Sonoma: Tommy Johnson Jr preview

JOHNSON JR. LOOKS TO FINISH UP STRONG AT SONOMA SONOMA, Calif. (July 25, 2006) In the current state of NHRA drag racing, ups-and-downs are quite common. With multi-car teams and tough competition, qualifying in the top half of the 16-car order...

JOHNSON JR. LOOKS TO FINISH UP STRONG AT SONOMA

SONOMA, Calif. (July 25, 2006) In the current state of NHRA drag racing, ups-and-downs are quite common. With multi-car teams and tough competition, qualifying in the top half of the 16-car order and earning a ranking in the top 10 of the standings is an accomplishment.

To be successful and contend for the POWERade championship, teams must limit the number of valleys and remain on a level path which equates to advancing to at least the semifinals on a regular basis. Tommy Johnson Jr. and his Don "the Snake" Prudhomme-owned Skoal RacingSM team have moved along to the semifinal round of eliminations at four of the last seven events on the schedule. That consistency has the special edition Skoal Racing Monte Carlo positioned just 63 points or about three rounds of racing from a third place ranking in the Funny Car division as the grueling Western Swing concludes wi! th the 19th annual FRAM-Autolite Nationals, July 28-30, at Infineon Raceway.

"The way the points are shaping up at this point in the season, I want to have a good showing and get back on track at Sonoma," Johnson said. "Last year, the Sonoma race was a downfall for us. It's important for us to have a good weekend and get back into the top five and gear up for the U.S. Nationals at Indy. We'd like to be in the top five going into Indy and a strong weekend at Sonoma will help with that."

Johnson has secured a top 10-ranking the entire 2006 NHRA season, placing as high as third following his win at the Phoenix race in February, the seventh of his career. The Skoal Racing crew is the only single-car team that has earned a spot in the POWERade top 10, but with a solid performance at the Sonoma event they could secure a top five position or higher as drag racing's Super Bowl event, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, is just a month away.

"It's hard not to focus on it, but it's frustrating when you have a first round loss and drop a couple of spots in the points," Johnson said. "It motivates us to do well. It really makes you want to do well and win a race to pick up a few spots in the standings. I've qualified No. 1 at Sonoma before. I'd like to do that again and lock up our position in the Skoal Showdown as well."

-www.snakeracing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tommy Johnson