Johnson qualifies well; upset in first round. BRAINERD, Minn., Aug. 18, 2002 - Tommy Johnson Jr. led the Skoal Racing Funny Car team in the Rugged Liner Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. Johnson's Blue Skoal Racing Camaro had three...
Johnson qualifies well; upset in first round.
BRAINERD, Minn., Aug. 18, 2002 - Tommy Johnson Jr. led the Skoal Racing Funny Car team in the Rugged Liner Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.
Johnson's Blue Skoal Racing Camaro had three solid qualifying runs - 5.084, 4.927 and 4.910 seconds - after rain washed out one of Friday's attempts. He began Sunday's eliminations from the No. 5 position and was upset by Bob Bode in the opening round. Johnson's car lost traction, enabling Bode to win with a 5.233-second, 300.20-mph effort to Johnson's 6.718 at 159.01.
"We just missed the tune-up," said Johnson. "Although we ran well in qualifying, we still don't have enough baseline runs to fall back on. There was a change in the weather and different track conditions to deal with Sunday. You can't learn anything unless you go down the racetrack, and we're starting to do that."
Ron Capps and the Green Skoal Racing Camaro did not make the 16-car field. His best run was 5.096 seconds. "We just got behind after we didn't get down the track on our only run Friday," Capps said. "We could've used the run that was rained out, but we're not making any excuses. The car was running well in the first half of the track, but when the clutch came in, it pulled the tires loose."
Capps remained seventh in NHRA POWERade Series points with 777 and Johnson stayed 10th with 666.
The two crews will be testing at Indianapolis Raceway Park Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare for the prestigious U.S. Nationals at IRP, Aug. 30-Sept. 2.
Qualifying: Johnson, No. 5, 4.910 seconds at 305.15 mph; Capps did not qualify
First round: Bob Bode def. Johnson
Pro Winners: Kenny Bernstein, Top Fuel; John Force, Funny Car; Jeg Coughlin Jr., Pro Stock