Gainesville: Tommy Johnson Jr Saturday summary

JOHNSON JR. COMPLETES QUALIFYING IN NO. 6 SPOT AT GATORNATIONALS GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 18, 2005) -- Tommy Johnson Jr., who eyes his second victory of 2005, qualified his Skoal RacingSM Chevy Funny Car in the sixth qualifying position Saturday...

JOHNSON JR. COMPLETES QUALIFYING IN NO. 6 SPOT AT GATORNATIONALS

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 18, 2005) -- Tommy Johnson Jr., who eyes his second victory of 2005, qualified his Skoal RacingSM Chevy Funny Car in the sixth qualifying position Saturday at Gainesville Raceway. It is Johnson's best start of the early 2005 NHRA season.

Johnson entered Saturday's final two qualifying sessions in the No. 12 position and the Skoal Racing crew, led by tuner Mike Green, posted two dependable 4.8-second passes under warm, sunny conditions on Saturday afternoon. The six-time NHRA winner powered his Chevy flopper to a run of 4.866 seconds at 304.15 mph on Saturday's first pass to place him solidly in the 16-car field. On his final qualifying attempt, the Iowa native blasted to his best run of the weekend as the Skoal Racing car stopped the Gainesville Raceway timers in 4.824 at 320.17 to claim the No. 6 qualifying spot.

"We came into this race wanting to improve on our qualifying position and we did that," Johnson said. "Even though we won the Winternationals last month, we only qualified 12th. We ran very well on Saturday under conditions that are similar to what we'll face on race day. We struggled on Friday, but faced very strange weather conditions for Florida. I think we've got a pretty good car for Sunday."

Johnson will battle No. 11 qualifier Jeff Arend in the first round of Funny Car competition on Sunday at the 36th annual Mac Tools Gatornationals as he looks to collect 'Wally' trophy number seven.

-snake-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tommy Johnson , Jeff Arend , Tommy Johnson Jr.