Sonoma: Tommy Johnson ready for Sears Point

Tommy Johnson Jr. Driver Of Don "The Snake" Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Blue Camaro Funny Car The Race: 14th annual Fram Autolite Nationals, Aug. 3-5, Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma, Calif. STANDING: Seventh place, 741 points after 15 of 24 NHRA ...

Tommy Johnson Jr.
Driver Of Don "The Snake" Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Blue Camaro Funny Car

The Race:
14th annual Fram Autolite Nationals, Aug. 3-5, Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma, Calif.

STANDING:
Seventh place, 741 points after 15 of 24 NHRA Winston Series events.

Johnson Wants To Work On Building Success At Sears Point Raceway

There haven't been many "picture-perfect" days at this track for Johnson.  He did, however, earn his first pole position there in 1993, when he was driving in Top Fuel.  

"It's been a tough track for me," Johnson said. "Other than the pole, I haven't had much success there, but Ace (crew chief Ed "The Ace" McCulloch) has."

McCulloch was the crew chief on Doug Kalitta's Top Fuel dragster when he won back-to-back races (1998-99) at Sears Point

"It's time we turned things around," continued Johnson, talking not only about his performances at Sonoma but about this season as well.  He fell in the first round of Sunday's Northwest Nationals at Seattle when an air regulator in the clutch/fuel system malfunctioned.  "We've already done some (turning around), but we aren't at the level where we want to be.  We are a whole lot better than what we're showing.

"There's still a long way to go in the season (nine races).  I want more and everyone on the Blue crew wants more and we still want to get both cars in the top five.

"One of these days we're going to get both Skoal cars running well and we'll race in the finals. We've been getting either my car or Ron's car into the later rounds, but not both at the same time."

NO AIR, NO OOMPH

When the air regulator didn't work properly, the air pressure wasn't right and the air timers didn't function at the designated time. "The result was the clutch didn't work the way it should and neither did the fuel system," Johnson explained.  "We weren't setting any records, but I was ahead of him when that happened."

Johnson slowed to a 5.068 at 270.67 to Toliver's 4.949.

"More mechanical problems kept us from running well.  Ron really showed the team could run well at Seattle.  (Capps had the quickest time in eliminations, 4.855 seconds, and finished second.)

HOW THEY STAND

Team drivers have taken over the NHRA Winston Series top 10 with nine races to go.

Capps and Johnson are fourth and seventh, respectively.  Other ranking teammates include Team Force, John Force (1), Tony Pedregon (6) and Gary Densham (10) and Team Worsham,  Del Worsham (3) and Frank Pedregon (9).

Bucking the multi-car wave are Whit Bazemore (2), Bruce Sarver (5) and Dean Skuza  (8).

-DPSR-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Frank Pedregon , Tony Pedregon , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , John Force , Doug Kalitta , Tommy Johnson , Tommy Johnson Jr.