JOHNSON JR. DRIVES TO BEST QUALIFYING POSITION OF 2005; WILL START THIRD AT ATLANTA DRAGWAY COMMERCE, Ga. (May 14, 2005) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. powered his Skoal RacingSM Chevy Monte Carlo to its best qualifying position of the 2005 NHRA season ...
JOHNSON JR. DRIVES TO BEST QUALIFYING POSITION OF 2005; WILL START THIRD AT ATLANTA DRAGWAY
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 14, 2005) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. powered his Skoal RacingSM Chevy Monte Carlo to its best qualifying position of the 2005 NHRA season Saturday at Atanta Dragway after the six-time NHRA winner raced to the third qualifying position at the 25th annual Southern Nationals.
In what turned out to be a strange day of qualifying, Johnson raced his Chevy flopper to a run of 4.981 seconds at 302.08 mph on a hot Atlanta Dragway quarter mile in a session that saw many teams struggle with the hot, slippery race track.
"With a sunny track and hot conditions, I was very happy with that 4.98," Johnson said. "Especially making a good run in the left lane; it's not as good as the right. I'm very pleased with that since race-day conditions might be similar to what we had on Saturday's first run."
During the final Top Fuel qualifying session, racing action was temporarily delayed after two rain showers halted the 7,000 horsepower action for more than two hours. Once the track was dried, the teams had the luxury of racing under cooler conditions similar to what they would face in a night qualifying session. Johnson and his Mike Green-led race crew took advantage, as the Iowa native blasted his Skoal Racing flopper to the third quickest Funny Car run of the weekend, stopping the timers in 4.787 seconds at 321.88 mph.
"When you have conditions like that, you need to take advantage of them," Johnson said. "We were fortunate enough to go out and make a great run. It was just a few thousandths (of-a-second) short of being number one. That's our best qualifying position of the year, and we continue to improve and move up in the Skoal Showdown standings. We've got a good shot to win this race on Sunday. We're looking good."
Johnson will battle veteran Funny Car driver Gary Densham in the first round of Funny Car eliminations on Sunday morning at Atlanta Dragway. Johnson is 6-8 in his career against Densham.