JOHNSON JR. EARNS A ROUND WIN ON THE STARTING LINE AT MAPLE GROVE RACEWAY READING, Pa., (Oct. 1, 2006) -- The last time Tommy Johnson, Jr. beat John Force in a battle between Funny Cars it was in the final round of the Phoenix event earlier this...
JOHNSON JR. EARNS A ROUND WIN ON THE STARTING LINE AT MAPLE GROVE RACEWAY
READING, Pa., (Oct. 1, 2006) -- The last time Tommy Johnson, Jr. beat John Force in a battle between Funny Cars it was in the final round of the Phoenix event earlier this season. It was the first of two wins chalked up by the Don "the Snake" Prudhomme-owned Skoal Racingsm Monte Carlo so far this season.
No doubt Force has tried to get Johnson back ever since. Johnson earned a first round win Sunday against Jim Head before coming up short against a second round matchup against Force Sunday at the 22nd annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals.
Johnson drove his No. 1 qualifying Skoal Racingsm Monte Carlo to a 4.762-second pass at 313.07, falling to Force's 4.785 at 293.09 in the second round. The difference was the starting line, which is exactly how Johnson won his first round race against Jim Head.
Head turned in a quicker but losing 4.767 run at 320.36, losing to Johnson's 4.787 at 318.39 in the Mike Green tuned-machine. Johnson won on the starting line with a .097 reaction time to Head's .125 reaction time.
"The track wasn't as good to us today, especially at the top end and we spun the tires down there both times and that hurt us a little bit," Johnson said. "I got left on a little bit in the second round and that's such a disappointing thing. I got a holeshot win for this team in Dallas and another one for them in the first round but I guess you can't always be perfect.
"It just makes me more hungry to get after the next win. It helps knowing I have such a great car. It's frustrating to not walk away with the win here, but we'll put it all together next week in Richmond."
Johnson, the 1999 winner of this event, started the weekend with a track record 4.693 qualifying pass at 327.27 to earn his seventh No. 1 qualifying award of his career and second of the season.
"This car is not only consistently quick, but it gets down the track every run," Johnson said. "It's very predictable and that's what we want. Mike Green's tuneup is so good that we can adjust the car so it will go down the track no matter what the conditions are. That's been the key for us lately. That's hard to come by so we're going to keep working to maintain that consistency."
Final eliminations can be seen tonight on ESPN2 starting at 7 p.m. (ET).
The NHRA's next stop is the Torco Racing Fuels Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va., starting Friday.
-credit: snake racing