CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 7, 2004) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. and his blue Skoal Racing Chevy Monte Carlo Funny Car posted a season-best performance this weekend (4.823 seconds) and the Iowa native won his first round of racing since last September, Sunday...
CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 7, 2004) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. and his blue Skoal Racing Chevy Monte Carlo Funny Car posted a season-best performance this weekend (4.823 seconds) and the Iowa native won his first round of racing since last September, Sunday at Firebird International Raceway.
In the opening round of Funny Car of eliminations, Johnson Jr. raced to the victory beating No. 13 qualifier Bob Gilbertson. Johnson powered his Mike Green-tuned Skoal-backed Chevy to a run of 4.934 seconds at 298.40 mph to best Gilberton's performance of 5.105 at 251.34, also in a Chevy.
"You have to have confidence in what you're doing to win rounds and be competitive," Johnson said. "Getting a round win was a huge vote of confidence for me and the Skoal Racing blue guys."
In round two, Johnson's Skoal Racing flopper was too aggressive and lost traction early in the run, allowing rookie driver Eric Medlen to drive around for the victory. Johnson clocked a run of 7.505 at 111.74, while Medlen used a 4.871 at 303.03 for the win.
b^0x001cThe car was just too aggressive in the second round," Johnson said. "It spun the tires pretty early and just wasn't going to recover. We missed the adjustment on the hot track.
"We made progress this weekend. We had confidence coming here after our first round at Pomona last Sunday. We had our best qualifying position in a long time this weekend and we're headed in the right direction. I feel we'll go on at Gainesville (Fla.) and continue these improvements."
Del Worsham defeated Tony Pedregon in the Funny Car final at Phoenix.
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 35th annual Mac Tools Gatornationals, March 18-21, in Gainesville, Fla.