Commerce: Tommy Johnson Jr Saturday summary

DRAMATIC JOHNSON JR. MAKES THE FIELD AT ATLANTA COMMERCE, Ga. (May 6, 2006) - Tommy Johnson Jr. positioned his Skoal RacingSM Chevy Funny Car into the 16-car Funny Car field Saturday at Atlanta Dragway as qualifying for the 26th annual Summit...

DRAMATIC JOHNSON JR. MAKES THE FIELD AT ATLANTA

COMMERCE, Ga. (May 6, 2006) - Tommy Johnson Jr. positioned his Skoal RacingSM Chevy Funny Car into the 16-car Funny Car field Saturday at Atlanta Dragway as qualifying for the 26th annual Summit Racing Southern Nationals was completed. The seven-time NHRA winner used a qualifying-best elapsed time of 4.875 seconds.

Using a flair for the dramatic, the Iowa made the 16-car field on his fourth and final qualifying attempt on a warm spring afternoon in Northern Georgia. Struggling on his first three runs of the weekend, Johnson entered the final qualifying session in the No. 22 spot with a best run of 6.825-seconds. He need to run 4.876 seconds or quicker to make the cut. Johnson used a tune-up from crew chief Mike Green to blast the Skoal Racing Monte Carlo to a performance of 4.875 seconds at 321.50 mph to claim the 16th and final qualifying position by one thousandth of-a-second. It is the 11th time in his veteran driving career that Johnson will start from the No. 16 position.

"That was a lot more stress than I'd like for qualifying," Johnson said. "We got behind the eight-ball on the first run and had some weird things going on with the race car, but the guys got it done under pressure. That was one of the more nervous times in my career knowing that we have such a good race car and we're third in points. We seem to have gotten a handle on it that last session. Even though we're 16th, I think we've got a better race car than qualifying showed."

Johnson will battle No. 1 qualifier and 13-time NHRA champion John Force in the first round of Funny Car eliminations, which get under way at 11 a.m. (ET) on Sunday at the Georgia drag strip. Johnson is 7-19 in his career against Force. He knocked off drag racing's all-time winningest driver in the final at Phoenix in February to score his seventh career victory.

-www.snakeracing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Tommy Johnson , Tommy Johnson Jr.