Bristol: Skoal Racing eliminations summary

Don Prudhomme's Skoal Racing: Tommy Johnson beats force, falls in Bristol quarterfinals. Ron Capps upended in opening round. BRISTOL, Tenn., April 28, 2002 - Tommy Johnson Jr. gained a little revenge, beating John Force in the first round of ...

Don Prudhomme's Skoal Racing:
Tommy Johnson beats force, falls in Bristol quarterfinals.
Ron Capps upended in opening round.

BRISTOL, Tenn., April 28, 2002 - Tommy Johnson Jr. gained a little revenge, beating John Force in the first round of Sunday's Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, while Ron Capps, his Skoal Racing teammate, had his round-win streak at the track stopped at four.

The last time Johnson and Force squared off was in the final round of the Spring Nationals two weeks ago in Houston and Force won his milestone 100th NHRA national event. This time, however, Force, the No.3 qualifier, didn't have a chance. A clutch malfunction slowed him and Johnson's Blue Skoal Racing Camaro Funny Car drove away to an easy win, 5.058 seconds at 297.16 mph to 12.760 at 71.42.

"Revenge was sweet," said Johnson, who began eliminations from the No. 14 slot. "The memory of him beating me for his 100th win was still fresh, and I could guarantee him he wasn't going to get No. 101 Sunday."

Johnson's hopes of getting to the final round for the third consecutive event were dashed by eventual race winner Whit Bazemore in the second round. Bazemore stopped the clocks with a 4.920 at 311.20 to Johnson's 5.024 at 305.98.

Johnson had a consistent performance, running five straight 5.0-second times, but, he admitted, it was "about a tenth of a second off where we need to be." So, in an effort to cure the problem, Johnson will test Monday at Bristol Dragway before packing up and heading for Commerce, Ga., site of next weekend's Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals.

Capps, meanwhile, was upset in the first round when his Green Skoal Racing Camaro suffered traction problems against Todd Paton. Capps had the team's best qualifying run, 4.907 seconds at 308.21 mph and was up against No. 13 Paton. Paton won with a 5.251 at 286.98 while Capps finished in 6.097 at 182.06.

"This track has been good to us lately," said Capps, who won this event last year and was runner-up in 2000, "so we felt comfortable coming here. We started off by qualifying in the top four right away and staying there. It was surprising that we went out and blew the tires off in the first round."

Johnson was able to remain fourth in points with 372. Capps is now seventh with 320.

The pair returns to Powerade Series competition Friday through Sunday at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga., site of the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals.

Qualifying: Capps, No. 4, 4.907 at 308.21 mph; Johnson, No. 14, 5.020 at 294.18 mph.

First round: Johnson, 5.058 at 297.16 def. Force, 12.760 at 71.42; Todd Paton, 5.251 at 286.98 def. Capps, 6.097at 182.06; Quarterfinals: Whit Bazemore, 4.920 at 311.20 def. Johnson, 5.024 at 305.98.

Pro Winners: Larry Dixon, Top Fuel; Whit Bazemore, Funny Car; Warren Johnson, Pro Stock

-dpsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Tommy Johnson , Todd Paton , Don Prudhomme , Tommy Johnson Jr.