Bristol: Tommy Johnson Jr preview

Johnson Jr. Hopes Consistency Is The Key At Thunder Valley BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 26, 2004) - Tommy Johnson Jr. and his Skoal Racing Chevy Funny Car experienced its best weekend of the early 2004 NHRA season two weeks ago at Houston when the Don...

Johnson Jr. Hopes Consistency Is The Key At Thunder Valley

BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 26, 2004) - Tommy Johnson Jr. and his Skoal Racing Chevy Funny Car experienced its best weekend of the early 2004 NHRA season two weeks ago at Houston when the Don Prudhomme-owned flopper made five full passes down the Houston Raceway Park quarter mile with Johnson's slowest pass being 5.045 seconds.

Despite an early exit in the Lone Star State, Johnson knows that having a consistent tune-up on race day is the first step towards advancing rounds. Knowing that your race car is going to go from A to B each time you pull into the water box is another element that plays in the head of your opponent.

"It's easier to focus on the tree when you don't have to worry about peddling the race car," Johnson said. "You're more at ease. It gives you a bit of a mental advantage more than anything. I think it affects the opposing crew chief more than the driver, knowing he has to tune the car to make it down the track to beat us."

Johnson looks for a continuation of the recent consistency from his Skoal Racing Monte Carlo when the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series makes the first of two visits to Tennessee for the fourth annual O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals, April 30-May 2, at historic Bristol Dragway.

Following the season-opening Winternationals, Prudhomme hired Garry "Skippy" Kennedy to join the Skoal Racing crew. The addition of Kennedy has brought another head and different mindset to the car.

"I think it's working out well for us," Johnson said. "Skippy has brought a new approach and some different ideas to the crew. You sometimes get so fixed on doing things a certain way that you overlook other things. He's brought an approach that helped solve our problems quicker and we're running better because of it."

After suffering a setback during qualifying at Las Vegas in early April, the Skoal Racing crew spent the Monday after the event testing and preparing for the remainder of the NHRA campaign. With the extra day in Sin City, crew chiefs Mike Green and Kennedy discovered what ailed the car and made the change that benefited them in Houston.

"I think they found a major problem with our car at Las Vegas and they realized what the problem was and we're taking a different approach," Johnson said. "We'll get better from here on out, and you can't get better until you know what the problem is. I feel we're capable of going down the race track no matter where we're racing."

With a smidgen of luck and a progression of the consistent tune-up that Johnson experienced two weeks ago in Houston, the Skoal Racing Monte Carlo is sure to make some noise in Thunder Valley on race day.

-www.snakeracing.com

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tommy Johnson , Don Prudhomme , Tommy Johnson Jr.