Las Vegas Saturday test notes 2007-01-20

TOMMY JOHNSON JR. HIGHLIGHTS SECOND DAY OF TESTING AS TEAMS PREPARE FOR WINTERNATIONALS LAS VEGAS -- Tommy Johnson Jr. topped the Funny Car field during the second day of testing at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Headliners of the...

TOMMY JOHNSON JR. HIGHLIGHTS SECOND DAY OF TESTING AS TEAMS PREPARE FOR WINTERNATIONALS

LAS VEGAS -- Tommy Johnson Jr. topped the Funny Car field during the second day of testing at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Headliners of the NHRA POWERade Series -- including category rookie Ashley Force - completed another fruitful test session on Saturday, gathering valuable information as the clock ticks closer to the opening day of the 47th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 8-11. The event, at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif. is the first of 23 events in the $50 million POWERade Series.

Johnson Jr. turned in a 5.018-second, planned half-pass at 219.26 mph in his new Skoal Racing Chevy Impala SS.

"I'm elated with how testing is going so far," said Johnson Jr., adding that his crew has invested hours of work into figuring out the new body. "That's the fastest I've ever ran at half-track. I'm extremely pleased with what we have so far. We were probably on a 4.6-something run. It's showing all the signs of what we thought it would do."

This season professional drivers will vie for valuable points toward NHRA POWERade world championship titles in the multitiered Countdown to the Championship.

Utilizing the final-elimination-round concept synonymous with the sport of NHRA POWERade Drag Racing, where winners move on and losers go home, the NHRA POWERade Countdown to the Championship features three distinct periods during the 23-race NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series when competitors will be eliminated from the championship hunt in a playoff-style format.

Johnson Jr.'s first new Impala body was waiting for him in the shop when he returned from the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals last fall.

In Top Fuel, Bob Vandergriff paced the pack with a 4.78 at 236.17 in his UPS Top Fuel dragster. Pro Stock Motorcycle's Mike Berry got an early jump on the season, posting a 7.215 at 183.17 on his Suzuki.

<pre> Saturday's best runs, listed in order of elapsed time in Top Fuel at the NHRA Nitro Blast-off: Psn Num Driver Home Town Car Type TT ET TT Spd Top Spd 1 12 Bob Vandergriff Alpharetta GA McKinney BAE 4.780 236.17 236.17 2 104 Clay Millican Drummonds TN Hadman BAE 4.879 213.40 213.40 3 4 David Grubnic Ypsilanti MI Attac TFX 4.940 212.83 212.83 4 763 Hillary Will Ypsilanti MI Attac TFX 5.234 183.27 183.27 5 1301 Doug Foley Sewell NJ McKinney TFX 7.905 99.96 99.96

Saturday's best runs, listed in order of elapsed time in Funny Car. Psn Num Driver Home Town Car Type TT ET TT Spd Top Spd 1 503 Tommy Johnson Jr Avon IN '06 Impala 5.018 219.26 219.26 2 782 Gary Densham Bellflower CA '05 Monte Carlo 5.133 214.28 214.28 3 4 Eric Medlen Yorba Linda CA '05 Mustang 5.273 195.53 195.53 4 8 Del Worsham Chino Hills CA '05 Monte Carlo 5.309 197.05 197.05 5 3 John Force Yorba Linda CA '05 Mustang 5.471 195.19 195.19 6 170 Jeff Arend San Dimas CA '05 Monte Carlo 5.627 172.43 172.43 7 319 Scott Kalitta Ypsilanti MI '07 Solara 6.056 143.19 143.19 8 711 Jack Beckman Brownsburg IN '06 Charger 9.335 86.13 86.13 9 7321 Ashley Force Yorba Linda CA '05 Mustang 10.824 71.88 71.88 10 5 Robert Hight Yorba Linda CA '05 Mustang 12.648 72.78 72.78

Saturday's best runs, listed in order of elapsed time in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Psn Num Rider Home Town Machine TT ET TT Spd Top Spd 1 573 Mike Berry Littleton CO Suzuki 7.215 183.17 183.17

-credit: nhra

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Series NHRA
Drivers Clay Millican , Del Worsham , John Force , Mike Berry , Tommy Johnson , David Grubnic , Gary Densham , Scott Kalitta , Jack Beckman , Ashley Force , Doug Foley , Jeff Arend , Eric Medlen , Bob Vandergriff , Robert Hight , Hillary Will , Tommy Johnson Jr.