Joliet: Tommy Johnson Jr preview

JOHNSON JR. AND SKOAL RACING TEAM EXCITED TO CONTINUE STRONG 2005 SHOWING JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2005) - Tommy Johnson Jr. and Don Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Funny Car team had one goal entering the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season: to...

JOHNSON JR. AND SKOAL RACING TEAM EXCITED TO CONTINUE STRONG 2005 SHOWING

JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2005) - Tommy Johnson Jr. and Don Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Funny Car team had one goal entering the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season: to rebound and post a strong performance in the challenging Funny Car division. After suffering a sub par performance in 2004, the team was focused on proving they can again be a contender in the flopper wars.

In just nine races, Johnson and company have surpassed their performance from a year ago. The team posted a 9-21 win-loss mark over the course of the 23-race season in 2004. Through the first nine races of '05, the Skoal Racing guys have raced to a 10-8 win-loss record with two final-round appearances. They sit just four rounds of racing from second place driver Robert Hight.

"We've had more breaks to go our way this year and that's brought on by being a better, more competitive team," Johnson said. "If you're not a competitive car, guys won't take chances against you. If you run well and have a strong car, you tend to get a few more breaks. Our whole team is better this year. We're running better and we're qualifying in the top half of the field and that's very important. And, our confidence level is a lot higher this season."

A confident Johnson eyes a second straight final-round visit when the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series roars into Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill, June 9-12, for the eighth annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals. Johnson posted a runner-up finish at the spring Joliet race two years ago.

"We're getting into the middle of the season and it's important to keep focused and to able to adjust to the different tracks conditions that we'll face each week," Johnson said. "That's the key because we'll face so many different types of tracks and weather conditions. We're switching chassis for the Chicago race. The car we've been running is getting worn out and we want to stay on top of things and continue to be competitive. Having a fresh race car should help us do that."

With perennial champion John Force atop the Funny Car standings, a strong Mike Green tune-up is crucial if Johnson and the Skoal Racing team hope to continue advancing rounds on race day and add to their point total in hope of making a run for the NHRA crown.

"We need to be in the top five of the standings," Johnson said. "It's important to stay in lead pack just in case (John) Force stumbles at any point. They're a great team and have opened up a good lead, but you want to be close enough to catch him if they slide. We're only nine races in, so we still have a shot. Our goal is to focus on the top five and to remain a strong contender all season long."

-www.snakeracing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Tommy Johnson , Don Prudhomme , Robert Hight , Tommy Johnson Jr.