BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 15, 2004) - Tommy Johnson Jr. drove his blue Skoal RacingSM Chevy Monte Carlo to a second round finish Sunday at Brainerd International Raceway and improved his position in the POWERade points standings. The five-time...
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 15, 2004) - Tommy Johnson Jr. drove his blue Skoal RacingSM Chevy Monte Carlo to a second round finish Sunday at Brainerd International Raceway and improved his position in the POWERade points standings.
The five-time NHRA winner defeated No. 5 qualifier Whit Bazemore in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations. Johnson used a .045 reaction time to take the early lead on Bazemore and raced to a run of 4.978 seconds at 304.74 mph to score the wire-to-wire victory. Bazemore recorded a run of 5.004 at 307.44.
In his second round match up against rookie driver Eric Medlen, Johnson again used a holeshot to take the early lead until his Chevy flopper spun the tires, allowing Medlen to drive by for the win. Medlen powered to a run of 5.003 at 292.65, while Johnson's Skoal Racing Monte Carlo slowed to a run of 5.903 at 170.23.
"Anytime you can take out the guys in the championship hunt, it's a good day," Johnson said. "We made a really good run that time. In the second round, we tried to squeeze a little more out of the car and it spun the tires.
"This is the first time since the switch to the 85-percent nitro(methane) rule that we ran the way we should. We got our power curve back this weekend. Our tune-up is back to where it was before the rule change."
By advancing to the second round on Sunday, Johnson moved to 11th place in the Funny Car standings.
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 17th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals, Aug. 20-22, at Memphis Motorsports Park in Millington, Tenn. Johnson is a two-time winner of the Memphis race, having won in Top Fuel in 1994 and Funny Car in 1999.