JOHNSON JR. RACES TO FIRST-ROUND FINISH AT SCHUCK'S AUTO SUPPLY NHRA NATIONALS KENT, Washington (July 23, 2007) -- With mother nature wreaking havoc this weekend at the 20th annual Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals, officials were forced to...
JOHNSON JR. RACES TO FIRST-ROUND FINISH AT SCHUCK'S AUTO SUPPLY NHRA NATIONALS
KENT, Washington (July 23, 2007) -- With mother nature wreaking havoc this weekend at the 20th annual Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals, officials were forced to set the elimination fields Saturday evening after just one round of Funny Car qualifying was completed. After racing his SKOAL Racing Chevrolet Impala to the sixth fastest position in an abbreviated qualifying session on Saturday, former track winner Tommy Johnson Jr. posted a round-one finish Sunday afternoon.
A former winner at Pacific Raceways (Top Fuel - 1993), Johnson went head to head with a familiar face, Del Worsham, who Johnson had faced 22 times in his career prior to today. However, Johnson and the SKOAL Racing Team had their back against the walls heading into Sunday's encounter. During Saturday's lone qualifying run, the entire motor and body were lost when the engine broke several major parts on the run, causing the body to fly off and shatter into pieces.
After Johnson's crew worked diligently to fix the Chevrolet Impala, he was back in business Sunday afternoon for his first round run against Worsham.
The two funny cars left the starting grid together and Worsham eventually pulled away as Johnson slowed up near the 1000 foot lights. Worsham crossed the finish line in 4.807 seconds at 318.47 mph. Johnson's speed was 252.47 mph in 5.061 seconds.
"It was a tough weekend with the weather and conditions at Seattle", said Johnson. "It is always tough when you get one qualifying session. After the big explosion Saturday we change a bunch of stuff to correct the problem, but without any runs on it we went into Sunday hoping for the best. We had a fuel system problem that caused tire shake, I peddled it, but Worsham made a great run."
Johnson and the team are optimistic heading into Sonoma.
"We are making some serious changes to our car for Sonoma and hopefully we can get the performance back on track and get into the final eight for the Countdown to the Championship. The pressure is on, but we will rise to the occasion."
The SKOAL Racing team will next compete at the Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals, July 27-29, at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.