car ranks.
"Now that we've made it down the track five runs in a row, the car is a lot more tunable," Johnson said. "The guys are learning how to make it go quicker and a lot of positives came out of this race even though we lost early."
ESPN2 will televise two hours of final eliminations coverage from the O'Reilly Spring Nationals at 5 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, April 18.
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the fourth annual O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals, April 30-May 2, at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tenn.