ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 20, 2004) - Tommy Johnson Jr. posted a first round upset, knocking off No. 1 qualifier Eric Medlen, before driving his Don Prudhomme-owned blue Skoal RacingSM Chevy Monte Carlo to a second round finish Sunday at Old Bridge...
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 20, 2004) - Tommy Johnson Jr. posted a first round upset, knocking off No. 1 qualifier Eric Medlen, before driving his Don Prudhomme-owned blue Skoal RacingSM Chevy Monte Carlo to a second round finish Sunday at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
In the opening round of Funny Car eliminations, the veteran driver used a significant starting line advantage to score the upset victory against No. 1 qualifier and Rookie of the Year contender Medlen. Johnson, whose .065 reaction time was the best reaction time of the first round of Funny Car eliminations, used a Mike Green tune-up to drive his Skoal Racing Chevy to a run of 4.966 seconds at 308.85 mph to edge Medlen's quicker-but-losing pass of 4.927 at 308.35.
"We've struggled all season," Johnson said. "We got in the show on Saturday, so we had nothing to lose. It's time for us to turn this thing around. I wanted to do my part for this race crew and I did this time. We figured out the tune-up on race day and it worked out in the first round."
In round two, Johnson matched up against Funny Car points leader and fellow Chevy driver Del Worsham. Worsham, who qualified eighth, raced to a run of 4.998 at 306.19 to post a narrow win over the five-time NHRA winner, who powered his Skoal Racing flopper to a pass of 5.045 at 301.13.
"We knew it was going to be a tough race," Johnson said. "Del's (Worsham) a tough competitor, that's why he's leading the points. We didn't want to beat ourselves and we didn't. We just got outrun. I think we've turned the corner and it should be a whole different second half of the season for our crew."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the eighth annual Sears Craftsman Nationals, June 25-27, at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. Johnson scored a runner-up finish at the St. Louis event in 2001.