Baytown: Tommy Johnson Jr preview

JOHNSON JR. LOOKS TO BE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF WIN NO. 100 THIS TIME AROUND AT HOUSTON BAYTOWN, Texas (April 4, 2005) - Three years ago, Tommy Johnson Jr. drove his Skoal RacingSM Chevy Camaro to the final round at Houston Raceway Park where he...

JOHNSON JR. LOOKS TO BE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF WIN NO. 100 THIS TIME AROUND AT HOUSTON

BAYTOWN, Texas (April 4, 2005) - Three years ago, Tommy Johnson Jr. drove his Skoal RacingSM Chevy Camaro to the final round at Houston Raceway Park where he met up against vaunted drag racing legend John Force. Force scored the narrow win over the up-and-coming flopper pilot, but it wasn't just any win. It was Force's 100th career victory.

"It's like being the guy that gave up (Mark) McGwire's 62nd home run ball a few years back," Johnson said. "You hate to be known for that, but you hate to lose any final round and (John) Force is as tough as they come. This time, it's our chance to get No. 100 for Snake and it would be just fine with me if Force was in the other lane."

Fast forward three years later and Johnson hopes to be involved in another final round appearance in the Lone Star State that leads to victory No. 100, as team owner and drag racing pioneer Don 'the Snake' Prudhomme sits just one victory shy of the century mark. Johnson's win at the season-opening Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., in February was win No. 99 for the Snake. Prudhomme came up just short three weeks ago in Gainesville, Fla., as two-time Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon scored the runner-up finish at the historic Gatornationals.

Johnson and the entire Don Prudhomme Snake Racing team eye victory No. 100 when the NHRA POWERade Series makes its annual spring visit to Houston--the first of two visits to Texas for the NHRA circuit--for the 18th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals, April 8-10, at the ultra-quick drag strip at Houston Raceway Park. The same track where Johnson joined the prestigious Slick 50 300-mph Club 11 years ago.

"We're real close to Snake's 100th (win) and there's no better chance for us to score the win," Johnson said. "Both our car and Larry's (Dixon) dragster are running very well. This Funny Car class is so tight and everyone needs breaks to win, but you have to be nearly perfect on every run. We were runner-up at Houston a few years ago and I'm pretty confident that we can maintain or improve our position in the points this weekend."

Johnson and his Skoal Racing crew spent the Monday following the Gatornationals testing Don Prudhomme's Chevy flopper, making four passes at Gainesville Raceway. The veteran nitro driver clocked a 4.87, 4.82 and 4.79 on his final three runs. If that performance is any of indication of things to come, then the Texas race fans may be in store for another century mark celebration.

- snake racing -

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , John Force , Tommy Johnson , Don Prudhomme , Tommy Johnson Jr.