JOHNSON JR. DRIVES TO ROUND-TWO FINISH AT ATLANTA DRAGWAY COMMERCE, Ga. (May 15, 2005) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. raced his blue Skoal RacingSM Chevy Monte Carlo to a second-round performance Sunday at a wet Atlanta Dragway. Following a four hour...
JOHNSON JR. DRIVES TO ROUND-TWO FINISH AT ATLANTA DRAGWAY
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 15, 2005) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. raced his blue Skoal RacingSM Chevy Monte Carlo to a second-round performance Sunday at a wet Atlanta Dragway.
Following a four hour rain delay, racing action kicked off at 3 p.m. (ET) Sunday afternoon. Johnson took advantage of his best starting position of the season (No. 3) when he caught a break en route to the round win over No. 14 qualifier Gary Densham. After the delay, the teams were faced with a tricky race track and Johnson's Chevy flopper was a bit too aggressive and shook the tires forcing Johnson to pedal the car. The six-time NHRA winner used a run of 5.603 seconds at 267.64 mph to earn the trip to the second round. Densham's Chevy lost traction early in the run.
"The car shook and got out of the groove and I pedaled it and got it to hook up again," Johnson said. "The car was too aggressive. I know they backed it down after that 4.78 last night, but it was tricky out there after the long delay and obviously we didn't back it down enough."
Johnson, who won the season-opening Winternationals in February, was pitted against 2005 NHRA Rookie of the Year candidate Robert Hight in round two. In a very close race, the John Force Racing driver used a pass of 4.849 at 321.81 to earn the narrow win over Johnson's run of 4.884 at 316.67. Johnson and Don Prudhomme's Skoal Racing team will remain in the sixth position in the Funny Car standings.
"Coming off the tire-smoker in the first round, we were a little conservative in the middle of course because that gave us problems in the first round," Johnson said. "After the rains, the track conditions got even better. The car was a little slow in the middle of the track against Robert (Hight). It was just a bit soft and we got outrun. I was pretty surprised that he gave us the right lane, which we thought was a little bit better. You always hate to lose a close race, but we held our ground in the standings and that's important."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 41st annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals, May 19-22, at National Trail Raceway near Columbus, Ohio. The Skoal Racing Funny Car crew will service the Chevy flopper on Monday at Atlanta Dragway before heading North to Ohio to compete in next weekend's race.