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Tommy Johnson Jr. Puts His Chevy on Funny Car Pole After First Day of Qualifying at Chicago Makes Third-Quickest Pass in Funny Car History Click here to download high resolution image JOLIET, Ill., June 9, 2006 - NHRA Funny Car driver Tommy ...

Tommy Johnson Jr. Puts His Chevy on Funny Car Pole After First Day of Qualifying at Chicago

Makes Third-Quickest Pass in Funny Car History Click here to download high resolution image

JOLIET, Ill., June 9, 2006 - NHRA Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson Jr. already has a win this year at Phoenix in his Skoal Chevy Monte Carlo, but now he is vying for his first No. 1 qualifier in more than five years hoping it will lead to season-victory No. 2. Johnson made the third-quickest pass in NHRA Funny Car history in claiming the provisional pole after two of four rounds of qualifying for this weekend's 9th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. His Chevy Monte Carlo had an elapsed time of 4.672 seconds at 328.70 mph in near ideal night-time qualifying conditions.

"I hope it rains all day tomorrow," joked Johnson. "We ran a good run the first run. This track has always been killer for traction, and when you come up here you throw everything you've got at it. Last year we ran a 4.69 and that was my career best. The weather conditions really played into your hand today, the cool conditions and a nice, tight racetrack with the clouds on it all day. I knew [my crew] were going for it. They made changes to the car before the run that we've never made. They were really getting after it. I knew if it stuck it was going to be a good run. I didn't think it was that good of a run. The feeling in the car just didn't feel like it was that good of a run. I knew it was a good run because it was really pulling the front end up as it was going down the track. I was really fighting it all the way. I really had to drive it a lot down the top end. From half-track on it was a pretty good handful. I knew it was a good run, but I didn't know it was a .67. That's pretty stout.

"The guys have worked hard and long, and we've struggled at times, but we've just been a good, solid team waiting for something like this to happen, and I can't think of a better time. It was a total team effort - I just did the driving."

In Pro Stock, Dave Connolly ran a career-best elapsed time in his Skull Gear Chevy Cobalt (6.653 seconds) and Mike Edwards equaled his career-best (6.650 seconds) in his Young Life Pontiac GTO, but unfortunately neither one was good enough for the provisional pole. Edwards ended up No. 2 on the qualifying grid and Connolly was next in line at No. 3, but both drivers were behind provisional pole-sitter Richie Stevens Jr. in a Dodge. Stevens ran a track-record 6.635 e.t. at 207.40 mph.

-gm racing-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Richie Stevens Jr. , Dave Connolly , Mike Edwards , Tommy Johnson Jr.