JOHNSON JR. POSTS QUARTER-FINAL FINISH AT JOLIET EVENT JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 2, 2005) - After clocking career-best numbers during qualifying for the fifth annual Ameriquest Mortgage Co. Nationals, six-time NHRA winner Tommy Johnson Jr. drove his...
JOHNSON JR. POSTS QUARTER-FINAL FINISH AT JOLIET EVENT
JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 2, 2005) - After clocking career-best numbers during qualifying for the fifth annual Ameriquest Mortgage Co. Nationals, six-time NHRA winner Tommy Johnson Jr. drove his Skoal RacingSM Chevy Funny Car to a second-round finish Sunday at Route 66 Raceway.
Johnson, who qualified fourth with a 4.698-second elapsed time, was given a free trip to round two after Frank Pedregon fouled at the start forcing an automatic disqualification of the veteran Funny Car racer. Johnson dodged a bullet as the Skoal Racing Monte Carlo spun the tires down track and slowed to a run of 5.067 seconds at 238.36 mph.
In the second round of eliminations, Johnson was pitted against 13-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force. Johnson, who raced to the fifth fastest speed in NHRA history (331.45 mph) during qualifying, drove his Chevy flopper to a solid pass of 4.852 at 320.97, but it wasn't enough to best Force, who carded a 4.796-second performance en route to a semifinal effort.
"We had a lucky break with Frankie (Pedregon) red lighting in the first round," Johnson said. "The car came loose near mid-track, but we got the win. We had to soften up the tune-up in that area of the track so that we could get down track and make a solid run. We just didn't have enough power to run with (John) Force. He made a great run. That would have been tough to outrun.
"It wasn't a bad weekend. We got our first 330 (mph pass) and our first 4.60, and not many people have done that. Sure, we would have liked to have won the race as well. I want to get one more win before the season ends. We've got a good car, we've just got to keep plugging away."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 20th annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals, Oct. 6-9, at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas near Dallas. The race was rescheduled in mid-September due to Hurricane Rita.