JOHNSON JR. BLASTS TO NO. 2 SPOT AT DALLAS ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 23, 2006) & ...
JOHNSON JR. BLASTS TO NO. 2 SPOT AT DALLAS
ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 23, 2006) Tommy Johnson, Jr. powered his Don "the Snake" Prudhomme-owned Skoal RacingSM Chevy Funny Car to the No. 2 qualifying position Saturday at Texas Motorplex after clocking a 4.778-second elapsed time.
After posting the fourth quickest run of the opening day of qualifying at the 21st annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals at 4.857-seconds, the eight-time NHRA winner powered his silver-and-blue Skoal Racing flopper to a solid performance of 4.878 seconds at 316.75 mph on Saturday's opening session, which was delayed due to an afternoon rain shower.
"It was a decent run for that session, probably fourth or fifth quick of the session," Johnson said. "Mike (Green) made a lot of changes to the tune-up. With the weather changing from the rain to sun to cloudy, he just wanted to make it down the track. It was a little soft, but it was a nice, conservative run. That gave me a lot of confidence coming into our final run."
The veteran nitro pilot saved his best for last as he used a tune-up from crew chief Mike Green to blister the all-concrete quarter mile in 4.778 at 324.90 to card the second quickest elapsed time of qualifying. It marks the second time this season that Johnson has qualified second. It is the ninth time in his driving career that the Iowa native will start from the No. 2 position. For the second straight event, the Skoal Racing team earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge Award.
"I knew with the data that Mike (Green) had that we'd make a strong run," Johnson said. "I told the guys that it would run a 4.77. I can tell by Mike's face, we've been together for so long now. He's in a good mood and his confidence level is up. Sure enough, we ran a 4.77. No. 2 isn't bad. I'm happy with it."
Johnson, a two-time winner this season, will battle first-year Funny Car driver Jack Beckman in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations which begin at 11 a.m. (CT) at the Dallas-area track.