JOHNSON JR. AIMS TO GET BACK ON WINNING TRACK AT BRAINERD BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 8, 2005) -- Peaks and valley, ups-and-downs, however one may refer to them are just as common to an NHRA drag racing team as a mid-summer lull is to a Major League...
JOHNSON JR. AIMS TO GET BACK ON WINNING TRACK AT BRAINERD
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 8, 2005) -- Peaks and valley, ups-and-downs, however one may refer to them are just as common to an NHRA drag racing team as a mid-summer lull is to a Major League Baseball squad. The key to success for any championship contender is to limit those struggles to a very short span, and that's what veteran Funny Car pilot Tommy Johnson Jr. and his Skoal RacingSM team plan on doing when the NHRA tour pays its annual August visit to Minnesota.
"Everybody has a bad weekend throughout the season," Johnson said. "I'm going to chalk the last race up to just that. Sonoma (Calif.) has never been a good track for me and Brainerd has. So, it's nice to have the comfort of going to a track that you like. A lot of times, just having a positive mindset can help you get back on track. For whatever reason, we just never hit the combination at Sonoma. I don't think that we'll have that problem two races in a row."
The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule heats up again with events in consecutive weekends, beginning August 11-14 when the circuit stops in the Land of 10,000 Lakes' at picturesque Brainerd International Raceway, a track that the Midwestern native is quite familiar with dating back to his days as an NHRA Division 5 competitor.
Johnson and his Don Prudhomme-owned Monte Carlo have been a force contend with in the bitter NHRA Funny Car division the entire 2005 campaign, since opening the season with a trip to the winner's circle at Pomona (Calif.). At four of the past seven events, Johnson has racked up a runner-up finish, to go along with three semifinal berths. The Iowa native knows the importance of advancing rounds on Sundays if he is to maintain his position in the standings.
"We went to the semis at four out of six events before Sonoma, now the goal is to keep that trend going," Johnson said. "We need to go rounds and rack up points. It's very important to keep going rounds because there are a few guys right on our tail. It's easy to fade this time of year and that's the last thing we want to do. We want to show everyone that we're a strong team with a top-five race car."
T.J. 'Talks' Brainerd...
What do you like most about Brainerd International Raceway?
The setting and the fun atmosphere of the event
What is your favorite memory of Brainerd International Raceway?
I won some NHRA Division 5 races there and have been to the final round a few times, so overall, it's been a good track for me.
What is your favorite Brainerd-area restaurant?
The Black Bear Saloon.
What do you like most about the Brainerd area?
The camping atmosphere.
When you hear 'Brainerd International Raceway' the first thing that comes to mind is?
Will we be racing there next season?