JOHNSON JR. QUALIFIES IN NO. 2 SPOT AT POMONA 1, MAKES SECOND QUICKEST PASS OF CAREER POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 11, 2006) - Defending Winternationals Funny Car winner Tommy Johnson Jr. raced to the second quickest pass of his career Saturday at Auto...
JOHNSON JR. QUALIFIES IN NO. 2 SPOT AT POMONA 1, MAKES SECOND QUICKEST PASS OF CAREER
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 11, 2006) - Defending Winternationals Funny Car winner Tommy Johnson Jr. raced to the second quickest pass of his career Saturday at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona as the veteran racer qualified his Skoal RacingSM Funny Car in the No. 2 position with a 4.710-second elapsed time.
The six-time NHRA winner entered the final day of qualifying for the 36th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals on the outside looking in after his first qualifying attempt was disqualified when the opponent in the other lane hit the timing cones on Thursday afternoon. Johnson used a tune-up from crew chief Mike Green to power the Skoal Racing Chevy to a performance of 4.745 seconds at 325.37 mph on Saturday's opening run. It was the second quickest pass of the session and moved Johnson into the No. 3 qualifying slot. On his final qualifying attempt of the weekend, the Iowa native blasted the Skoal Racing Monte Carlo to a performance of 4.710 at 328.30 to claim the No. 2 qualifying position. It was again the second quickest E.T. of the session.
"I was as nervous as I've ever been coming into today," Johnson said. "We knew the car would run it, but it was just a matter of getting the car to do it. It's really hard to get these cars to run consistent.
"We were going for it on that last run. That was great to go out and run a 4.71. The engine hit the rev limiter really hard and put two cylinders out. It would have run even quicker. Now we've got a good baseline for Sunday, and we can go out and try and repeat."
Johnson looks to claim his second consecutive Winternationals title when he battles No. 15 qualifier Jim Head in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations, which kick-off at 11 a.m. (PT) on Sunday morning. Johnson is 4-1 in his career versus Head.