Johnson improves in each round leading up to eliminations in Pomona POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 11, 2006) -- Saturday was all about finding the limits of what Tommy Johnson Jr. could do behind the wheel of his Don Prudhomme-owned Skoal Racingsm Monte...
Johnson improves in each round leading up to eliminations in Pomona
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 11, 2006) -- Saturday was all about finding the limits of what Tommy Johnson Jr. could do behind the wheel of his Don Prudhomme-owned Skoal Racingsm Monte Carlo.
The car smoked the tires in the first run before running a 4.725-second pass at 327.35 mph -- the best qualifying pass for Johnson at the NHRA season finale Automobile Club of Southern California Finals.
"We wanted to find the boundaries of what the car could do before Sunday's final eliminations," Johnson said. "The first session we went for it and tried to run a high 4.60 and we smoked the tires. So we backed it down and ran a very conservative 4.72. That gives a lot of confidence going into the eliminations because we easily ran a 4.72 so now we know we have that capability.
"I'm definitely more confident going into the race because of the two passes we made today."
Johnson qualified in the No. 7 position and will face Gary Scelzi in the first round. Johnson has one career win in two final round appearances at Pomona Raceway along with one No. 1 qualifying award.
"I think we found out just how aggressive we can be with the left lane which could be very important," Johnson said. "Lane choice could be a factor here. It might be just a little difference, but it could still be a difference. Getting in the top half of the field was big.
"We were able to qualify well in the first round, which took the pressure off and allowed us to improve on our runs each session."
Johnson has two wins in three final rounds this season and is aiming to win rounds in hopes of moving up into the top five of the NHRA POWERade Funny Car standings.
Luck, however, might not have anything to do with Sunday's results.
"I really think that to win this event, you are going to have to earn every round," Johnson said. "Sometimes it seems like we have a lucky round where we catch a break on our way to the victory, but I don't think that will be the case tomorrow. The winner is going to need four solid round wins to get the trophy this time."
Final eliminations for the 23rd of 23 NHRA POWERade events will start at 11 a.m. on Sunday.