JOHNSON JR. DRIVES TO NO. 12 QUALIFYING POSITION FRIDAY AT PHOENIX CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 25, 2005) -- Current NHRA Funny Car points leader Tommy Johnson Jr. and Don Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Funny Car team opened defense of their Winternationals...
JOHNSON JR. DRIVES TO NO. 12 QUALIFYING POSITION FRIDAY AT PHOENIX
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 25, 2005) -- Current NHRA Funny Car points leader Tommy Johnson Jr. and Don Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Funny Car team opened defense of their Winternationals title Friday at Firebird International Raceway by qualifying in the No. 12 position with an elapsed time of 4.895 seconds.
Johnson, a six-time NHRA winner and one of 13 drivers to have earned victories in both the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories, began Friday's qualifying with a conservative pass of 4.895 seconds at 301.60 mph to place his Chevy flopper in the No. 7 qualifying spot. Faced with cool temperatures and a fairly dark F.I.R. drag strip, Johnson's Mike Green-tuned Monte Carlo was on a blistering pass before it spun the tires and slowed to a run of 6.037 at 152.33.
"It was on a great run Friday night before the tires came loose," Johnson said. "We were near the back of the pack and we were trying to run a big number. Our car ran really big speeds at Pomona and this track just wouldn't hold it in the middle of the race track and the tires spun. We'll come back out tomorrow and make a few adjustments and hopefully move into the top half of the field."
Johnson's 4.895-second pass was good enough for the No. 12 qualifying position with two qualifying attempts remaining. There are 22 Funny Cars looking to make the 16-car field at the 21st running of the Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals. Johnson qualified 12th at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway two weeks ago before racing to his first win since April 2001 and second since joining Don Prudhomme Raceway before the 2001 NHRA season.
Johnson and the Skoal Racing crew are scheduled to make qualifying passes at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. (MT) on Saturday at the Phoenix-area track.