JOHNSON JR. BLASTS SKOAL RACING CHEVY TO NO. 2 SPOT FRIDAY AT READING MOHNTON, Pa. (Sept. 16, 2005) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. powered his Skoal RacingSM Chevy Funny Car to the provisional No. 2 qualifying position Friday at Maple Grove Raceway...
JOHNSON JR. BLASTS SKOAL RACING CHEVY TO NO. 2 SPOT FRIDAY AT READING
MOHNTON, Pa. (Sept. 16, 2005) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. powered his Skoal RacingSM Chevy Funny Car to the provisional No. 2 qualifying position Friday at Maple Grove Raceway after the veteran racer drove his Monte Carlo to a pass of 4.794 seconds at 324.59! mph under the lights at the Reading track.
The six-time NHRA winner opened qualifying at a surprisingly dry Maple Grove Raceway by driving his Mike Green/Johnny West-tuned Chevy flopper to the quickest pass of the opening qualifying session as T.J. clocked a run of 4.861 seconds at 311.85 mph to lead the Funny Car field after the first of four scheduled qualifying sessions.
"Friday night is so important these days, and I thought we had to really concentrate on making a good qualify effort this weekend," Johnson said. "After being No. 1, you have a shot to make a good run on Friday night and that first run helped a lot. It's so important to make a good pass on the first run to put yourself near the back of the order for the night run."
On Friday's second pass, Johnson bettered his opening mark as he sped Don Prudhomme's Skoal Racing flopper to a performance of 4.794 at 324.59 to finish second in the 16-car order. It was Johnson's sixth 4.7-second E.T. of the 2005 NHRA season. The Iowa native has qualified second once this year (Brainerd, Minn.). Only two drivers, Johnson and Gary Scelzi, ran in the 4.7-second range on Friday.
"The guys are trying some different things this weekend," Johnson said. "It's really showing a lot of promise. They weren't trying to go much quicker than that. They were trying to run a 4.78 or 4.79. It was a good solid run. Sure, I would have liked to have stayed No. 1, but there's nothing wrong with No. 2."
The Skoal Racing team looks to improve upon their No. 2 position as Johnson eyes his first No. 1 qualifying effort of the season when Funny Car qualifying continues at noon and 3 p.m. (ET) on Saturday at Maple Grove Raceway. Johnson won the Reading race in 1999.