Gainesville: Tommy Johnson preview

Tommy Johnson anxious to get back to racing. GAINESVILLE, Fla., March 10, 2003 - Most NHRA drivers will tell you they prefer racing as often as possible. Two weekends off between events, to some, seems like an eternity. Tommy Johnson Jr. is...

Tommy Johnson anxious to get back to racing.

GAINESVILLE, Fla., March 10, 2003 - Most NHRA drivers will tell you they prefer racing as often as possible. Two weekends off between events, to some, seems like an eternity.

Tommy Johnson Jr. is one of those.

"I'll definitely be ready to race when we get to Gainesville," said the driver of Don "The Snake" Prudhomme's Blue Skoal Racing Camaro, referring to the Mac Tools Gatornationals, March 14-16, at Gainesville Raceway. Johnson didn't get as much seat time as he would've preferred at the Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals, Feb. 23, at Phoenix, so the 18-day pause seems much longer.

"There is one positive, though," he added. "I didn't need surgery on my finger and it has been getting better."

Johnson snapped the tendons around the top knuckle on the middle finger of his right hand at Phoenix. The finger has been in a splint and he's been told not to bend the knuckle. He doesn't expect it to bother him.

"I had a carbon fiber splint made for the finger," he said. "I want something that will absolutely prevent me from bending the finger. One doctor told me I wouldn't need surgery as long as I didn't bend the knuckle for six weeks. I can bend my finger in the middle, but I don't want to bend the top knuckle."

Johnson comes to Gainesville in seventh place with 104 points. He lost a first-round match to Whit Bazemore with a quality, 4.893-second run. Bazemore, however, ran 4.869.

"I looked at what we did in Phoenix and I think we had a great weekend," Johnson commented. "We just happened to run against a car that ran better. We could've won several other pairings. It's not like it was a bad weekend; it wasn't quite good enough. We're getting better every week.

"This is the toughest part of the schedule, as far as I'm concerned," he continued. "You just get started and get back into the swing of things and then there's only one race in March. Then we come to April where we only have one weekend off.

"We will be ready to go. Mike (Green, crew chief) and the guys have been working hard to get the car running well. I'm looking forward to going to Gainesville."

-dpr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , Tommy Johnson , Tommy Johnson Jr.