Johnson Jr. and Skoal Racing Blue Team eager to begin 2004 season after second weekend of testing. CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 8, 2004) -- After being out of his Skoal Racing blue Chevy Funny Car for nearly three months, Tommy Johnson Jr.
Johnson Jr. and Skoal Racing Blue Team eager to begin 2004 season after second weekend of testing.
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 8, 2004) -- After being out of his Skoal Racing blue Chevy Funny Car for nearly three months, Tommy Johnson Jr. spent the past two weekends gearing up for the 2004 NHRA season. The Skoal blue team continued testing its new engine combination Sunday during the National Time Trials at Firebird International Raceway.
Johnson, who begins his fourth season under Don Prudhomme Snake Racing's umbrella, piloted his Skoal Racing blue Chevy Funny Car down the sticky Firebird Raceway quarter-mile twice on Sunday afternoon, recording a pass of 5.926 seconds at 161.77 mph on his first effort. He clocked a weekend-best run of 5.002 at 302.75 on the second pass.
"I actually went further than I was supposed to on that final pass," Johnson said. "I took it to 1,200 feet before shutting off. We actually made big progress today. We learned more than I would have expected at a Phoenix test session. We learned stuff that will help us in the middle of the summer to get down hot, sticky tracks like Columbus and St. Louis."
With a new engine combination, the new, aerodynamic Chevy Monte Carlo body, along with his keeping the majority of his team intact, including crew chief Mike Green and assistant crew chief Tommy DeLago, Johnson feels his team has all the necessary elements needed to return the Iowa native to the NHRA winner's circle for the first time since 2001.
"At this point, we're way further along then we were last season," Johnson said. 'The team has its routine down. The guys are right where they were when we left off at Pomona in November. Mike (Green) and Tommy (DeLago) are way ahead of where they were last year; they've got a pretty good idea of where they need to be. This also is the best the two teams have worked together since I've been here."
Johnson and his Don Prudhomme-owned Skoal Racing blue Funny Car will remain at F.I.R. to test early next week before moving on to the hotbed of drag racing in Southern California for the 44th annual K&N Filters Winternationals at Pomona Raceway near Los Angeles.