JOHNSON JR. POWERS SKOAL RACING CHEVY TO NO. 6 POSITION AT THE STRIP LAS VEGAS (April 16, 2005) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. equaled his best qualifying position of the 2005 NHRA season Saturday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after qualifying...
JOHNSON JR. POWERS SKOAL RACING CHEVY TO NO. 6 POSITION AT THE STRIP
LAS VEGAS (April 16, 2005) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. equaled his best qualifying position of the 2005 NHRA season Saturday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after qualifying his Skoal RacingSM Chevy sixth.
Johnson and Don Prudhomme's Skoal RacingSM Funny Car team took advantage of Friday evening's night session and the cooler temperatures after the sun goes down to earn the No. 6 qualifying position after Johnson blasted his Chevy flopper to a performance of 4.813 seconds at 317.89 mph.
"It shows that Friday night runs are getting more important all the time," Johnson said. "It can hurt you if you have a bad run on Friday, but it can play into your hands if you make a good one like we did. Qualifying is a big issue. It might not seem like it, but it's really important to qualify well. So, you have to make a good run on Friday night."
The six-time NHRA winner made a nice run under difficult conditions on Saturday's first pass as he stopped the LVMS timers in 5.026 at 309.49. On his fourth and final qualifying effort, Johnson's car posted solid early numbers before spinning the tires and coasting to a run of 6.605 at 133.96.
"It's all good," Johnson said. "We tried to improve on that last run and it was hopped up a little too much. Now, we know how to get down the track. We're in good shape for Sunday."
Johnson, who won the spring Las Vegas event in 2001, will battle No. 11 qualifier Tony Bartone in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations. Johnson is 1-0 in his career against the New York driver.