Sonoma: Tommy Johnson eliminations summary

Johnson reaches quarterfinals again; Capps loses to Skuza SONOMA, Calif., Aug. 3, 2003 - Skoal Racing Funny Car teammates Tommy Johnson Jr. and Ron Capps had the same results at each stop during the just-completed NHRA western swing - races at...

Johnson reaches quarterfinals again; Capps loses to Skuza

SONOMA, Calif., Aug. 3, 2003 - Skoal Racing Funny Car teammates Tommy Johnson Jr. and Ron Capps had the same results at each stop during the just-completed NHRA western swing - races at Denver Seattle preceding Sunday's Fram/Autolite Nationals Sunday at Infineon Raceway.

Johnson advanced to the quarterfinals each time while Capps didn't get out of the first round.

It was deja vu all over again for Johnson, whose competitive Sunday was ended by John Force for the second straight week. This time, however, the race was of the throttle-pedaling, tire smoking variety with Force winning because his car lost traction after Johnson's Blue Camaro.

"The tires shook and smoked," Johnson recalled, "and I saw his car doing the same thing. He had the momentum because he got a little farther down the track than we did before his tires started smoking and we couldn't catch up."

Force got the win light with a 5.664-second time at 253.09 mph; Johnson trailed at 6.017 at 215.48.

"All-in-all, it was good western swing for our Blue crew," added Johnson. "We didn't win a round in these three races last year and this time we picked up some points on Capps in the POWERade standings."

Capps used a good reaction time to grab an early lead against Dean Skuza in the first round, but Capps' Green Camaro lost traction near the finish line and Skuza won with a 4.967 at 301.40 to Capps' 5.044 at 290.01. Skuza went on to finish second, losing to Gary Scelzi in the finals.

"This is the first year we've struggled at all three races on the swing," said Capps. "It's been a little frustrating, but nobody is more disappointed than Ace (crew chief Ed 'Ace' McCulloch). He'll do whatever it takes to find out what the problems are."

Although Capps is sixth in points, he's only six points out of fifth place. He has 830 points to 836 for Gary Densham. Johnson is seventh at 780.

The team returns to action at Brainerd, Minn., Aug. 15-17.

Qualified: No. 8, Johnson, 4.933 at 306.05 mph; Capps, No. 10, 4.937 seconds at 302.08

First round: Johnson, 5.038 at 286.44 def. Tim Wilkerson, 25309 at 50.36; Dean Skuza, 4.967 at 301.40 def. Capps, 5.044 at 290.11; Quarterfinals: John Force, 5.664 at 253.03 def. Johnson, 6.017 at 215.48

Pro winners: Larry Dixon, Top Fuel; Gary Scelzi, Funny car; Jeg Coughlin, Pro Stock.

Funny Car Standings: 1, Tony Pedregon, 1210; 2, Whit Bazemore, 1166; 3, John Force, 1011; 4, Del Worsham, 944; 5, Gary Densham, 836; 6, Ron Capps, 830; 7, Tommy Johnson Jr., 780; 8, Gary Scelzi, 718; 9, Cruz Pedregon, 706; 10, Johnny Gray, 689

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Larry Dixon , Tony Pedregon , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Tommy Johnson , Gary Densham , Tim Wilkerson , Johnny Gray , Tommy Johnson Jr.