JOHNSON JR. RACES TO QUICKEST AND FASTEST RUN OF CAREER FRIDAY AT JOLIET; FINISHES FOURTH IN FUNNY CAR ORDER JOLIET, Ill. (Sept. 30, 2005) & ...
JOHNSON JR. RACES TO QUICKEST AND FASTEST RUN OF CAREER FRIDAY AT JOLIET; FINISHES FOURTH IN FUNNY CAR ORDER
JOLIET, Ill. (Sept. 30, 2005) Veteran nitro pilot Tommy Johnson Jr. eclipsed both ends of his career-best performance marks Friday at Route 66 Raceway as the six-time NHRA winner powered his Skoal RacingSM Chevy Funny Car to a pass of 4.698 seconds at 331.45 mph to finish fourth after the opening day of qualifying at the fifth annual Ameriquest Mortgage Co. Nationals.
Known for being the quickest drag strip on the NHRA circuit, the Joliet track lived up to its reputation on Friday as Johnson blistered the Route 66 Raceway quarter mile in 4.714 seconds at 330.47 mph to pace the Funny Car field following the first qualifying session. Johnson became the fifth Funny Car driver to record a 330-mph.
On Friday's second qualifying attempt, the Iowa native bettered his opening numbers when he used a tune-up from crew chiefs Mike Green and Johnny West to record the 4.698, 331.45 run under the lights at Route 66 Raceway. Johnson's 331.45-mph speed led the Funny Car class and is the fifth fastest Funny Car speed in NHRA history.
"We came in here knowing that we should run career-best numbers," Johnson said. "I was shocked by the first run. I didn't think I'd run my career-best on that pass. It gave us a good baseline for the night run, I was just hoping that it didn't get too cold out.
"Then to come out and run 4.69 at 331 and run career-best twice in one day is terrific. We accomplished two milestones today, to run in the 4.60s and run 330. Now, I'm hoping that we can come out on Saturday and run a low 4.70. Then we'll have a good car for Sunday and that's what's important."
Johnson and the Skoal Racing team are scheduled to run at 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at Route 66 Raceway.